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Holtby Stands Tall

Photo Credit THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

The Canucks return  home managing to grab 7 of 8 points on the four game road trip returning home for a pair Monday (March 22nd) and Wednesday (March 24th) prior to getting a well deserved rest with the upcoming break.

The pair of games in Montreal proved that they can skate with other clubs in the division while all the naysayers questioned the move in bringing Jimmy Vesey from Toronto suiting up after not being able to play after a full day’s drive.

Skeptics have fallen off the wagon in calling for the firing of Canucks GM Jim Benning and Head Coach Travis Green in part due to the road trip, but you have to question if the win’s will continue?

Vancouver went with a change putting Braden Holtby between the pipes, while the Canadians suited up their number one Carey Price in a  game that saw both tenders play exceptionally.

The Canucks started out with jump but you have to take into account that travel fatigue and no doubt they are looking at returning after a tough road trip which saw them play far better than the previous month.

This game saw Suzuki put the Canadians up by a 1-0 lead on a power play at 13:34 beating Holtby high on the glove side after a three-way passing play, throwing one over a screened Holtby.

Both teams had several chances from different areas of the ice in the first only to have both tenders come up with some impressive saves at both ends of the ice.

The second started with the Canucks coming out with more jump than the Canadians managing to get their first marker on the board at 19:38 with Virtanen getting his 4th of the season pulling the visitors even at one.

The game remained tied until 11:52 of the period that saw Boeser get his 16th of the season on the power play with helpers going to Horvat grabbing his 12th assist of the season and Hughes grabbing his 25th assist on the season. 

Montreal tied the game at two at 6:52 with Tatar getting his 6th of the season with Danualt and Mete getting his first assist of this strange season.

With the second coming to an end Gallagher managed to steal a clearing play keeping the puck in the zone that saw a three-way pass to Weber who in turn slid it to Tatar getting a shot on Holtby with the rebound going to Edmundson who grabbed only his 2nd of the season taking a 3-2 lead to the room after 40 minutes.

The final twenty saw Vancouver come out with much more jump knowing they wanted to pull out another win on the four game road trip that saw Horvat get a tip-in grabbing his 14th of the season a short 22 seconds in tying the game at three.

Never say never Canucks continued to  press that saw Motte get his 6th of the season after being set up by Benn and Hawryluk putting them in the driver’s seat with 19:05 remaining.

South Delta MHA Brendan Gallagher is known as a workhorse who gets the puck after a face-off on the left side cutting to the middle shooting a bullet past a screened Holtby putting the Canadians up at 14:31 getting his 12th of the season.

Holtby was peppered with shot after shot coming up with some key stops with time winding down keeping the game tied at four sending the game to overtime.

Both teams played keep away in OT in a period that saw Canadians “tender” Carey Price have the puck at times more than some of his own players in what seemed to be a designed set-up play by Montreal.

O/T proved nothing that sent the game to a shootout forcing each tender to make some impressive saves with Tatar ending the S/O giving Montreal the win that saw Montreal go 2-6 while Vancouver were 1-6 in the extra time.

Montreal won 53% of the face-off while Vancouver were 47 in F/O% with each team going 1-1 on the PP while Vancouver had 21 blocked shots to Montreal’s 14 through 60 minutes.

Three Stars:

1st)      Thomas Tatar               (Montreal)

2nd)     Phillip Danualt            (Montreal)

3rd)     Brendan Gallagher      (Montreal)

Vancouver returns home for a pair of games facing the Winnipeg Jets Monday March 22nd at 7 pm followed by Wednesday March 24th with the face-off at 7:30 pm.