Henrik Lundqvist Shuts Down Vancouver and Gets a Milestone Win

Henrik Lundqvist Shuts Down Vancouver and Gets a Milestone Win
Canucks Game Day: Petterssons present, Goldobins funk, Fizzy-tizzy Jake, Roussel rates
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Virtanen is fifth on the team in points (nine) and is just three goals shy of last seasons total of 10 — but perhaps a more significant statistic was the career-high 20:20 in ice time he had against the Sabres. Virtanens 13:45 average time on the ice through Sunday is up by nearly two minutes from last season (11:59). Getting the third-most ice time among Canucks forwards Saturday is a testament to the confidence Canucks head coach Travis Green has in Virtanen, who is third in goals behind team leader Pettersson (10) and Bo Horvat (nine) through 18 games.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-3,ezslot_0]));

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eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],thehockeywriters_com-box-3,ezslot_2]));After playing on the third and fourth lines for much of this season, Virtanen scored his seventh goal Saturday in a 4-3 shootout loss at Buffalo while skating predominantly on Petterssons line. Brock Boeser missed his third consecutive game with a groin injury, and Virtanen has rightfully taken a spot among the top six forwards with better all-around play and effectiveness.

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Those growing pains appear to be mostly behind him as Virtanen, who signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract this past summer, tries to prove he is an integral part of the teams young core. Pettersson, Boeser and Horvat are clearly foundation players, but can Virtanen show he can be a fixture in the clubs promising future? If not, hell end up as trade bait in an effort to shore up weaknesses elsewhere in the lineup.

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That also caused some early beer drinking on the West Coast because Canucks fans have embraced a social media movement of shotgunning beer whenever Virtanen scores a goal. Even the 10 a.m. PT start time didnt stop some Canucks fans from taking part in the #ShotgunJake trend of puncturing a hole in the bottom of a beer can, pulling the tab and chugging the fast-rushing contents through the hole.

Wayne Gretzky sees some of himself in Elias Pettersson

Elias Pettersson leaves his teen years behind as he celebrates his 20th birthday when the Vancouver Canucks (10-6-2) face the New York Rangers (8-7-2) at Madison Square Garden tonight.

Another case for Virtanen is the play of Loui Eriksson, who was getting more time on the right wing of Petterssons line with Nikolay Goldobin before this current road trip. Eriksson has broken out of his goalless drought with four goals in the past four games, but none of them occurred with Pettersson on the ice. Virtanen, however, has goals in consecutive games on Petterssons line.

As NHL gets younger, vets note Fortnite, other games encroaching on team bonding

Pettersson and the Canucks are looking to bounce back after letting a late two-goal lead slip away in Buffalo on Saturday where they fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Sabres. Jake Virtanen, Loui Eriksson and Erik Gudbranson all scored for a second straight game while Markus Granlund had the Canucks lone goal in the skills competition.

Blessed with size and speed, the 6-foot-1, 226-pound Virtanen has teased the Canucks faithful with sporadic glimpses that he can be an elite NHL power forward. The pressure of being a local kid from nearby Abbotsford, B.C., and the sixth overall pick in 2014 hasnt helped while hes been criticized for his maturity, conditioning and decision-making.

Gudbranson now has 2+4=6 on a career-best five game point streak. The six points are more than he has registered in either of his two previous seasons with the Canucks. Eriksson has four goals in his past four games after going the first 14 games of the season without putting a puck in the net. Virtanen has five goals in his past six games.

Obviously, its having that trust between us. Hes been putting me out late in games and Im feeling confident. Im holding on to the puck longer and not just forcing a play if I have guys on me, Virtanen said (from Fans #shotgunjake salute helps Virtanen have fun while improving game, The Province – 11/8/18).

Henrik Lundqvist ties Jacques Plante on all-time wins list as red-hot Rangers beat Canucks – NY Daily News

Jacob Markstrom will make an eighth straight start in goal. He and the team are 4-1-2 in their last seven games. The team will use the same 12 forwards and six defensemen used on Saturday meaning Brendan Gaunce and Alex Biega will again be the healthy scratches.

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Minus key players Brock Boeser, Alex Edler and Sven Baertschi, the Canucks power play is five for its past 31 attempts (16.1%) dating back to the night Edler and Baertschi left the line-up in Las Vegas on October 24th. Elias Pettersson has not scored a power play goal since his injury in Florida on October 13th. Pettersson played a career-high 24:11 in Buffalo on Saturday.

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The Rangers were 5-4 shootout winners in Columbus on Saturday. They won despite just two shots in the third period and only one in overtime. On the night, New York was outshot 38-19. They are 5-0-1 in their last six outings after a 3-7-1 start in their first 11 games of the season under rookie head coach David Quinn.

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Four of the Rangers eight victories on the season have come via shootout where, as a team, they are 4-0. No other team in the league has more than two shootout wins this season. Ranger shooters are have scored on eight of 13 attempts (61.5%). Seven of the teams first 17 games have been deadlocked after 60 minutes and with an overtime win to go along with the four shootout victories, the Rangers have just three wins in regulation time so far this season.

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Chris Kreider had his team-leading eighth of the season on Saturday for the Blueshirts while Mika Zabinejad also scored and is the teams leading scorer with 7+8=15. The Rangers will be without key forwards Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich tonight. Both are out with injuries.

Sophomore defenseman Neal Pionk is an interesting story. The 23-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska signed with the Rangers after two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He has 3+6=9 this season and an impressive 4+19=23 in 43 career NHL games.

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After a night off Saturday, Henrik Lundqvist returns to the Ranger net tonight. He is 5-6-2 on the season with a 2.65 GAA and a 92.1% save percentage.The 36-year-old is still looking for his first shutout of the season. His next victory will be the 437th of his career which will move The King into a tie with Jacques Plante for seventh on the NHL all-time wins list.

NHL locker rooms have long had a culture of older players setting certain standards for conduct — teams have dress codes and curfews — and enforcing that requires a certain finesse. On the one hand, players are responsible for their own careers, but on the other, “there are some older guys who try to — I hate using the word ‘policing’ — give younger guys guidance about picking their spots, whether it be video games or going out,” said the Capitals’ veteran defenceman Brooks Orpik.

New York swept the two-game season series from the Canucks last year with a 6-5 overtime victory in Vancouver and 4-3 shootout win at MSG. The Rangers will visit Rogers Arena on March 13th.

Elias Pettersson reminds Wayne Gretzky a lot of one of the greatest players in NHL history — himself.

Playing in the National Hockey League’s Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks typically have three long road swings of at least five games each season, opportunities for players to grab dinner and maybe a drink or two and spend more time together off the ice while away from home. Though players going out a little too much used to be a concern on those trips, the Canucks have started to worry about the opposite. They noticed their younger players staying in the hotel room to play video games, specifically Fortnite.

“From my point of view, hes got a lot of my similarities,” Gretzky said about the Vancouver Canucks rookie on Sportsnet Radio 650 in Vancouver on Monday. “His hockey sense and his playmaking ability are as good as anybody right now, and thats probably where the comparisons come from — much more the playmaking than anything else.”

Playing in the National Hockey League’s Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks typically have three long road swings of at least five games each season, opportunities for players to grab dinner and maybe a drink or two and spend more time together off the ice while away from home. Though players going out a little too much used to be a concern on those trips, the Canucks have started to worry about the opposite. They noticed their younger players staying in the hotel room to play video games, specifically Fortnite.

Pettersson, who turned 20 on Monday, scored 10 goals in his first 10 NHL. He leads NHL rookies in scoring with 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in 12 games entering Vancouvers game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, SNP, NHL.TV). He is the fifth player after the NHLs inaugural season in 1917-18 and the first since 1992-93 to score at least 10 goals in his first 10 NHL games.

“My first four or five years, there were no Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat and that is what the whole world is about nowadays,” Oilers forward Milan Lucic, 30, said. “My generation is more Call of Duty and now everything is Fortnite, but there were still gamers back then. I think, as a whole, I think guys went out together a lot more as far as dinners and all that type of stuff, where nowadays, you see or feel guys [stay] home a little bit more.”

Gretzky said the arrival of Pettersson the season following the retirements of Henrik and Daniel Sedin is a boon for the Canucks, who havent qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2014-15.

“My first four or five years, there were no Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat and that is what the whole world is about nowadays,” Oilers forward Milan Lucic, 30, said. “My generation is more Call of Duty and now everything is Fortnite, but there were still gamers back then. I think, as a whole, I think guys went out together a lot more as far as dinners and all that type of stuff, where nowadays, you see or feel guys [stay] home a little bit more.”

“Ive had a chance to see him a couple of times on TV. Hes fun to watch and plays with a great deal of passion and energy,” Gretzky said. “Its exactly what the people in Vancouver needed to sort of move on from the Sedin era. Its been a godsend for the coaching staff because hes very coachable. Hes done a lot of good things for that organization already.”

“I think the point was getting young guys out in public and, not that it’s unprofessional to play Fortnite, but going out to dinner and looking nice and going and being a team outside of the hotel,” Canucks defenceman Erik Gudbranson, 26, said. “It’s not telling guys never to play it. It’s just on the road, we get more guys out to dinner together, you know, get that conversational power going and guys just hang out more.”

Gretzky, the leading scorer in NHL history, said he also sees similarities between Pettersson and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby.

“Were lucky that guys like [Toronto Maple Leafs center] Auston Matthews and [Colorado Avalanche center] Nathan MacKinnon and of course [Edmonton Oilers center] Connor McDavid now have come along. They seem to be that new breed of player thats maybe be a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, a different kind of player than a guy like Sidney played,” he said. “A guy like Pettersson plays more along the lines of the way Sidney plays and the way I played in that hes got to utilize his eyes and his hockey sense and rely on his instinctability on the ice. Hes not a big guy [6-foot-2, 176 pounds]; Sidney [5-11, 200 pounds] was by no means a big man either. But his hockey sense; Sidney always seemed to be one step ahead of everyone else.”

“To me, the best guys are the guys who win championships,” said Gretzky, who won the Stanley Cup four times with the Edmonton Oilers. “Ultimately as a leader and a guy who wins MVPs and wins scoring titles — thats all gravy. But at the end of the day, its all about lifting the Stanley Cup.

“Pettersson is a young kid right now. Hes very young, its a young organization in Vancouver, theyve done a lot of great things over the last 12 months. Im sure the people in Vancouver have to be very excited about the destination of that hockey club. There seems to be a very strong, good direction for that hockey club, and thats great for Vancouver.”