Vancouver – When you score four goals and the most surprising scorer is Alex Chiasson, and the most amazing one is not Luke Shane, you know that you contributed from the bottom of the lineup.
The night neither Jetty Miller nor Elias Peterson cracked the scoresheet, the Soldiers needed four depth scorers to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and their small play-off chances disappear completely.
Chiasson, breaking a 2-2 tie at 2:07 in the third period, scooped up a short-sided shot while trying to extend his National Hockey League career on a periodic healthy scratch one-year contract this season. And Shane, the st-at-home defender whose last goal was two months ago, added a final-second blank-netter as Vancouver made a win against Sloppy San Jose.
The Canucks have won for the third time in a row after the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars, the teams occupying the wildcard spot in the Western Conference Play-off race, lost early Saturday.
There are nine points left in the Vancouver Stanley Cup Tournament with four points remaining.
Four of Chiasson’s 10 goals this season have come in the last five. He played in four different lines during this fruitful expansion and had the opportunity to skate in the top-six on Saturday due to the absence of injuries to Brock Boyser and Tanner Pearson. Chiasson finished with seven shots on goal.
“It feels good, you know, to feel good about your game at this time of year,” Winger, the 2018 Stanley Cup winner with the Washington Capitals, said after the game. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to show what I can do, and to be able to contribute to the team’s success. We clearly know how important all these games are, so I thought tonight was a bold endeavor.
“Maybe the first 40 (minutes) didn’t go the way we wanted. The first two periods had some parts where we played really well for three or four minutes and then the game went away from us for a few minutes. It kind of went back and forth like that. But it seems that our third period always brings out the best in us. “
Chiasson collected the puck in a cross-ice pass from Bo Harbhat, San Jose goalkeeper Capo Kahkonen picked up his place as soon as he was pad-down on a nearby post and got enough of his shots to post-end-in.
Canuck’s goal-scorers in the first two seasons, when Vancouver failed to hold a 1-0 and 2-1 lead, were Jason Dickinson and Connor Garland. Dickinson has not scored in 20 games, Garland in 19.
The team’s offensive big three Miller, Patterson and Harvat’s only point was Harvat’s support. Elite defender Quinn Hughes returned to the lineup after missing two games due to a non-covid illness and was meaningless.
“They’ve obviously been a huge part of our success,” Chiasson said. “But when you contribute to the boys on different nights, you can win games at this time of year. Your best players are going to be your best players. But on a given night, if you can get one or two goals from some different guy, depth players, it definitely makes an impact. “
The Canucks returned home after sweeping back-to-back road games in Las Vegas and Arizona this week, where they beat the home teams 10-2.
When Dickinson handled Pak around Kahkonen just 2:03 after a two-on-one confrontation, just seconds after Vancouver defender Kyle Burrows blew Shark Ryan Markley off a turnover, it looked like the Canucks were speeding their way to Rogers Arena.
But Kahkonen made a handful of strong saves and when Vasily Podkolgin and Miller’s penalty was evaluated 22 seconds apart, starting at 6:33, the Sharks tied it 1-1 in a two-man-advantage when Thomas Hartl rebounded from Timo. . Meier’s one-timer at 7:33.
Garland put the Canucks ahead at 4:49 of the second period, trying to pass another two-on-one but instead shot short side towards Kahkonen.
Again, Canucks stared at the dragged edge.
Vancouver had two straight power plays and several shifts of offensive zone pressure, but failed to build its lead. Which means the Sharks were able to tie 2-2 at 18:37 when Garland bounced off a once-in-a-canuck Nick Bonino goalkeeper Thatcher Demco about 10 seconds after the over in the neutral zone.
With 20 minutes left, and their play-off hopes flickering, the Canucks found a way to land a Sharks team that had lost five in a row.
With three wins and nine games remaining, the Canucks are trying to replicate what their coach Bruce Boudreau achieved with the Capitals in 2008 when Washington stole a place in the final playoffs 11-1 in their last 12 games.
“Anything is possible,” Boudreau said after the morning skate. “You never, ever give up and you get as tough as you can as long as you can. And that’s where we’re going. We’re just pushing and shoving. It doesn’t matter who is in lineup or out of lineup. We just I’m leaving. “
The Canucks’ five-game home stand continues Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights, with another team trying to capture Vancouver.