Forget the Monday night thriller, all the thrills were on the ice between Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens last night as both teams skated through a nail-biting blockbuster finish which saw the Canucks win 7 – 6.
‘It was a crazy game’ is how the Canucks manager Bruce Boudreau described Monday night’s spectacle as his team went from 4 down to dominate the game and pull off the overtime winner to take the game.
He said it showed that the game showed a growing trend of self-belief and resilience in the team. He listed some recent games including the comebacks against Arizona Coyotes, Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks but last night was the most epic.
‘There are a lot of times where we kept believing but this one from 4 down is probably the most belief you can get out of that.’
Canadiens kept their first line the same as their game against Edmonton Oilers, expect for swapping out Savard for Kovacevic. This team, which also included Suzuki, Dach, Caulfield and Matheson, were able to dominate the game.
Canadiens looked relentless. Almost halfway through the First Period, Harris was in a scrum with the Canucks when he managed to feed the puck out of the wall and towards Caufield. The Forward took the swing at Martin and sunk the biscuit in the basket.
No more than 5 minutes later and the Habs captain Nick Suzuki managed to grab some of the glory for himself. A great pass from across the rink from Guhle to Suzuki was enough and a bare Canucks defence just couldn’t get back in time to protect the goal. A well deserved 2 – 0.
Two up and the Habs were cooking. Some nice passing play between Suzuki and Matheson inside the Canucks half only needed the perfect position in the box to deliver it. Low and behold Monahan was waiting in the best spot in the house, right next the Canucks basket. A tap to the #91 and he nutmegged Martin to make it 3 – 0.
Number 4 arrived at the Canucks’ basket just before the end of the period. Habs stole the puck back from their half and a run by Evans helped take the Defencemen away from the right. Evans made a pass to Harris. By the time the Canucks’ defence were ready to react, Pezzetta was moving into the centre. Harris delivered the puck and Pezzetta launched it to make it 4 – 0.
Something changed in the Canucks. Was it a self-belief, a regrouping of wits? Whatever it was, the Canucks managed to find their window of opportunity to get round the Canadiens.
The first Canucks goal came in the closing minutes of the period. Kuzmenko managed to whip the puck back to a racing Garland. The #8 steadied his shot to intimidate the Habs goalie and ended up delivering it in the bottom right corner.
Less two minutes later, Canucks got their taste of goal again as a Boeser passed back to Petterson who was behind the tightly defended Habs goal. Petterson was looking for an opening and it came as Mikheyev launched himself towards the goal and mailed the puck through the tiny letterbox of space available.
Habs could feel the bite from Canucks and it was bitter. The drowning they received from the Edmonton Oilers last time was not going to be a reality again.
For Canucks, the loss was not going to be theirs and it showed in the opening 10 minutes. First up was Bo Horvat. The Habs goal was too busy making it difficult to plant a goal. The puck was passed round the left side with help from Hoglander to Stillman.
Horvat was waiting in the perfect spot, putting pressure on the goalie. Stillman sent the puck out and it landed with Horvat who tapped it in to make it 3 – 4.
Mikheyev grabbed his second, only seconds after a faceoff in the Habs half. An excellent needle thread through Harris’ legs by Petterson to Mikheyev, helped the #65 slot the puck in from the right, making it 4 – 4.
Canucks’ third of the Third Period would come from Studnicka. Mountembeault was out of his goal desperately trying to clear the puck back it was lost to the rushing Canucks. When it got into the dangerous path, the goalie planted himself across the goal but the free puck ended up at Studnicka’s stick and he launched it at goal. Finally Canucks were ahead 5 – 4.
Things get heated
The ground made by Canucks was not to go without a fight from the Canadiens. A firey faceoff in the Canucks’ half would see Dvorak take a deflection to score. It started with Dadonov’s shot bouncing off Schenn and landing neatly next to Dvorak to punt past Delia. We’re all square now at 5 – 5.
Right on the 17-minute mark, Habs would grab the lead with a follow up shot. Evans had hoped to launch the puck down the middle with Anderson in support. Thankfully Anderson was there. The shot did deflect and it needed Anderson there to put it past Delia, making it 6 – 5.
Canucks were not shut down just yet. A very special power-play from Miller found itself rolling off of Kuzmenko’s stick and into the goal. We were back to all square at 6 – 6.
Things get interesting
We enter Overtime and the thrills of the game are turning into sparks as the Habs take possession of the puck.
Matheson looks for a space from the defence to launch the puck but Petterson checks him, tripping him up. The puck goes free, Petterson takes it and rushes the Habs goal to score. Within 13 seconds, the Canucks are back on top 7 – 6.
Final score: Vancouver Canucks 7 – Montreal Canadiens 6
That was Canucks second win at Home in overtime since the beginning of the season and the Canadiens loss in overtime from Away.
Canucks play the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday and the Canadiens face Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.