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Canucks stun Predators with improbable comeback in Game 4

Brock Boeser tallied a hat trick, including two goals in the final three minutes of regulation to send the Canucks to overtime against the Predators in Game 4.
The Vancouver Canucks took on the Nashville Predators on Sunday in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Vancouver Canucks were down to their third-string goaltender in Game 4 against the Nashville Predators. With Thatcher Demko injured long-term and Casey DeSmith injured short-term, rookie goaltender Arturs Silovs stepped in to start on Sunday.

Silovs played a fantastic game but it wasn't until Silovs was pulled from the net that the Canucks came alive to win the game in the most unlikely fashion.

Just like in Game 3, the Canucks opened the scoring on their first shot of the game. Unlike in Game 3, it didn't take them 13 minutes to get that first shot. Instead, a clever set play off an offensive zone faceoff and a great pass by J.T. Miller gave Brock Boeser a wide-open net.

The Predators responded at 4-on-4 after interference penalties by Filip Forsberg and Elias Lindholm. Confusion in defensive zone coverage between Elias Pettersson and Filip Hronek gave Jeremy Lauzon an open shot at the point that Mark Jankowski tipped in to make the score 1-1.

The Predators took the lead in the second period on an odd-man rush, something the Canucks have rarely given up this season with their reworked defensive structure. With Nikita Zadorov taking away the passing option, Gustav Nyquist ripped the puck over Silovs' glove to make it 2-1.

As has been the case all series, the Canucks struggled to get shots on goal. They had just five shots in the second period, though Pius Suter hit the crossbar on the team's best chance, which didn't count as a shot.

That left the Canucks down by one heading into the third period but that one-goal deficit didn't last for long. 12 seconds into the final frame, Filip Forsberg redirected a Roman Josi centring pass into the net with his skate to give the Predators a two-goal lead.

The Canucks' coaching staff was unable to challenge the goal — kicking the puck into the net is not a challengeable play — but it was surprising the NHL didn't take a longer look. While you're allowed to redirect the puck into the net with your skate in the NHL, as long as there's no distinct kicking motion, Forsberg's goal certainly seemed borderline but a brief review by the NHL's situation room saw no issue with it.

It seemed like it was curtains for the Canucks, as the Predators went into lockdown, giving the Canucks nothing to work with. The Canucks had just three shots on goal in the third period with three minutes left in the game. 

But with Silovs pulled for the extra attacker, the Canucks pulled off an improbable comeback. 

It started with J.T. Miller sending the puck down low to Elias Lindholm, who threw the puck cross-crease to Boeser for the backdoor goal to bring the Canucks within one.

The Predators then had a chance to ice the game with Silovs once again pulled for the extra attacker. Colton Sissons, forced onto the backhand by the backchecking Elias Pettersson, sent the puck off the post, keeping the Canucks alive a little longer.

Boeser then stepped up again. After a brilliant keep-in by Quinn Hughes at the blue line, Miller threw the puck on net to create a scramble. Boeser picked up the rebound and sent it off the side of the net, but stuck with the puck and pulled it in front to tuck it in to complete the hat trick and tie the game with just eight seconds remaining.

Boeser's two goals in 2:41 sent a game that seemed over into overtime.

The overtime period lasted barely a minute. The third line of Dakota Joshua, Conor Garland, and Elias Lindholm came out and immediately struck gold. Joshua held off his man on the boards, allowing the puck to get to Garland down low. Lindholm was wide open in front and Garland found him; Lindholm made no mistake.

The wild finish gave Silovs his first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff win and made him the third goaltender to win a game in this series. He finished the game with 27 saves on 30 shots, coming up big in a high-pressure situation.

With the shocking win, the Canucks took a 3-1 lead in the series and could win on home ice as the series turns back to Vancouver for Game 5 on Tuesday, April 30.


Want a more in-depth recap of the game? Read the I Watched This Game feature. Don't forget to follow @passittobulis on X/Twitter to stay updated on the Canucks throughout the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.