The Vancouver Canucks took a 2-0 lead with goals just 40 seconds apart early in the second period, but their fortunes dramatically reserved in what ended up being a 6-2 loss to Columbus.
Marko Dano, 20, played a big part in the Blue Jackets’ comeback with two goals and an assist. Scott Hartnell netted his 22nd marker of the season midway through the third period to chase Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack out of the game.
Lack, who has been very effective for the most part in place of Ryan Miller (knee), turned aside just 25 of 30 shots. Jacob Markstrom made his first appearance for Vancouver since his “nightmare” performance on March 3 and saved both shots that he faced.
Every loss is problematic for a team battling for a playoff spot and coughing up a game against a squad near the bottom of the standings is always going to sting. Having said that, the timing of this setback is particularly bad for Vancouver for a couple of reasons. For starters, Calgary, Winnipeg, and San Jose all won tonight so the Western Conference race has tightened significantly. The other factor is that this was Vancouver’s final opportunity to feast on an Eastern Conference opponent.
The Canucks are 21-10-1 against the East in 2014-15, even with tonight’s loss. By comparison, Vancouver is 19-16-3 against Western Conference opponents and that’s all the squad has left.
Vancouver will play against Los Angeles next, which it has a 0-3-0 record against in 2014-15.