RALEIGH, N.C. – The harsh belief that the Vancouver Canucks would have as much trouble scoring goals this season as preventing them was only half right.
By any regular National Hockey League measure, their offence has been fine. It just hasn’t been fabulous enough to overcome the torrent of goals the Canucks have allowed so far on their six-game road trip.
They lost 5-3 Tuesday to the Carolina Hurricanes, two nights after fading badly in a 7-4 loss to the Calgary Flames. This is the NHL; teams that score seven goals in two road games should be collecting points. But a combination of mediocre goaltending and lousy defending is proving too damaging for the Canucks to salvage anything.
The most “winnable” game of their October odyssey slipped through their hands here as the young Hurricanes went ahead early and stayed there.
Vancouver netminder Jacob Markstrom was twice beaten on floaters from the blue line as the Canucks, who surrendered four goals in the third period in Calgary, fell behind 3-1 to Carolina by the first intermission.
The game was only 43 seconds old when Jordan Staal drifted a 60-foot wrist shot past Markstrom, who was unscreened but may have flinched when Canuck Brendan Leipsic unwisely waved at the puck in the slot.
Sven Baertschi briefly tied it for the Canucks at 6:12, beautifully going wide around Hurricane goalie Curtis McElhinney to score on a breakaway set up by Alex Edler’s terrific stretch pass.
But Brett Pesce put the Hurricanes ahead 2-1 at 11:17 when he rattled another point shot through Markstrom.
With the Canucks unable to get out of their zone or cover the Hurricanes, Sebastian Aho made it 3-1 from the low slot at 17:51. He converted Teuvo Teravainen’s little pass in front of Vancouver winger Brock Boeser with both Canucks defencemen, Derrick Pouliot and Erik Gudbranson, trapped behind the net.
Markstrom beat the odds and reappeared for the start of the second period, immediately getting a boost when Bo Horvat scored on the power play at 46 seconds by shooting off a Carolina stick on the rush.
But just 68 seconds later, the Hurricanes restored their two-goal lead when a series of long shots culminated in a special-delivery rebound that Andrei Svechnikov, free of fellow rookie Elias Pettersson’s check, shoved into an open net.
Pettersson quickly made up for his weak defensive work with a nice play at the Carolina blue line to help set up Baertschi’s power-play goal at 3:24. The Canucks winger banked a redirection from Alex Edler’s shot/pass off defenceman Justin Faulk.
After seven goals in 23 ½ minutes, the teams were unable to score again until Boeser, who has had a miserable opening week of his sophomore season, turned over the puck at the blue line two passes before Hurricane Warren Foegele fluttered a one-timer short-side on Markstrom.
Monday November 12, 2018
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Thursday October 25, 2018
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