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Scott Cullen

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Vanek, Gagner and Boeser lead the way to a Vancouver win; Marner, Marleau, Stamkos and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.

The Vancouver Canucks took down the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night, and were led by veteran winger Thomas Vanek, who had two goals and three assists, the third five-point game of his career, in a 5-2 win. The 33-year-old has 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in the past four games, and has 28 points in 38 games this season.

He’s a frustrating player, at times, but signed for $2-million this season, he’s probably going to draw some interest before the trade deadline because he can score, especially on the power play.

Canucks centre Sam Gagner added two goals and an assist, giving him seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past six games.

While Vanek and Gagner aren’t part of the long-term solution in Vancouver, rookie right winger Brock Boeser is the centre-piece of the Canucks’ plans, and he put up a goal and three helpers against Chicago. He has 16 points (10 G, 6 A) in the past 13 games, and has jumped back into the rookie scoring lead with 38 points in 35 games.

HEROES

Mitch Marner – Toronto’s second-year winger has been heating up for a while, and put up a goal and two assists in a 7-4 win at Arizona. He has 13 points (3 G, 10 A) in the past nine games.

Patrick Marleau – The veteran winger tallied two goals and an assist in Toronto’s 7-4 win at Arizona. He had two goals in the previous 10 games.

Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay’s star centre scored two goals, on 14 shot attempts (7 SOG), in a 3-1 win against Montreal and has 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in the past 10 games.

ZEROES

Gustav Forsling and Jan Rutta – The Blackhawks defence pair was on the ice for three goals against in a 5-2 loss at Vancouver.

Lawson Crouse – Arizona’s winger, playing his second game since being recalled from the AHL, was on the ice for three goals against in a 7-4 loss to Toronto.

Dominic Moore – It wasn’t great on the winning side for Moore, who was pinned in his own end (2 for, 15 against, 11.8 CF%, 1-6 scoring chances) and one for a goal against in a 7-4 win at Arizona.

Scott Wedgewood – The Coyotes netminder allowed six goals on 32 shots in a 7-4 loss to Toronto, giving him a .843 save percentage in the past five games.

VITAL SIGNS

Nazem Kadri – Toronto’s centre took a head hit from Coyotes winger Lawson Crouse and was forced to leave the Leafs’ 7-4 win at Arizona.

Artem Anisimov – An upper-body injury knocked the Blackhawks centre out of a 5-2 loss at Vancouver. He could be out for a while.

Michael Frolik – The Flames winger took a puck in the face at San Jose and didn’t return to the game.

SHORT SHIFTS

Lightning LW Ondrej Palat had a couple of assists in a 3-1 win over Montreal. He had three assists in the previous eight games…Bruins RW David Backes scored a pair of goals in a 4-3 shootout loss at Washington, giving him nine points (5 G, 4 A) in the past six games…Bruins rookie LW Danton Heinen chipped in a couple of assists, and has 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in the past eight games…Capitals C Lars Eller produced a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win vs. Boston. He had two assists in the previous 11 games…Panthers RW Nick Bjugstad had a couple of assists in a 3-2 win vs. Philadelphia, and has five points (1 G, 4 A) in the past five games…Maple Leafs RW William Nylander had a goal and an assist in a 7-4 win at Arizona, and has six points (3 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Maple Leafs D Morgan Rielly earned a couple of assists at Arizona, giving him five assists in the past four games…Coyotes LW Jordan Martinook had a goal and an assist in a 7-4 loss to Toronto; he had two assists in his previous 10 games…Coyotes RW Tobias Rieder added a couple of assists, after managing two points (1 G, 1 A) in his previous 14 games…Golden Knights RW Reilly Smith had two assists in a 3-2 overtime win at Los Angeles, and has five assists in the past five games…Kings D Drew Doughty contributed a goal and an assist in the loss to Vegas, giving him 14 points (2 G, 12 A) in the past 16 games...Coyotes C Nick Cousins had a strong possession game (25 for, 5 against, 83.3 CF%, 11-3 scoring chances) in a 7-4 loss to Toronto.

Lightning G Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 31 of 32 saves in a 3-1 win over Montreal and has a .942 save percentage in his past 17 games…Panthers G James Reimer turned away 29 of 31 shots in a 3-2 win, giving him a .947 save percentage in his past six starts.

FIRSTS

David Kampf – The 22-year-old, signed as a free agent out of the Czech Republic, made his NHL debut for the Blackhawks in a 5-2 loss at Vancouver. He had 16 points (7 G, 9 A) in 30 AHL games before getting called up.

 

Many of the advanced stats used here come from Natural Stat TrickCorsica and Hockey Reference.

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca