A Crosbyless Penguins vs Canucks Wednesday Night
Sidney Crosby is out after abdominal surgery. It shouldn't stop Penguins vs Canucks from being a great game. Vancouver comes in after a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. They continue on game 5 of their 6 game road trip. Pittsburg hasn't slowed down after losing their superstar. Evgeni Malkin is still on the team. They will be coming in after a 3-2 overtime win against the Calgary Flames.
Vancouver will try and bounce back after being outplayed Monday. They will need to get some secondary scoring. A call-up from the AHL Nikolay Goldobin will look to do just that. 12 goals and 20 points in 18 games with the Utica Comets. Fans were wondering why he wasn't called up earlier. He will slot into the lineup with a great chance to show his talents. On a line with Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller.
Thatcher Demko gets the start again tonight Penguins vs Canucks. Jacob Markstrom was scheduled to start but arrived at the rink not feeling well. Demko was solid Monday night. If not for him the game would have definitely gotten out of hand. He stopped 32 of 34 shots and made some timely saves to Vancouver in it. The first goal should be important tonight. The Canucks are 7-1-1 in the 9 games this year they found the back of the net first.
Vancouver fans will see a familiar face tonight Penguins vs Canucks. Jared McCann has found a new home in Pittsburg. And he sure looks comfortable. 9 goals 7 assists for 16 points so far this year. More impressively 20 goals in his 54 games with the Pens. Jake Guentzel is making up for the loss of Crosby. Look for a big game out of him tonight. He has 12 goals and 21 points in his 24 games.
Matt Murray gets the start in goal for Pittsburg. He is 9-4-0-4 this year with a .907 save percentage. Usually known as a high paced scoring team. They have shifted a bit in their mentality, this year they have allowed the 5th fewest goals. Penguins vs Canucks should be more of a lockdown defensive game. Don't be surprised if we get a lot of goals though with the names playing in this one.
Penguins vs Canucks Lucky to Only Be Down 2-1
Wednesday night did not start off the way the road team would have wanted. After trying to roll the lines to start the game. Penguins vs Canucks were given two Face-offs deep in Vancouver's zone. The second of which happened with the third line on. Adam Gaudette was no match for Malkin who won it clean back. Geuntzel did what he's done so well in the last 5 games. He put a wrist shot past Demko. 1-0 Pittsburg and both his and Malkins point streaks were up to 6 games.
Jake Guentzel has points in all seven of his career games vs. Vancouver (7G-3A). pic.twitter.com/YVzS5a4h37
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 28, 2019
Penguins vs Canucks continued to pour it on. They dictated play and had close to 90% of zone play in the first period. Shots were 4-0 before Troy Stetcher took an Interference penalty. Pittsburg was ranked 23rd on the powerplay coming into tonight. It did not look like it. After a flurry of chances which Demko was able to keep out. Penguins vs Canucks were able to again win the Face-Off and control the puck. Malkin found Bryan Rust who netted his 9th of the season at 12:53. 2-0 Pittsburg and the Canucks hadn't managed a shot on the net yet.
Vancouver was in a shot nightmare to start the game. After recording only 4 in each of the last two periods Monday. The Penguins vs Canucks held them without a real shot for 14:00. That means they went almost 60 minutes with under 10 shots. Goldobin was being deployed regularly. But he constantly looked out of place and was not in position. It was 12-2 when Vancouver rushed in and got a lucky end to the period.
Canucks counter to the flow of play. Had a rare rush into Pittsburg territory. Hughes took a pass from Captain Bo Horvat on the Rush. Crossing over the blue line he put a backhand pass across to Miller. He made no mistake for his 11th of the year at 16:42. Pettersson took a delay of a game penalty late. A scramble in front of the net was cleared and the horn sounded. The Canucks didn't deserve it but they were only down by one heading into the second.
A ComeBack Second Period For The Away Team Penguins vs Canucks
Vancouver was able to kill off the penalty to start the 1st period. Pettersson hit the post right when he came back onto the ice. Penguins vs Canucks didn't seem to be over yet. Pittsburg was starting to give up more shots and possession. They did have some good chances though. A turnover by Stetcher and if not for a nice recovery on Guentzel it would have been 3-1. Vancouver iced the puck looking for the long pass and the face-off was back in their zone.
Unlike the first period, they were able to win it. Pettersson won it back and took off down the ice. Hughes found his with a Beautiful pass from the sidewall. A quick give and go with Jake Virtanen and The Alien fired it into the back of the net. Just like that, we were all tied up at two 7:17 into the second period. Rookie Hughes got himself another assist. He does not want to make the Calder race easy for Cale Makar.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 28, 2019
Penguins vs Canucks came right back on the attack. If it wasn't for some great saves by Demko they would have taken back the lead. Shots were tilted again so far this game. 23-10 14:10 into the 2nd period. Vancouver was looking for some kind of counter. Virtanen was playing with a bit of an edge. Getting into it with McCann at the benches during a change. He would provide the go-ahead third goal.
After Demko made a great save at one end. What happens so often in the NHL? The other team comes right back. Chris Tanev blocked the next point shot and Zack MacEwen was off down the wing. Virtanen was streaking down the middle off the ice and skated right past Letang. A quick little tuck past Murray and the Canucks were suddenly up 3-2 with less than 2 minutes left in the period. Cue the #ShotGunJake ...
— Joshua (@JoshuaGriffith0) November 28, 2019
It didn't stop there for the Penguins vs Canucks NHL in the second period. Hughes got it on net and after Murray made the initial save Josh Leivo had a couple whacks at it. The rebound went to Adam Gaudette, Guadette? How ever you spell it he scored to make it 4-2. Vancouver looked to be rebounding from a disappointing first nicely. Mike Sullivan pulled Murray with 58.5 to go in the period. Back up Tristan Jarry looked to be coming in for mop-up duty. I guess we would see what the third brought us.
Vancouver vs Pittsburg Up Big And Then Down Big
Penguins vs Canucks didn't take long to get one back. Early pressure in Vancouver's zone and Guentzel got his second of the game on the backhand past a screened Demko. Rust with another point on the assist and it was all of a sudden 4-3. Killing their own momentum Dominik Kahun took a tripping penalty. 1:24 into the period the Canucks had a chance to add to their lead again. Pittsburg was able to clear and when two canucks mixed up a back pass. Demko was forced to make a great save on Kris Letang.
Back the other way and after setting up in the zone. Pettersson to Boeser whose shot was saved. The rebound came out to Miller who had his shot partially blocked but found its way into the net. Two-goal lead was restored and it was 5-3. twenty-five seconds later things got worse for the Penguins vs Canucks. Letang gave it away in the neutral zone and Gaudette made him pay. Bouncing it past him and firing the wrist shot off the post and in past Jarry.
6-3 and Vancouver fans were starting to lick their chops. That comfortable happy feeling did not last long. Penguins vs Canucks started to tilt the ice back. After Miller took them off the powerplay early with a hooking penalty. Pittsburg was able to control on 4 on 4. McCanns shot was saved by Demko but he couldn't control the rebound. Kahun was there to get his 7th of the season. we were back at 6-4 and a two-goal lead.
The floodgates seemed to open after that. Shots were 32-18 and Demko was holding that last stone in place. It Broke and water poured in. What should have been a turnover was overskated by Tim Schaller. Malkin picked up the pick at his blue line and walked in untouched. He waited and got a position before blasting a slapshot past Demko. It was a one-goal game with a lot of time to go Penguins vs Canucks.
Penguins vs Canucks kept pouring it on. 10:30 into the period after controlling in Vancouver's zone. Zack Aston-Reese pounced on a blocked shot from the point. He made no mistake to tie the game at 6-6. PPG Paint Arena was starting to get loud. a 4-4 after coincidental holding penalties to Pettersson and Rust. Vancouver wasn't able to gain the upper hand. The Pens had the more dangerous chances as Brother to Chris, Bradon Tanev had a backhand chance turned away by Demko.
Vancouver looked to be trying to overtime. Penguins vs Canucks had other plans. Controlling the play once again and able to work it back to the point. Letang was in close and ripped the slapshot past Demko to make it 7-6. 3:06 left and it did not look good. To top it off Travis Green challenged the offside and lost. Vancouver would have to kill off a powerplay before trying to tie it.
TOUCHDOWN (and the point after is good!), KRIS LETANG! pic.twitter.com/i8NeRJFXA4
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 28, 2019
The powerplay didn't do anything for the Penguins vs Canucks. But it didn't take long after the goalie was pulled for the Pens to seal it. Vancouver couldn't even get set up and Pittsburg cleared it to a streaking Malkin. He was able to still get the puck into the empty net. Despite a penalty to Pettersson being called for hauling him down to the ice. 8-6 and this game was over for the home team.
Penguins Cruising While Canucks Can Not Wait To Get Home
This was another disappointing game if you are a Canuck fan. Exciting for sure, but can't be having 3rd period collapses. Playoff and good teams don't let teams back into it down 6-3. Vancouver did just that tonight. Malkin, Guentzel, and Rust made them pay.
Pittsburg heads to Columbus on Friday. Looking to continue on their strong November against the Blue Jackets. With tonights win the Pens only have 2 regulation losses dating back to October 26th. Points in their last 6 games they don't seem to be missing a beat without their Captian. Penguins vs Canucks showed that.
The Canucks will lick their wounds and head back west. Their final road game of the game 6 trips won't be an easy one. Saturday night they will face off against the Western Conference-leading Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are tearing up the league. Top 2 in scoring with 48 and 47 points through 26 games.
The Canucks won't get any rest after Saturday either. They host the Oilers Sunday night in a home and home. While they are holding onto the 3rd spot in the pacific. It will be an important 4 points down 7 already to Edmonton. The Canucks will need a complete 60 minutes. They have yet to play a full game since the big one Saturday in Washington. The big win against the Capitals seems to have come at a cost.