The Vancouver Canucks haven’t lost three games in a row all season.
Even though they were on the verge of doing so against the Washington Capitals, the Canucks erased two deficits and ended up scoring the game-winner during the final seconds of overtime.
J.T. Miller picked up an errant pass in the Capitals zone, and fired the game-winning goal past Darcy Kuemper with five seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Canucks a 3-2 victory.
Miller calls game in OT off a turnover 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wmugxAqRDU
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) February 11, 2024
Conor Garland and Nils Höglander scored the other goals for Vancouver.
Even though the Canucks dropped their last two games entering this contest against the Capitals, they now have a three-point cushion atop the NHL standings after this victory.
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) February 11, 2024
The Canucks cap off their road trip against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at 5:30 pm.
Canucks’ Demko closes in on 30 wins
Remember when Vancouver was deemed a goalie graveyard?
Feels like a lifetime ago.
After shutting the door with some huge saves on Sunday, Demko is now up to 28 wins this season. He’s accomplished that in just 38 games played.
He’s on pace to hit the 30-win mark quicker than any other goaltender in franchise history.
There have been 13 other occasions where a Canucks goaltender hit 30 wins in a season. It appears as though the quickest a Canucks goalie has ever recorded 30 wins was back in 2008-09, when Luongo recorded 30 victories in 48 games.
Demko is on pace to easily top that mark, and he could hit 30 wins in 40 games if he is victorious during his next two starts.
Who knows, he could even become the first Canucks goaltender to ever win the Vezina Trophy.
While Winnipeg Jets’ netminder Connor Hellebuyck currently stands in his way of that feat, Demko highlighted in this game just how important he is to the Canucks.
Less than a minute before Miller’s overtime winner, Demko absolutely stonewalled Caps defenceman Rasmus Sandin on a rush chance.
We spoke about Demko’s growth with @TrevBeggs in tomorrow’s episode.
— The Hockey 411 (@TheHockey411) February 11, 2024
There was also a sequence late in the second period where Demko made numerous big saves to keep the Canucks tied with the Caps.
Thatcher Demko makes a huge save!
📽️: Sportsnet | NHL pic.twitter.com/GtIh5xiR2j
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) February 11, 2024
With this victory, not only is Demko inching towards the fastest 30-win campaign in Canucks history, but he also tied Dan Cloutier for the fifth-most wins in franchise history (109 wins).
The San Diego native has been on a tear since early December, going 16-2-1 over his last 19 starts, with a .920 save percentage and three shutouts over that span.
Höglander scores beautiful backhand goal
The Canucks’ youngest skater has arguably been their best player so far on this road trip.
Höglander scored for the second game in a row to tie the game 2-2 in the second period. He scored on a beautiful give-and-go with his new linemate, Elias Pettersson, which was capped off by a silky backhand that went right over the shoulder of Kuemper.
Nils Hoglander responds right back! ☎️ pic.twitter.com/uhgMOXQDhP
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 11, 2024
Not only did Höglander score in the Canucks last game, but he also hit a post in that contest, and had a goal disallowed in the game before against the Boston Bruins.
However, those goals in back-t0-back games have come while playing on a line with Pettersson and Pius Suter. That line has arguably been the Canucks’ most dangerous unit during this weekend road swing, however they have also been on the ice for goals against in back-to-back games as well.
While Höglander isn’t the Canucks best 200-foot player, he does look like one of their most dangerous offensive players.
And, he’s on pace for 25 goals, a wildly impressive feat considering that he’s averaging less than 12 minutes per game. Even against the Capitals, he played just 11:34 overall despite riding shotgun with Pettersson.