| October 14, 2021, 2: 15 AM
October 14, 2021, 2: 15 AM
EDMONTON– When it appeared like the very first game of this season was going to be like the majority of their games from last season, the Vancouver Canucks did something to use hope that things might be various: they came back.
Attempting to relaunch themselves and get away the dismal pall of their last-place surface last spring, the Canucks scored twice on the roadway in the final 8 minutes of the third period against a good team to produce a point in what ended up being a 3-2 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Video Game 1 of the new season.
Sure, Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith botched the connecting objective at 17: 11 by Quinn Hughes, who smartly discovered room short-side from a sharp angle when the Oiler failed to seal his post behind traffic. And yes, Oliver Ekman-Larsson‘s power-play objective that started the Canucks back from a 2-0 deficit at 12: 28 caromed off the stick of Oiler Ryan Nugent-Hopkins prior to snaking through Tanner Pearson’s screen.
However the Canucks played their best period when they needed, too, putting the Oilers under sufficient pressure to draw a number of penalties that fed Vancouver momentum. And the Canucks, back-stopped by goalie Thatcher Demko, did a solid job limiting the all-universe duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
The Canucks played favorably and came away with something, instead of absolutely nothing.
” We’ve been talking about devoting to defence, and I thought we did a really excellent task in camp and I believed we did a great task tonight, too,” veteran Ekman-Larsson said after making his Canucks debut with an ‘A’ on the first National Hockey League jersey he has worn that didn’t belong to the Arizona Coyotes. “We didn’t quit much. Telling the boys in the room, too– we were talking about it prior to the third– that simply stick to and keep playing the way we were, and we got a big point.”
The message after 40 minutes was, Hughes stated: “Just that we have a chance to come back and have a good start to the season. I think send a message, not only to them but to our group, that we have a great team and we can come back from behind like that.”
The Oilers took two points when Kyle Turris shot between Demko’s pads in the 5th round of a shootout that had actually been extended by Canuck Bo Horvat’s clutch goal.
Demko ended up with 32 conserves– 4 less than Smith– whose three overtime conserves consisted of a point-blank stop on Pearson.
In the shootout, the Canuck goalie stuffed McDavid and Draisaitl, who generated a power-play goal in the second duration but completed with just 2 shots each on target.
” I liked a lot of things,” Demko said of the group in front of him. “Obviously, I’m focused on what I have actually got to do, what my task is, however I thought our attention to information was actually excellent tonight.
The Canucks couldn’t endure a bad spell in the very first period and didn’t take advantage of a good spell in the second as the Oilers built their 2-0 lead.
Vancouver had a solid first 10 minutes, outshooting Edmonton 8-5 and generating a couple of scoring possibilities, consisting of a breakaway for Horvat that the captain fired off the outside of the post.
But the Canucks unexpectedly lost hold of the game and over a four-minute period were outshot 9-0. The last of these made it 1-0 at 16: 55 and the goal, at the end of an overextended shift that left Canuck skaters too tired to keep defensive protection, looked annoyingly like a stack of goals they gave up last season.
After Alex Chiasson lost his point protection, Oiler Darnell Nurse was provided an open lane to skate in and shoot on Demko.
The Canucks produced a similarly dominant spell in the second period, outshooting the Oilers 8-1 and creating outstanding scoring possibilities for Horvat and Kyle Burroughs.
However momentum ended with a Canuck penalty for too many gamers at 16: 17– another unfavorable reminder of last season when Vancouver had the fourth-most bench minors in the league– and 55 seconds later on McDavid and Draisaitl passed throughout the slot two times to establish a tap-in for Zach Hyman.
The Canucks team we saw in the 3rd period, nevertheless, looked a lot different than the delicate, brittle group that collapsed last season.
It was a start.
” It’s constantly important to get an excellent start,” Hughes stated. “In 2015, we didn’t get a great start which is difficult right off the bat when you’re currently having a hard time. So to combat back and get a point today, it’s motivating.”
The Canucks’ six-game trip resumes Friday in Philadelphia.