The Winnipeg Jets came into the game looking to win three straight games for the first time this season, but for the seventh time, walked away without the streak. The Vancouver Canucks looked slow to start, but once they got going, they capitalized on their chances. The top line from both teams looked good, but it was the line of Hansen, Sedin, and Sedin that really stole the show.
One of the main storylines was that of the goaltenders, who have both been subpar this season. Hellebuyck was not able to make the big saves his team needed, and Markstrom was. Even though the Jets controlled possession throughout the game, they couldn’t get it past the Canucks goalie, and in the end, they walked away from Rogers Arena empty handed. The good news for the Jets is that they play the Canucks again on Thursday, which means a chance for redemption.
The Jets came out flying and Laine drew a penalty within the first minute of the game. They had a different look on the power play, with Nic Petan back in the lineup. Laine reminded everyone that his shot is deadly by taking the mask off of Markstrom. No goals scored. Jets continued to put the pressure on, but like many games, took a penalty to kill their momentum. Just like the first call, was a bit weird and didn’t actually seem to be a penalty. Canucks moved the puck nicely, but the Jets got their sticks in the lane and killed off the penalty.
Another penalty called against Canucks and this time Wheeler made them pay. After driving down the far side, he protected the puck and cut in front of the net, outlasted Markstrom, and slid it into the net. The Jets have now scored first in 19 of 34.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) December 21, 2016
Ehlers is not lacking in confidence. After trying to deke and having it taken from him, he tried literally the same move immediately afterward. Second times the charm. The Canucks took their third penalty of the period with one second left and the Jets left with the 1-0 lead.
I think it’s time to stop and marvel at how awesome Jacob Markstrom’s mask is.
New take on a classic. pic.twitter.com/xBurIB8Qtw
— NHL (@NHL) November 14, 2016
The Jets started the second period on the power play. Ehlers went from one end to the other in just a few seconds, proving his win in the Jets Fastest Skater wasn’t a fluke. The Canucks escaped another penalty kill. Then they pull the same toe drag move that had baffled the Jets multiple times already.
The Canucks came up with a few great chances, but can’t capitalize. Jets got caught standing around and Hansen took advantage. Henrik Sedin gathered the puck behind the net and threw it out front. It didn’t come off the stick as fast as he wanted and dribbled to a wide open Hansen. He went top corner, and Hellebuyck made one extra move to put himself out of position. 1-1, momentum with the Canucks.
Little took a slashing penalty and put the Canucks on their second power play. They don’t spend much time in the Jets end, and the power play ends after two minutes. Ehlers gets taken into the boards hard but gets up and skates off. Both teams are hoping the ice is better on Thursday when they face off a second time. Puck does not stop bouncing.
With two minutes left in the period, the Jets giveaway the puck to a wide open Canuck, Hellebuyck stays with him and makes the save. Then Hellebuyck gives it away himself and makes the save again. After a few collisions at the end of the period, Wheeler takes a retaliatory penalty. Period ends tied.
Hellebuyck with one of his 10 saves in the second! pic.twitter.com/SNYzAbZSlz
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) December 21, 2016
Jets kill off the penalty to Wheeler without any push from the Canucks. Announcers let us know that Byfuglien has only gone four games this season without leading the team in ice time. Screen all over Hellebuyck and Hansen snips it from the blue line. Maurice chooses not to challenge, Vancouver is up 2-1.
Speaking of Byfuglien, he is a massive human being. But not very fast. His point shot is blocked, and Baertschi takes off down the ice, goes left to right, fools Hellebuyck, and puts it in the net. 3-1 Canucks. Jets are starting to play on their heels.
Great chance coming off a tip from Perreault. Enstrom is hammered into the boards, but got right up and made a beautiful pass to Petan who fanned on the shot. Good pressure from the third line results in a Vancouver penalty. The penalty results in some beautiful movement and two posts from Ehlers and Laine. Markstrom becoming the only reason the Jets haven’t tied the game. The ‘go jets go’ chant begins. A quick look at center ice reminds you that the game is in Vancouver.
Hellebuyck races to the net, and Horvat takes advantage by sending a long-range shot directly into the center of the net. Game over, Canucks walk away with a 4-1 win. The Jets fail to win three in a row for the seventh time this season.
WPG – Blake Wheeler (10) (PPG) assisted by Dustin Byfuglien (18)
VAN – Jannik Hansen (4) assisted by Henrik Sedin (14) and Alex Biega (2)
VAN – Jannik Hansen (5) assisted by Daniel Sedin (12) and Henrik Sedin (15)
VAN – Sven Baertschi (7) unassisted
VAN – Bo Horvat (10) (ENG) assisted by Luca Sbisa (8)
THW Three Stars
First: Jannik Hansen (2 goals)
Second: Jacob Markstrom (31 saves, .969%)
Third: Henrik Sedin (2 assists)
Winnipeg Jets at Vancouver Canucks
Rogers Arena – 7:00 p.m. PST, 9:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, December 22
Broadcast channels: SNV, TSN3
2016-17 Season Series: December 20 – Winnipeg (1) at Vancouver (4)