For a team that is trying to integrate some key young players into their system, teaching them how to play with the lead, and keeping it is a very important lesson that they need to learn.
The Canucks came into Saturday nights matchup with the Detroit Red Wings winless at home, and left winless as they lost 3-2. Gustav Nyquist scored on a breakaway with 1:10 left in overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 come-from-behind victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
This happened for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Canucks failed to protect yet another third period raising questions about the teams capability to protect late game leads, especially at home.
As usual this year, the Canucks started off strong once again scoring at the 13:03 mark in the first period when Tanev opened the scoring, taking a pass as the trailer on a rush and beating a partially screened Mrazek low to the glove side from in between the top of the faceoff circles. It was the second straight game the Canucks converted with the man-advantage after starting the season 1-for-20.
The Canucks added to their lead making it a 2-0 game when Brandon Sutter scored yet another power play goal after receiving a pass from Alex Burrows from below the goal line.
Petr Mrazek kept it a close game overall, making key saves and keeping his team within reach.
Teemu Pulkkinen scored his fourth goal by holding off rookie defenseman Ben Hutton on a partial breakaway and pulling Miller across his crease right to left before shooting the puck between the goalie’s legs as he moved at the 4:25 mark of the third period.
With the score now 2-1 the Red Wings evened up the score making it 2-2 when Tatar scored with Vancouver defenseman Yannick Weber, inserted into the lineup to spark the power play, in the penalty box for high sticking. He beat a screened Miller high on the blocker side from the left faceoff circle. The goal came at the 6:59 mark of the third period.
Another loss after leading part way through the game raises serious questions about the Canucks that must be addressed quickly if they want to get on the right track early into the season.
Coach Willie Desjardin has found himself in a tough situation, and has to decide whether to keep the same lineup or to switch up the line combinations in order to get a spark
Regardless of what he decides to do, the Canucks need to start winning at home to keep the fans behind them throughout the season.
Next up: The Canucks welcome the undefeated Montreal Canadiens (8-0-0) into town for a Tuesday night matchup.