With these two teams buried it the standings, it was the perfect night for a tank war. It turns out last year’s regular-season Western Conference champions are still more competitive than the Vancouver Canucks.
Perhaps the Canucks were the perfect antidote for the Dallas Stars‘ woes. They were 11-0-1 in their past 12 games against Vancouver heading into this matchup, and they continued their dominance with the victory.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 17, 2017
It was a tie game heading into the third period, where the Canucks and Stars have both floundered. In this matchup, the home team would cave. They gave up two goals and 20 shots in the third period, allowing the Stars to pull away with the victory.
These are dark days for the Canucks, who lost every single game on their recent homestand. If you’re on Team Tank, you might be thrilled about the recent results.
Vancouver draftists rejoice!
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) March 17, 2017
After Jim Benning told Willie Desjardins to play the kids more, the head coach obliged in this matchup. Every Canuck forward cracked more than 10 minutes of ice time except for Joseph LaBate (9:56). Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, and Reid Boucher all played more than 17 minutes in the game.
Nikita Tryamkin and Ben Hutton both looked good in this one. Hutton scored a power-play goal late in the second period. Tryamkin had chances to score and made himself noticeable physically. There were some good moments from the Canucks’ youngsters. Again, if you’re on Team Tank, chalk this one as a victory.
Adam Cracknell took an early double-minor for high-sticking to put the Canucks on the power play. Despite facing the worst penalty-killing unit in the league, the Canucks couldn’t beat Kari Lehtonen. Markus Granlund had the two best chances, but his inability to convert allowed Ales Hemsky to score the game’s first goal. It was Hemsky’s first goal of the season in his eighth game, after missing most of the season due to hip surgery.
Horvat’s line was the best one of the period, and Baertschi would tie the game up at 1-1. Tryamkin did some great work to hold the puck in, and then Boucher set him up in the crease before Baertschi cleaned up the rebound.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 17, 2017
In my preview, I talked about the progression of rookie defencemen on each team. Esa Lindell came through for the Stars, putting them up by a goal before the intermission. Jamie Benn was clutching his face in the crease after a high stick clipped him and went undetected by the refs. Lindell’s goal should ease his anger of the referees missing that call.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 17, 2017
About midway through the second period, Canucks play-by-play announcer John Shorthouse perked up after a few quiet seconds. Then, he spoke up to colour commentator John Garrett, saying, “Jump in anytime.”
It was that kind of period early on. These two teams played like defeated squads out of the playoff race. Baertschi had one of the best chances of the period, and his shot was blocked in tight by Patrick Nemeth.
The game got a jolt of energy in the second period after Benn challenged Tryamkin to a fight when he was knocked over by the big Russian. Tryamkin didn’t really seem like a guy who wanted to fight. He threw a few punches early on, but did nothing but tie Benn up by the end of it. It’s the second time this season that Benn has been rag-dolled by Tryamkin, so clearly he had enough. Benn ended up leaving the game and did not return.
— Grady Sas (@GradySas) March 17, 2017
Radek Faksa took an unnecessary goalie interference penalty while the Stars had possession in the offensive zone, giving the Canucks a late power play. With 1.9 seconds left on the clock, Ben Hutton was able to backhand the loose puck home past a sprawling Lehtonen to tie the game at 2-2.
One other thing I alluded to in my preview was how brutal both of these teams have been on the penalty kill. With the Canucks netting a power-play goal in the second, it was the Stars’ turn in the third.
Horvat has been overmatched on the penalty kill all season, and tonight was no different. Horvat, Baertschi, Luca Sbisa and Alex Edler were overwhelmed by the Stars’ power play, even without Benn. You could smell a goal coming and sure enough, Tyler Seguin hammered a shot home to put the Stars ahead 3-2.
Faksa would make amends for his undisciplined penalty in the second period. Devin Shore made a great play to strip the puck away from Troy Stecher as he wheeled around his own net. Shore then centered a pass to Faksa, who buried it to put the game out of reach for Vancouver.
stecher couldn't bear to watcn pic.twitter.com/qbmeeiijZB
— Jason Botchford (@botchford) March 17, 2017
Ales Hemsky (1) assisted by Remi Elie (2) and Patrick Nemeth (3)
Sven Baertschi (17) assisted by Nikita Tryamkin (7) and Reid Boucher (1)
Esa Lindell (6) assisted by John Klingberg (30) and Jason Spezza (29)
Ben Hutton (5) (PP) assisted by Markus Granlund (13) and Bo Horvat (27)
Tyler Seguin (24) (PP) assisted by John Klingberg (31) and Jason Spezza (30)
Radek Faksa (11) assisted by Devin Shore (18)
THW Three Stars
1. Tyler Seguin (GWG, 6 shots)
2. John Klingberg (2 assists)
3. Nikita Tryamkin (1 assist, 3 hits)
Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames
Friday, March 17, Scotiabank Saddledome, 8:00 p.m. CST
Broadcast Channels: SNW, FS-SW+
2016-17 Season Series: Tied 1-1
Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers
Saturday, March 18, Rogers Place, 7:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast Channels: CBC, SN
2016-17 Season Series: Tied 1-1
KPU Journalism Graduate. Trevor has been writing for The Hockey Writers since October 2014. He has contributed articles related to the Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks, and other issues/stories regarding the game of hockey. Trevor currently lives in White Rock, B.C.