The Vancouver Canucks eliminated the Minnesota Wild in four games on Aug. 7 to move on to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks Games 2, 3 and 4 while the Wild won Game 1. Vancouver will make its first playoff appearance since 2015. Here is the recap of Game 5 between the Canucks and Wild.
The Wild knew they were on the brink of elimination so they just happened to score an early goal on a power play. Wild forward Luke Kunin stuffed the puck into the net to hopefully get the Wild riled up. However, the Canucks would push back and eventually tie the game at one from the stick of forward Tanner Pearson. But, Wild forward Eric Staal regained his team’s one goal lead 40 seconds later.
Minnesota went into the second period with a 2-1 lead.
This was a back and forth battle with both teams combining for four goals during this period. Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek started the scoring to extend the lead to two. But, the Canucks again fought back and scored two goals 1:24 of each other. Canucks forward Brandon Sutter and defenseman Quinn Hughes tied the game at three. However, the Wild wasn’t going to back down either and forward Nico Sturm got back the team’s one goal lead with 51 seconds left in the period.
Minnesota went into the third period with a 4-3 lead.
This was another back and forth battle from both teams this period though the Canucks seemed to take control of the period. And, that point stood when Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored the game tying goal with 5:46 left in the period. The Wild didn’t have the same energy defensively they had during the first period which led to Horvat’s goal. The Canucks found a way to comeback and force this elimination game into overtime.
The game was tied at three heading into overtime.
It didn’t take long till there was a winner. Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev scored the overtime game winning goal just 11 seconds in and eliminated the Wild from entering into the playoffs. Tanev’s goal is tied for the second fastest overtime goal in NHL postseason history. Brian Skrudland of the Montreal Canadiens scored a game winning goal nine seconds into overtime against the Calgary Flames in Game 2 of the 1986 Stanley Cup Final.
Vancouver won the game 5-4 and the series 3-1.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Eric Staal (1 goal)
Second Star: Tanner Pearson (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Luke Kunin (1 goal)
Vancouver will face the defending champions St. Louis Blues during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks are looking to get past the first round since 2011 when they made their Stanley Cup run.
On the other hand, Minnesota has to answer questions as to what they want to do moving forward. They’ve already made a coaching change during the season from Bruce Boudreau to Dean Evason. But, the biggest question is if Game 5 was the last game Wild’s captain Mikko Koivu has played for the franchise.