1) Travis Green is fond of saying sometimes a team plays well and doesn't win. That was the case for most of Friday night in Anaheim. The Canucks dominated the Ducks on the shot clock through the first 30 minutes of the contest, but trailed 1-0 after giving up a short-handed goal to Jakob Silfverberg midway through the first period. While the Ducks were able to gain control of the shot clock in the second half of the game, it was the Canucks that scored the only other goal of regulation time when Adam Gaudette, playing wing for the first time in the NHL, banked a centering pass intended for Brandon Sutter in off Ducks defender Korbinan Holzer with under seven minutes remaining. That set the stage for overtime where Ryan Getzlaf got in behind the Canucks defence and beat Jacob Markstrom who charged out of his net, gambled and lost. So did his hockey club. The Ducks skated away with a 2-1 win that perhaps they didn't deserve on balance. But John Gibson was terrific in the Anaheim net early in the hockey game when the Canucks held a 19-5 edge in shots on goal.
2) The biggest takeaway from this one was the injury to Canucks rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes with five minutes remaining in the opening period. Hughes stumbled in the neutral zone, appeared to pick the toe of his skate into the ice and looked to have twisted his left ankle awkwardly. He skated off the ice under his own power, but left the game and did not return. The Canucks say it was for precautionary reasons that the 20-year-old was held out of the remainder of the game. Afterward, Travis Green said Hughes would be re-evaluated in the morning in San Jose and the coach added that Hughes had not yet been ruled out for Saturday's game against the Sharks. Hughes was spotted outside the Canucks locker room post game talking to family members, however he was not made available to the media. With no morning skate in San Jose, it will likely be much closer to game time to determine whether Hughes is a legitimate possibility to play on Saturday night. Obviously, the Canucks will miss him in all areas, but particularly on the power play where Alex Edler returned to man the point on the top unit and Tyler Myers became the lone defenseman on the second unit. If Hughes can not play, Jordie Benn would likely be tapped to bump up the depth chart while Ashton Sautner, a healthy scratch on Friday, would likely draw into the line-up for the first time this season.
3) Give the Canucks credit for sticking with things Friday long enough to get something when it looked like they may leave the Honda Center empty handed. While they obviously wanted the win, down 1-0 with less than seven minutes in regulation, time was starting to become an enemy. But as they've done in earlier games in St. Louis and Detroit, the Canucks once again mounted a third period comeback. While they ultimately completed the job against the Blues and Red Wings, on Friday they came up short in overtime. Still the Canucks managed to find a way to earn a single point that extends their run of games with at least a point to six (4-0-2) and likely allows them to feel they preserved some of the momentum they carried into the contest. No, they're not going to win every game they play. That much is obvious. But if the Canucks can do a better job of managing their losses this season and push games beyond regulation they way they did against the Ducks, it will serve them well as they try to make a push for the post-season.
4) Perhaps they've raised the bar so high in the early going, that an ordinary night for the Canucks top line felt as though it was much less than that. In a game where the team threw 40 shots at John Gibson and another 27 in his direction that did not make it on net, Elias Pettersson did not register a shot on goal and had but two late attempts. Brock Boeser and JT Miller each had three shots on goal, but according to naturalstattrick.com, the high-danger scoring chances were even at two apiece when the Canucks top line was on the ice at 5-on-5. So it wasn't the scoring bonanza fans have become accustomed to when that trio hit the ice. Pettersson rang a wrist shot off the crossbar at the final buzzer in the third period, but that was as close as he came to extending his point streak which ended at five games (2+10=12 during that stretch). On the night, the top line just seemed a shade off its game. And because those three have had their games at such a high level since being put together in the third outing of the season, it stood out on Friday as the quietest night yet this season for the Canucks top players.
5) Tanner Pearson led the Canucks with seven shots on goal on Friday. Perhaps he's overdue, but on a team that has seen all sorts of secondary scoring this season, the Canucks have to be looking for more finish from Pearson. He scored in the team's season opener in Edmonton and added his second -- and most recent goal -- at home against Philadelphia on October 12th. Since then he's been skunked in the goal-scoring department and his assist on Adam Gaudette's goal against the Ducks was just his second point in the past nine games. While others have moved around the line-up, Pearson has for the most part been pinned to Bo Horvat as he was late last season after being acquired from Pittsburgh. Pearson showed after the trade deadline that he and Horvat had some chemistry and he definitely looked like he had regained the scoring form he had earlier in his career in Los Angeles. Pearson isn't playing poorly. He leads the Canucks in shots on the season with 44 after Friday's game and he's carrying a 54.7% individual corsi for. He's putting himself in positions to shoot and pulling the trigger often. Friday night was a reminder though that it's not enough to talk about shots and chances. Sometimes the Canucks need that next wave of forwards to find the back of the net. Pearson has one goal in a dozen games since opening night. They could have used one from him on Friday.