As the Canucks entered the last two home games prior to the Christmas break, it was clear that they wanted to act like the “Grinch” and steal two points from their opponents.
The last game prior to the Christmas break has the Canucks play host to the Edmonton Oilers who currently sit third in the Pacific Division with a record of 20-15-4 through 39 games.
The young Canucks have a record of 18-15-4 through 37 games and sit 5th also in the Pacific Division.
Vancouver chose to go with Markstrom (11-11-3) between the piper while the Oilers started Koskinen (13-6-2) and Demko and Smith play back-up roles.
While many are cheering for the Canucks there was a good number that came to watch McDavid who currently has 21 goals, 40 assists for 60 points, while Burnaby’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has managed 6 goals, 13 assists for 19 points through 33 games.
The game started with all the hype you could expect given the fact that had many in the crowd talking about the McDavid/Pettersson rivalry.
The hype was worth the wait and given the recent games the Canucks have played they want to head into the short Christmas break on a winning streak.
Say what you will about the game, it was obvious that the Oilers game plan was to shutdown the Canucks young superstar anyway possible.
Watching the play develop behind was something that the officials had to keep an eye on as the pushing and shoving even on line changes was constant from the opening face-off.
While the play was consistent, the first two periods saw the teams exchange three penalties, with two being minors and the third was for Majors for Fighting to both Nurse and Roussel.
Richmond BC product Troy Stecher hammered one on net from close in as the second wrapped up, but the third saw Pearson hit the crossbar and at this point luck wasn’t on their side.
Things turned around in the third as the home squad managed to tie the game at two at 4:12 when Canuck Captain Bo Horvat had one go off his right foot, which followed a short lived video review.
As strange as it sounds this was his first goal on home ice this season and to his delight the review saw a good goal giving the Canucks the tying goal.
Pearson was assessed a holding penalty at 7:53 called by the official at centre ice giving the Oilers the much needed PP, but were unable to get the go ahead goal.
Who would have known that a year ago Quinn Hughes was playing here in the World Juniors, not he’s playing pro and gave the Canucks the lead on the PP at 6:12 hammering one from the point.
The final goal of the night and before the Christmas break in the empty net that saw Eriksson get his second of the season with 14 seconds left in the game
It’s interesting to note that the last three-game winning streak for the Canucks was October 9th-17th when they went 4-0-0.
Monday’s game concluded the season series between these two Pacific Division rivals, with each team winning two games.
Alex Edler returned to the Vancouver lineup after missing 10 games with an upper-body injury. To make room for him, Jordie Benn was scratched for the first time as a Canuck.
Thatcher Demko dressed as the back-up Markstrom after missing the last six games with a concussion.