The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 2 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Golden Knights won Game 1 with a score of 5-0. Here is the recap for Game 2 between the Canucks and Golden Knights.
The Canucks wanted to respond in a big way and that’s what they did. Canucks forward Tyler Toffoli scored the game’s first goal 1:29 after coming back from an undisclosed injury. This would be the first time the Canucks scored and led in this series so far. Then, Canucks captain Bo Horvat extended his team’s lead to two 9:30 after Toffoli’s goal on their first power play of the game. Also, the Canucks outshot the Golden Knights in one period for the first time in this series. They outshot them 8-6.
Vancouver went into the second period with a 2-0 lead.
The Golden Knights came out strong and wanted to take control of this game. And, that they did for the majority of this period. Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch cut the lead down to one from an assist from forward Nicolas Roy. The Golden Knights would have numerous scoring chances but couldn’t capitalize on them thanks in part to Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom. The Canucks defense also played a part in preventing goals by blocking shots. Before the period ended, Canucks forward Elias Pettersson scored to regain the team’s two goal lead.
Vancouver went into the third period with a 3-1 lead.
The Canucks carried the momentum from Pettersson’s goal to this period as Horvat scored his second goal of the game 18 seconds into the period. From there, it was a back and forth battle between both teams. The Golden Knights generated more shots on goals and the Canucks kept blocking shots. But, the Golden Knights weren’t going down without a fight. Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty scored on a power play to give his team some life. However, Canucks forward Tanner Pearson sealed the game scoring an empty net goal.
Vancouver won the game 5-2 and tied the series 1-1.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Elias Pettersson
Second Star: Bo Horvat
First Star: Tyler Toffoli
Vancouver definitely bounced back after their 5-0 loss in Game 1. They were more active defensively and were committed to blocking Vegas’ shots despite being outshot 40-27. Markstrom also had a good showing in this game saving 38 of 40 shots. Their faceoffs continue to be a success factor for this team as they won more than half of the faceoff battles in this game.
Also, with Toffoli back in the lineup, Vancouver has more options offensively. This definitely was true during this game. Toffoli was an X-factor for Vancouver getting to various spots in his team’s offensive zone.
If Vancouver can duplicate their performance in Game 3, then they should make this series more interesting than what other people had expected this series to turn out.
Vegas Golden Knights
This was Vegas’ worst defensive performance this postseason by far. There were defensive mishaps during their series against the Chicago Blackhawks but this game alone was horrible. They were loose on their defensive coverage and got caught puck watching instead of where their opponents were on the ice.
Despite outscoring Vancouver 40-27, they couldn’t capitalize on their chances. And, that comes in big part of their offensive play in this game. They didn’t have the same puck rotation that they had in Game 1. Also, there wasn’t enough traffic in front of Markstrom to prevent him from seeing the puck. Another reason why Vegas couldn’t capitalize on their chances was that they didn’t shoot the puck quick enough. This allowed Vancouver to recover and block shooting lanes in time.
Consistency has been an up and down situation for Vegas and that’s something they need to have especially against this Vancouver team. Whether or not they’re letting any distraction get into the back of their heads is questionable but head coach Pete DeBoer says these distractions are “outside noise”.
Recently, forward Jonathan Marchessault apologized for the comments he posted on one of his Instagram posts. He said that his comments were from being frustrated from the Game 2 loss. He finished off his statement saying that he was unprofessional and that “it will never happen again.”
💻 Marchessault & Stone 💻
Stone: Any team would want to have either one of our goalies. There are 30 teams would sign up to have one of those two. That’s where our confidence comes from. pic.twitter.com/02GKuj683w
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 26, 202
Nonetheless, Vegas needs to be on top of their game from the start in order to make another run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Game 3 of the Canucks-Golden Knights series is on Aug. 27 at 9:45 p.m. EST.