The Canucks entered the 3rd period with a lead for the 27th time this season, but this time failed to hold it, losing in a shoot-out to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. Vancouver wraps up its season-long, seven-game road trip with a record of 5-1-and-1.
The Canucks came out flying with three shots-on-goal in the first minute, including one from Brock Boeser that just missed after barely catching a piece of goalie Elvis Merzlikins.
At 2:26, Vancouver earned an early power play when Blue Jackets forward Jack Roslovic went off for tripping.
The PP failed but the chances mounted and the Canucks opened the scoring at 5:28. The goal actually went in off a point shot from J.T. Miller that pinballed off defenders past Merzlikins. Ultimately, D-man Andrew Peeke tipped it past his own goalie. Shots were 9-0.
Just 27-seconds later the Blue Jackets took advantage of a Vancouver defensive zone turnover and Yegor Chinakhov tied the game, sweeping a shot from the slot past Casey DeSmith at 5:55.
Shortly after, Johnny Gaudreau just missed on a Grade-A scoring chance while being hooked by Vancouver defenceman Ian Cole. Cole went to the box. The Columbus power play didn’t click.
The Canucks retook the lead off some diligent forechecking work at 14:54. Centre Teddy Blueger won a puck battle in the right wing corner and spun a pass in front to Conor Garland who buried a one timer.
Vancouver had three glorious chances as time expired with Merzlikins scrambling to make saves.
Columbus generated good chances in the first minute on shots by Johnny Gaudreau and Cole Sillinger. DeSmith was up to the task.
Despite a feeble, season-long power play effort, the Blue Jackets tied the game with the man advantage at 3:28 with Miller off for high sticking. Dmitri Voronkov deflected a point shot home to make it 2-2.
Momentum took over for the next few minutes. The Canucks were careless with the puck in their own end and the Blue Jackets came close to cashing in twice. By the seven minute mark, shots were almost even for the game at 18-16 Vancouver.
That trend ended when Columbus D-man Jake Bean went off for hooking at 7:02. Elias Pettersson found himself alone on the power play in the right wing circle where he ripped home a wrister, high glove.
A bit of nasty stuff occurred for the first time in the game at 13:09 when Blue Jackets defenceman Damon Severson took exception to a Nils Höglander hit and put the Swedish winger down with a backhand slash to the side of the head. It resulted in just a two-minute penalty.
After the Canucks man advantage failed, the Blue Jackets would get a PP when Nikita Zadorov went off for interference with 3:36 remaining. Nothing doing, but just as the one penalty expired, Tyler Myers went off for tripping.
The power play would carry-over into the 3rd period for about half-a-minute.
The Canucks dulled things down in the third period, apparently putting themselves to sleep while trying to preserve the one goal lead.
A feisty Blue Jackets forecheck led to the tying goal at 10:57 as Voronkov lit the lamp a second time with a backhand stuff job inside the left post.
Until there were four minutes remaining, the Blue Jackets carried play. That’s when Canucks captain Quinn Hughes took it upon himself to generate some offence. His offensive zone possession time and his shots to the net created as much havoc as his teammates had all period.
Time ran out.
Both teams picked up abbreviated power plays in the extra session but failed to score. Similar to the final forty minutes of regulation, the Blue Jackets had the better looks.
Shots on goal finished 41-30 in favour of the Blue Jackets. Power plays: Vancouver 1-for-4, Columbus 1-for-5
Kirill Marchenko scored the only goal of the four-round shoot-out, poking the puck through DeSmith. Merzlikins stopped Andrei Kuzmenko, Miller, Pettersson, and Pius Suter at the other end.
Canucks 3 Stars:
1) Elias Pettersson – Goal and an assist, three shots, one hit. Two PIMs.
2) J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist, two shots, two PIMs.
3) Casey DeSmith – Lost, but faced an onslaught much of the afternoon and turned aside 38 shots-on-goal.
— Canucks Battle Through Buffalo, Demko Earns 1-0 Shut-Out