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MacKinnon, Pettersson go blow for blow in 7-6 overtime thriller

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Take a bow Nathan MacKinnon and Elias Pettersson. What a treat of a game to watch.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks
Oct 29, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) celebrates his goal with Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser (6) against Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk (40) (not pictured) during the third period at Rogers Arena.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche’s defeat to the Vancouver Canucks in overtime was an event that left the North-Western portion of North America with their jaw ajar.

One team had a one-goal lead or the game was tied for the entirety of the 64:38 played.

There were seven goals in the second, four in the third, and these two teams still needed overtime to decide the outcome.

Nathan MacKinnon had three points on eight shots, including the late go-ahead goal. Elias

Pettersson had five points on four shots, including the even later game-tying goal, and an assist on the overtime winner.

The stars all played well over 20 minutes in this game, the goalies looked like they were from the 80’s, the hits started to get personal, and at the end of the day, the only people to leave the building happy were probably just the two head coaches.

It was that kind of night. Let’s take you through it.

First Period

0-1

Within a minute, we got two great breakaways from Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Vancouver’s Brock Boeser. MacKinnon tried to go back-hand shelf on Jacob Markstrom, but missed high. Boeser grabbed a beautiful three-line pass from Elias Pettersson across the Avs’ blue line and beat Philipp Grubauer with a back-hand chip over the blocker.

This is the way the Canucks play; much like the Avalanche, they rely on their stars heavily to provide all the offense.

Oh give me a break. Jake Virtanen (who is not the fifth best player from his draft) slashed Ian Cole — because it had to be Ian Cole — in the arm after a whistle in the first five minutes of the contest. Obviously, there was no call on the play.

MacKinnon’s week in Canada has not gone as he must’ve hoped. An extremely quiet night against Calgary was followed by an interference penalty early. Perhaps the kid needs a reset.

The Avs would kill off the penalty, but Erik Johnson would take a slashing penalty of his own not long after. Moser had a lot of skepticism towards the quality of the refereeing, and he might have been right.

After One

The last 19 minutes of the period wasn’t nearly as exciting as the first. The Avs were out-shot 6-8 in all situations, but the shot share much much closer when you took out the power plays for the Canucks. At evens, the Canucks still out-corsi’d the Avs (12-14), but the shots (6-6), and scoring chances (8-8) were tied.

Second Period

1-1

Sheldon Dries got his second goal of his NHL career after scoring his first NHL goal only one game previous!

Alexander Kerfoot grabbed the puck from Colin WIlson at the middle of the point, and threw the puck on net. Dries battled in front of the net for position and placed a perfect tip on the shot and was able to direct it through Markstrom and into the net.

1-2

Alas, Pettersson and Boeser hooked up again, and I gotta admit, it was a beauty. The teenager dumped the puck in with a hard pass off the end boards that bounced back right to the young snipers stick, who made no mistake. the play all happened so quick, Grubauer could barely react. The defense could barely react. Simply, wow.

2-2

Cole sucked the air out of the building less than a minute later with a point shot set up by MacKinnon. What a great bit of revenge following that tough night in Calgary.

Kerfoot cross-checked Boeser in the back, sending the sophomore to the ice in a lot of pain. He would head to the bench to get treatement on his back. Kerfoot was lucky to not take a penaly and get a free shot on a star.

2-3

Vancouver responded to the Avalanche tying the game with a good shift following the Boeser injury. Loui Eriksson beat the Colorado defenders to a rebound created by a Erik Gudbranson shot. That goal was Eriksson’s first of the season and Gudbranson’s third assist of the year. I gotta say, that was one expensive goal.

3-3

MacKinnon his band of merry men came right back and tied the game a few minutes later. Tyson Barrie instigated a counterattack, passed to Mikko Rantanen, before MacKinnon got the puck in the slot and made no mistake with the finish.

4-3

ALEX KERFOOT THREADED THE NEEDLE DOWN THE HEART OF THE SLOT AND BEAT MARKSTROM WITH A BEAUTY FINISH GIVING THE AVALANCHE THEIR FIRST LEAD OF THE GAME! Full marks to Samuel Girard for getting the puck to Kerfoot who was surrounded by four players in all directions, and bonus points for Kerfoot for being such a damn good hockey player. That’s all the analysis I got for this game haha.

Troy Stetcher was assessed the first penalty of the game for Vancouver 34:50 into the game. He went off for slashing Soderberg behind the net. Unfortunately, the Avs were unable to score on the power play, and the Canucks somehow found a way to grab some momentum from those two minutes.

4-4

From in front of the net — because he can do that — Pettersson got his first goal of the game, tying the contest once again, off a rebound from a Stetcher point shot.

After Two

To quote Lauren Gardner in the intermission report, “well, that escalated quickly.” A 1-0 game suddenly turned into a 4-4 tie after a high-intensity, high event 20 minutes. The defense on either side wasn’t exactly lax. The big difference was that the stars came out to play, and the secondary talent (Kerfoot) decided to show off what they could do with limited time and space. Of those four goals, MacKinnon, Rantanen, Boeser and Pettersson either set up or scored four of the seven goals in the period, or both! Pettersson and Boeser have combined for six scoring chances between them, while MacKinnon has six on his own!

After 40 minutes, the shot attempts between these two teams were tied at 30 apiece, but Colorado led in shots (17-14), and scoring chances (19-15) on the back of MacKinnon’s six on his own.

Third Period

5-4

Okay, maybe the goaltending was terrible in this game. Nikita Zadorov picked up a bobbling puck at his own blueline, walked into the top of the right faceoff dot, and absolutely wired a shot past the ear of Markstrom. A big goal. An absolute unit.

As the game started to get a little more settled and less high-octane offensively, Antoine Roussel tried to challenge Zadorov as his Vancouver teammates were retrieving the puck in their own zone. Not going to lie, that would’ve been fun to see if Zadorov obliged.

Later, Cole threw Tyler Motte into Grubauer’s post as the two chased each other to the front of the net following a Pettersson scoring chance off the rush. MacKinnon and Pettersson had been going back and forth all night, mirroring chances each way. MacKinnon stopped on a breakaway, Pettersson stopped on a breakaway. MacKinnon shot in the slot that went just wide, Pettersson with a great chance off the wing that went just wide. It was ana amazing match.

5-5

Markus Granlund would score on the power play with Cole in the box after reaching a rebound before Zadorov could get to it. Grubauer was flailing around in his net for much of that shift due to all the shots and rebounds being created. It was just one too many at that point.

With 3:22 left in the game, Colorado earned their second power play of the night after Bo Horvat was caught for tripping. Colorado had three great chances in the first half of the opwer play. Girard broke a stick in two and the puck still had energy to get to Markstrom’s net. Gabriel Landeskog, as always, was a menace in front of the net. MacKinnon took his shot off the wing, and was stopped the first time by Marksrtrom, but...

6-5 - MacKinnon

MacKinnon’s second chance on the power play after some amazing passing by Rantanen and Landeskog set him up for a one-timer. Of course the superstar made no mistake, putting the Canucks down a goal with a little over a minute left in the game.

6-6 - Pettersson

The Avs did a great job of holding the Canucks to the outside, but one pass by Horvat got through the slot and Pettersson tied the game. MacKinnon and Pettersson scored two goals each to close out the last 30 minutes of the game. Utter madness.

And we went to overtime.

Overtime

  • Landeskog hit the post so purely, I could hear the ring from Toronto. (Yes, that’s where I live, don’t judge).
  • MacKinnon nearly muscled Ben Hutton off the puck in the offensive zone with no one around them, but the young Canucks defenseman poked the puck away.
  • Pettersson with a shot.
  • Pettersson with another shot.
  • Pettersson with a breakaway and hauled down by Kerfoot. Avs to the PK in OT.

6-7

Feel bad that Gabriel Bourque was the one who had the puck hit off him and into the net. Game over. Alas.

Takeaways

  • I kinda wish that game never ended. Let’s just keep going. Give me a seven-game series of this! That game was so much fun to watch I forgot to write about what was happening!
  • Elias Pettersson is a star. He might be a superstar. His sheer talent, will, and ability to show up at the biggest times is something I’ll not soon forget. He and MacKinnon’s four goals either tied or put their team up by one, with 29 and 40 going blow for blow in the final two minutes of the game. Sheer madness.
  • Credit also goes to the wingmen of these two incredible talents. Boeser had two goals, while Rantanen picked up two key assists. Again, these teams are showing how shockingly even they were in this game.
  • Grubauer made the saves when he had to. Markstrom as well. Neither were good in this game; the two combined to stop only 80% of the shots they faced. The difference really did come in the fact that the Avalanche took four penalties to Vancouver’s two. Both teams went 50% on the power play, but it was that one extra goal that changed a win into a loss. Small margins, they’ll kill you.
  • I know I’m repeating myself, but I really hope we see these two teams fight each other in the playoffs at some point. Enough of the old and slow Californian style.
  • GIVE US MACKINNON VS PETTERSSON AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, NHL. DO IT!