Vancouver’s undoing in Game 3: Miserable power play and turnovers

There were more than a few things wrong with what happened with the Vancouver Canucks in last night’s Game 3. When you get beaten 8-1 there’s generally a laundry list of things to check off to correct. A couple of things that went especially wrong for Vancouver reminded us of things that went wrong for Boston in Games 1 and 2.

Vancouver’s woes with the puck in Game 3 started with their power play and special teams in general. After the Canucks killed off Aaron Rome’s major penalty in the first period things went downhill for them. They went 0-8 on the power play and gave up a power play goal to Mark Recchi in the second period and then two shorthanded goals, one to Brad Marchand in the second and another to Dan Paille in the third.

All around it was not a banner night for Vancouver’s special teams but Canucks captain Henrik Sedin says they have to do better.

“If we score early on the power play or when it’s 2-0 and we get a chance, that’s a chance for us to get in the game. Instead we let them score the other way. That’s a killer. It hurts the guys on the ice and if you’re sitting on the bench and you see their PK score a goal… That hurts,” Sedin says.

It wasn’t just the special teams that did the Canucks in, it was their lack of puck control that hurt them as well. The Bruins capitalized on turnovers much in the way the Canucks did in the first two games of the series. The turnover issue is one that wasn’t missed by Henrik.

“They’re a team like us and they feed on turnovers. We turned the puck over on our power play and our five-on-five and that’s why you see the chances they get. We’re going to have to keep this tight. We can’t open it up just to get things going. We have to rely on our system and go from there.”

Seeing the tables turned the way they were in such a lopsided way still has us a bit stunned. After all, you don’t see teams score eight goals in a game often and certainly not in the Stanley Cup finals. For Vancouver, they stressed that they too were also able to get the Bruins to turn the puck over as well and that they just couldn’t capitalize on things thanks to Tim Thomas’ work in goal.

Canucks assistant captain Ryan Kesler described what he saw out there.

“I thought they turned the puck over a lot. We had a couple of grade-A scoring chances and we didn’t bury it,” he said. “We had a couple of turnovers and they had their chances and they buried it and we didn’t. That was the difference in the game.”

Hockey can be a simple game but if it’s as simple as Kesler and Sedin make it out to be, the corrections for Vancouver in Game 4 on Wednesday will be simple to make. If it runs a little deeper than that then we might very well have ourselves a series.

Fight Video: Lappin, Puempel land some good shots in preseason tilt

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Who says players don’t care about preseason hockey?

Matt Puempel and Nick Lappin are trying to earn spots on their respective clubs, so they know they may have to do the little things others aren’t willing to do to stick around in the NHL.

On Wednesday night, that involved dropping the gloves against each other. These two seemed to be in mid-season form when it came to throwing punches.

Neither player is considered a tough guy. Lappin had 17 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Devils last season, while Puempel has 28 penalty minutes in 79 career NHL games.

Here’s the video footage of the scrap:

By the way, the Rangers won 4-3 in overtime.

Kings outlast Canucks in first edition of NHL China Games

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The Los Angeles Kings came away with a 5-2 preseason win over the Vancouver Canucks in the first of the 2017 NHL China Games. This contest took place in lovely Shanghai.

Adrian Kempe got the ball rolling for Kings, as he scored the first goal of the game on the power play to make it 1-0 for his team (top).

Kings forward Tanner Pearson scored a great shorthanded breakaway goal to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 2-0 (check out the Pearson goal by clicking the video below).

The shorthanded goal against wasn’t the only issue the Canucks power play had in this game. Vancouver managed to score once on the man-advantage, but they finished the game 1-for-14 in that department (yes, it’s only a preseason game).

with Vancouver trailing 3-0 in the second period, Sven Baertschi finally got them on the board to cut the Kings lead to 3-1.

Markus Granlund made it 3-2 in the third period, but that’s as close as the Canucks would come to tying the score.

Pearson extended Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2 before Jeff Carter finished off the game with an empty-net goal.

These two teams will meet again in Beijing on Saturday at 3:30 a.m. ET.

Krug to be re-evaluated in three weeks after taking puck to jaw

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Torey Krug‘s 2017 training camp is officially over.

The Bruins defenseman suffered a non-displaced fracture in his jaw after taking a puck to the face in Tuesday’s preseason game against the Red Wings.

General Manager Don Sweeney expects Krug to be re-evaluated in three weeks, which means he could miss Boston’s regular-season opener against Nashville on Oct. 5.

Losing Krug for any regular season games would be huge for the Bruins, as he had eight goals and 51 points in 81 games last season.

In other injury news, the Bruins also announced that forward Matt Beleskey (foot contusion) is day-to-day. He was hurt in Boston’s preseason opener against Montreal on Monday.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (upper body) is also day-to-day. He was injured against the Red Wings, too.

Caps’ Vrana hoping to earn spot with Ovechkin, Kuznetsov

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It looks like the Washington Capitals are going to give Jakub Vrana the opportunity of a lifetime.

Washington has given the young winger a chance to earn a spot on the right side of the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin.

On Wednesday night, they got to put the chemistry to the test, as Vrana and the Caps played the Canadiens in Montreal.

Vrana finished the game with a power play goal (an innocent shot that went off Canadiens defenseman Brandon Davidson and in the net). Kuznetsov and Ovechkin registered the assists on the goal and the Caps won 4-2.

“We played fast today,” Vrana said, per the Washington Post. “We had some passes today, some chances. It’s always a good sign when you have chances. … You’re going to be confident when you play with guys like this. You’re just going to be confident on the ice with the puck. Just play fast and build some chemistry there.”

The 21-year-old got his first taste of real NHL action last season, but the production simply wasn’t there (three goals and three assists in 21 games). But the 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft did put up solid numbers in the AHL, as he had 36 points in 49 games last year and 34 points in 36 games with the Hershey Bears two years ago.

“He gets to space,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “He gets on the puck because he moves his legs and his speed is noticeable. Kuzy can get him the puck, and getting down ice, he can put some pressure to create a forecheck, too. He worked hard today, and I think we keep putting him with top players, because we think he’s going to be a top player.”