VANCOUVER – Four weeks after the Pittsburgh Penguins scored five goals in the last 14 minutes and turned the three-goal lead into the most embarrassing night of the season, the Vancouver Canucks took a conservative approach to the rematch with The Evgeni team Malkin on Saturday.
They did not allow the penguins to get a first shot.
Malkin ended the game with one point instead of five and the Canucks defeated the Penguins 4: 1 at Rogers Arena. These two things were directly related.
But the story behind them was still goalkeeper Jacob Markström, who scored 28 saves in his seventh round. Six of them have come since Canuck's replacement Thatcher Demko suffered a concussion from a friendly fire during training.
When the Canucks needed the Markstrom the most, the goalie played his best course of the season.
Vancouver is only 3-4 in these seven games, but it is possible that the Canucks would not have won if Markstrom had not been in top form. He stopped 216 of 234 shots to reach a safe percentage of .923.
And he does so after an emotionally tormenting autumn when Markstrom's father lost his fight against cancer in Sweden.
"I don't think he has ever gotten into the rhythm of how his year has passed," said Canucks coach Travis Green. "Unfortunately, with what happened to him, he left the team a couple of times and that probably prevented him from getting a little into a rhythm. He is definitely in one."
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Jay Beagle, Veterans Center, said: "This guy fights so hard in practice. He works hard on ice. He's only a real professional. I can only say good things about him and his game. It's hard for everyone. " Of course, to be in the line-up and to get out of it. You get rolling when you play a few consecutive games. There is one thing where rhythm makes a big difference. He now plays more and looks like himself. He won us a lot of games. "
The Canucks won two games on this home stand when it was thought a few days ago that they would not win any.
The team went into crisis when they began a 1-3 defeat against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, the Canucks' fourth defeat in five games.
But the Canucks won 5-4 on Thursday overtime against the Vegas Golden Knights, which they had beaten only once since the National Hockey League opened in Nevada. On Saturday they won against a 7-0 team in Pittsburgh. 1 in the last eight games.
With these Canucks you just never know.
"Of course this last game (in Pittsburgh) was in the back of my mind," said Center Elias Pettersson after striking for the fourth time in four games. "We didn't want to think too much about it, but we used it as fuel tonight."
After a 10-minute shot-free opening, the penguins must have been bored because they started with penalties to get the game going.
The penguins started with a double minor against Dominik Simon at 12:24 and took eight minutes on penalties in a time span of 87 seconds. The Canucks stayed two minutes five on three and 4:36 non-stop power game.
When the penguins' penalty area was empty, the Canucks led 2-0.
According to an opening goal by J.T. Miller was eliminated by a coach's challenge – Quinn Hughes sidelined 62 seconds before Miller's goal at 2:05 p.m. – Jake Virtanen’s on-timer at 3:10 p.m. was as unquestionable as beyond Pittsburgh goalkeeper Matt Murray’s glove
Miller doubled the tour at 5:00 p.m. with a second Powerplay goal, a clever, first-class forwarding of Oscar Fantenberg's pass to the high slot.
Penguins record 0 shots on goal for the first time since November 23, 2002 against sharks (3rd period)
– Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) December 22, 2019
The Canucks did not allow a shot on goal in the first period, which was the first time since 2002 that the Penguins did not test the opposing goalkeeper at least once in a 20-minute period.
Markstrom needed a 20 minute break to play the second period when the penguins had two more power games and the Canucks shot 20-6.
Jake Guentzel led a rebound from Jared McCann's Powerplay explosion to halve the Canucks lead at 2:28 PM to 2: 1.
But the Canucks that collapsed when the Penguins leaned against them on November 27 showed impressive resilience by responding only 44 seconds later when Pettersson covered a Tyler Myers rebound after getting rid of Penguins defenders had Marcus Pettersson (no relationship).
Three of Elias Pettersson's last four goals were greasy. The 21-year-old learns to play in difficult areas.
"If I accepted to be stamped out, I would not be able to score this goal," he said. "So I always try to be hard on myself and work hard."
"I think it is evolving," said Green. "He is a very smart, young player. He listens. In hard games, he knows he has to go to hard areas, and he is. All the top players in the league play in such games and they struggle." Areas. "
Brock Boeser made it 4-1 with 5:29 remaining, intercepting a Pittsburgh clearance before a give-and-go with Pettersson.
"We did a lot of good things and it was nice to get the win," said Beagle. "But we have to keep building here. We have to get better. We can't be satisfied with 14 shots (and) Marky, who is upside down."
Well, the part where the goalkeeper is upside down is pretty good.
The Canucks end their pre-Christmas homeland on Monday against the Edmonton Oilers.