Swedish hockey talent was on full display at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday night as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime.

Hockey fans not watching would only have to review the game’s official three stars to understand their impact in this matchup. Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson and Alexander Edler, along with Ottawa’s Marcus Hogberg, were the game’s first, second, and third stars, respectively.

The win was a strong bounce back effort from the Canucks, who were shut out 4-0 by the New Jersey Devils on New Years Eve day. It was also a strong effort by the Senators, who earned their first point in five games. The home team showed a lot of heart and no quit in what should have been a much higher scoring affair for both teams. Vancouver rang four shots off the post throughout the game, while Jacob Markstrom stymied Ottawa on many prime scoring opportunities.

Overall, magnificent goaltending from both teams kept this game close, but in the end, it was Vancouver’s rookie sensation who was the difference maker. Pettersson’s overtime game-winner was also his 22nd goal of the 2018-19 campaign, and his third of the night for his first career hat trick. Performances and stats like these against the Senators make it obvious why many already regard the 20-year-old as this year’s Calder Trophy favourite just halfway through the 2018-19 campaign.

With the overtime loss, Ottawa improves their point total to 35 on the season and a record of 15-21-5. They sit last in the Atlantic Division and are ranked 30th of 31 teams in the NHL. Vancouver, on the other hand, improves their record to 20-19-4 and 44 points. The Canucks sit fifth in the Pacific Division and 18th overall.

Canucks Dominate Early

The Canucks dominated early in the first match-up for both teams in the New Year. If it was not for Ottawa’s rookie goaltender Hogberg, this game could have been out of reach long before it was even 20 minutes old. Despite the score reading 0-0 at the end of the first period, the shot count read 17-5 in favour of the visiting team.

The Canucks carried their high velocity attack into the second period. On their 27th shot, Sven Baertschi finally found net on the man advantage, just before the midway point of the game.

Down 1-0, the Senators offense was beginning to spark. Four minutes after Baertschi’s goal, Matt Duchene tied it, capitalizing on a Senators power play.

Despite the home team’s pushback, Vancouver scored again before the end of 40 minutes, as Pettersson sniped his first of the night to lift the Canucks to a 2-1 lead.

Senators Comeback

Pettersson continued the Canucks offensive in the third period, scoring again just five minutes in and pushing Vancouver’s lead to 3-1.

Despite their two goal deficit, the Senators pushed back again. Belleville call-up Christian Wolanin triggered the comeback at 10:51 of the third with his first goal of the campaign, drawing the home team within one.

A few minutes later, assistant captain Mark Stone would complete a very impressive play to tie the game in the final minute and force overtime. The 26-year-old hammered the puck home after three consecutive behind-the-back passes from three different teammates. The first came from Wolanin on the blue line to Matt Duchene by the hashmarks, from Duchene to Ryan Dzingel at the side of Markstrom’s net, and from Dzingel to a wide-open Stone in the slot.

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OT Finish

Although the Senators fought back for their rookie goaltender and hometown crowd, they fell short of the win. At 1:38 of overtime, the Swedish wonder kid one-timed an odd-man rush pass from his teammate Brock Boeser, to cap the first three-goal night of his career. Boeser finished the game with two assists.

Snap Shots

  • Prior to the game, the Ottawa Senators and the Vancouver Canucks executed a trade involving five assets.
  • Ottawa leads the NHL with 17 fights this season.
  • Ben Harpur fought again this game, dropping the gloves with Tim Schaller in the first period. The Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario native leads all NHL players with five fights this campaign.
  • Ottawa hosts their Sens Skills Competition on Thursday, Jan. 3.

Official 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Elias Pettersson, Vancouver (3G, including GWG, 6 Shots)
  2. Alexander Edler, Vancouver (3A, 3 Shots, 2 Hits, 1 Block)
  3. Marcus Hogberg, Ottawa (3.92 GAA, .911 SV%)

Up Next

The Senators continue their three-game home stand by welcoming the Minnesota Wild to Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday. Minnesota is ranked 21st in the NHL. They hold an 18-17-3 record and 39 points, sitting only four points ahead of Ottawa in the NHL standings.

Scoring Summary

Sven Baertschi (4)Alexander Edler (13)
Bo Horvat (19)
Matt Duchene (16)Bobby Ryan (16)
Mark Stone (26)

Elias Pettersson (20)Brock Boeser (13)
Alexander Edler (14)
Elias Pettersson (21)Alexander Edler (15)
Sven Baertschi (5)
Christian Wolanin (1)Ryan Dzingel (13)
Mikkel Boedker (19)
Mark Stone (19)Ryan Dzingel (14)
Matt Duchene (24)
Elias Pettersson (22)Chris Tanev (7)
Brock Boeser (14)

Cover Photo Credit: Fred Chartrand / The Canadian Press

Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.

Billy Morrison

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