In a season that has been a revelation for the young players that the Canucks possess, and their capabilities playing in important NHL games, it was quite a puzzling move Wednesday night to not see them on the ice much.
Jared McCann played just a mere 10 minutes, while Jake Virtanen played only seven, and fans were clearly upset.
With Sid the Kid in town, the Pittsburgh Penguins were able to catch the Canucks snoozing, and secure a 3-2 victory at Rogers Arena.
David Perron scored his first goal of the year at the 4:53 mark of the first period giving the road team an early 1-0 lead. Crosby, who had been held without a point in nine of the first 11 games, made it 2-0 after a nice power-play pass from Kessel on a 4-on-3 advantage 7:17 into the third period.
All the talk in the preseason was how well Kessel with play with Sidney Crosby, and the early struggles faced in the season are now being replaced with offensive wizardry.
“Really nice pass,” Crosby said. “I expect a lot of myself and work hard to try and make sure I’m doing my job and creating things and producing. That happens sometimes. There’s not always a great explanation but you’ve got to find a way to ultimately figure it out and produce. That’s been my focus. Dwelling on what’s said is not really going to help the puck go in the net.”
Eric Fehr scored halfway through the third period for his second of the year, making it 3-0, and seemingly putting the game to bed.
However the Canucks had one last bit of fight left in them, and they put everything into it. Daniel Sedin scored his fourth goal of the year making it 3-1 at 13:59 mark of the third period.
Without Ryan Miller being pulled for an extra attacker, Jannik Hansen capitalized making it 3-2 at the 18:53 mark, and leaving just a bit of time to even up the score.
However, in the end the comeback fell just short, and the Canucks fell to the Penguins 3-2 in Vancouver.
“They kept coming,” Fleury said. “When they got that one goal they got life and kept coming hard at us. I screwed up at the end. I should have just froze it.”
Miller made 20 saves for the Canucks, who lost in regulation for the first time in the past six games (3-1-2) and the third time in 13 games this season (6-3-4).
Up next: The Canucks have an early game with the Buffalo Sabres Saturday morning starting at 10:00am.
Written by: Hamed Amiri
Image via Pittsburgh Penguins