Canucks 4, Penguins 3: Large recreation performances from the Lotto Line

Is it any coincidence that the Canucks are on a 4 recreation profitable streak, or that these wins have all been powered by the revival of the Lotto Line?

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Elias Pettersson is completely high quality once more.

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The Canucks’ celebrity centre has seven targets — together with the game-winner Thursday in Pittsburgh — in his final 4 video games.

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Is it any coincidence that the Canucks are on a four-game profitable streak, or that these wins have all been powered by the revival of the Lotto Line?

The Canucks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday 4-3 in extra time, a efficiency powered by the Lotto Line — Pettersson alongside J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser — and their star goaltender, Thatcher Demko.

The subsequent time the Canucks are in motion, all these gamers could possibly be All-Stars.

The Canucks are making an announcement about their Stanley Cup credentials on this highway journey.

There, it’s been stated.

The Penguins could also be down within the standings however they’ve rediscovered themselves over the previous month and are as powerful as they arrive. That’s a crew stuffed with expertise and expertise and it was no shock they had been in a position to battle again from a 3-1 deficit to tie it up late.

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However the Canucks persevered and located the win in extra time, with Pettersson calmly slipping the puck by way of Tristan Jarry’s pads after a breakaway.

For Pettersson, it’s the fourth recreation in a row he’s scored a recreation winner, a feat that’s solely been achieved thrice earlier than in NHL historical past.

Advised of this truth by Canucks crew reporter Kate Pettersen, Pettersson brazenly gawped: “Oh actually? That’s fairly cool!”

Pettersson and his linemates accounted for all 4 Canucks targets: Boeser scoring the primary two, Pettersson the latter two.

“We have now chemistry from the previous and we’re simply making an attempt to work arduous and depend on one another and see the play forward of us,” Pettersson stated.

Bonkers run

Rick Tocchet is aware of he can’t break up factor.

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The best way the Lotto Line is enjoying proper now, you’ll be able to inform they only see the hockey recreation in entrance of them as one thing for them to easy bend to their will, to command to their future.

How wild are issues going for them proper now?

Their on-ice capturing share at 5 on 5, by way of 58 minutes and alter now, is 28.6 per cent.

Sure, thrice what you normally count on for a participant’s on-ice capturing share.

Trip the wave, youngsters, journey the wave.

Save of the 12 months

There may be completely little question that the save Demko made within the third interval on Sidney Crosby can be talked about for the remainder of the season.

With the Penguins surging, searching for a tying objective, trying to present the upstart Canucks what’s what, after all the puck ended up on the captain’s stick, with the best participant of his era driving the online.

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In different circumstances, with the goalie inclined on the ice and Crosby in full management of the state of affairs, that’s a backhand tap-in for Crosby.

Demko merely stated no — together with his toe.

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A tremendous run

The Canucks’ scoring success isn’t with out precedent, it’s simply been a really very long time since a crew has succeeded on offence and defence at fairly this charge.

The Canucks’ PDO, including up their capturing share and save share, is at the moment 105.2.

It’s been well-proven that groups who’re on run of luck will see their PDO surge above 100.0 and groups which are on a run of dangerous luck will dip beneath 100.0

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Superb groups can maintain themselves above 100, within the vary of 102 or so, however nobody sits the place the Canucks are sitting. Actually not endlessly.

However once more, this isn’t with out precedent: the final crew to have a PDO this excessive at this level within the season is the 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins.

It’s arduous to match these Canucks to these Penguins although.

The Lemieux-led squad averaged 4.93 targets for per recreation by way of 41 video games, whereas giving up 3.12 targets per recreation.

The present Canucks have scored 3.90 targets per recreation, a formidable tempo, in opposition to simply 2.60 targets in opposition to per recreation.

The PK

The Canucks have been righting their penalty kill over the previous month.

Since Dec. 16, when Miller was taken off the penalty kill, the Canucks’ PK has been working at a stable 80 per cent.

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What a breakout

The Canucks are roughly center of the pack when it comes to rush possibilities generated, however of those they do generate, they’re excellent at ending them.

Take  Boeser’s game-opening objective.

The Lotto Line is enjoying with such confidence that they get transferring the second the spot a sliver of a spot.

With Filip Hronek set to win management of the puck behind Vancouver’s web, Boeser acquired prepared to steer the frenzy. He acquired the puck, fired it to Miller streaking up the ice, who tapped it on to Pettersson, who then made a slick cutback transfer to achieve management of each the puck and the play, then wired it objective aspect for Boeser to faucet in.

Ilya Mikheyevof the Vancouver Canucks dumps the puck in previous Erik Karlsson of the Pittsburgh Penguins within the first interval at PPG PAINTS Enviornment on January 11, 2024 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photograph by Justin Berl /Getty Photographs

Working these ideas

Each Boeser’s second objective and Pettersson’s late within the third got here in related circumstances: excellent ideas off well-weighted photographs from the skin.

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We acquired so accustomed to how properly the Sedins labored the slap cross, we maybe missed what a weapon it’s turn out to be league large.

And now it’s come again to life in Vancouver with probably the greatest ahead trios this city has ever seen.

Hold at it, Lotto Line.

Good defending

The Canucks have really tidied issues up at 5 on 5 in their very own finish.

The shot map from Thursday is a well-known one should you’ve been watching video games of late: they’re doing a superb job conserving the slot clear.

A shot map from Thursday's Canucks vs Penguins game
The Canucks acquired to the Pittsburgh crease space very properly on Thursday. Photograph by

And the Cancuks themselves didn’t a foul job getting inside both.

Chasing goalies

Six occasions now have the Vancouver Canucks knocked the opposition’s beginning goalie out of the online.

Alex Nedeljkovic was the newest sufferer.

He’s been enjoying very properly, and it wasn’t a shock that Mike Sullivan selected to begin him.

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Certainly, there might even have been some studying into how the Canucks have been succeeding this season: Sullivan feels he’s been excellent in opposition to the frenzy.

“His recreation has been stable general,” Sullivan stated forward of a recreation versus the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this week.

“He’s battling however I believe one of many issues that I’ve seen now that I’ve watched him shut is how properly he reads performs and perhaps that lends to his capability to make saves off the frenzy.”

In fact the Canucks went out and scored their first objective of the sport on the frenzy.

Tristan Jarry, who hasn’t been practically nearly as good as Nedeljkovic this season, was stellar in aid.

He stopped seven Vancouver photographs early within the second, together with a number of scorching possibilities by the Lotto Line, earlier than Crosby scored Pittsburgh’s first objective.

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(In fact it was on the frenzy.)

sidney crosby
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins reacts after scoring a objective within the second interval in opposition to the Vancouver Canucks at PPG PAINTS Enviornment on January 11, 2024 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photograph by Justin Berl /Getty Photographs

Sid the Child? Who else?

Crosby stays timeless. He’s nearly as good as he’s ever been.

He put his crew on his again and acquired them into extra time.

He may have had 4 targets however for Demko’s efforts.

His second objective of the sport, which hit his leg earlier than squeezing over Demko’s blocker, put him previous Mike Bossy into twenty second on the all-time targets record. He’ll cross Mark Recchi quickly sufficient and if he has an enormous second half, can be inside sniffing distance of Jari Kurri and the highest 20 by the top of the season.

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