The Vancouver Canucks fell just short of taking sole possession of an NHL record with Bruce Boudreau at the helm.
The Canucks had won seven in a row since Boudreau took over as coach for the fired Travis Green until suffering a 2-1 shootout loss Thursday at Los Angeles.
Vancouver will look to start a new winning streak when it travels to Seattle to play the expansion Kraken on Saturday night.
The seven straight victories tied for the longest streak in league history for a coach starting a tenure with a new team. Jacques Lemaire won his first seven with New Jersey in 1993-94 and Calgary’s Geoff Ward matched that in 2019-20.
The Canucks won 2-1 in overtime Wednesday at Anaheim, one of Boudreau’s previous stops, to match the record.
Even after earning a point on the road in the second game of a back-to-back, Boudreau wasn’t in a good mood after Thursday’s game.
“Hopefully it was a cheap lesson that we learned (Thursday) that you can’t go out there and just because you’ve done well, that people are going to throw their sticks and bow down,” Boudreau said. “We didn’t play very good, and they were hungry. … Our second period, it’s as bad as I’ve seen us play. (The players) hung in there, and our goalie was outstanding, and that’s why we got a point.”
Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 shots in only his second start since Nov. 28.
“He was unbelievable,” Canucks forward Bo Horvat said of Halak. “That game could have been a lot worse than it was, especially in the second period. He stood on his head. It wasn’t a very good game for us by any means. We’ve got to be better in front of him.”
The Canucks placed forward Justin Dowling in the league’s COVID-19 protocol Thursday, a day after Brock Boeser and Phil Di Giuseppe went on the list.
The Kraken also played back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday, suffering a 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia before dropping a 6-4 decision to Calgary.
Seattle is winless in its past four games (0-3-1). The Kraken are also dealing with a short lineup, with forwards Mason Appleton and Ryan Donato and defenseman Vince Dunn in the virus protocol.
Plus, forward Jaden Schwartz was a late scratch against Calgary with an upper-body injury and was listed as day-to-day.
Kraken captain Mark Giordano had a goal and two assists Thursday in his first game against his former Calgary team, for whom he played 15 seasons before being selected in the expansion draft, but Seattle’s rally fell short.
“Our guys fought extremely hard and we battled hard on a night we were playing back-to-back,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “There’s no excuses in the room, there’s no consolation prizes that we’re looking for, so there’s no soft landing, but call it for what it is, our guys battled extremely hard and continued to fight back.”
The Flames scored a power-play goal to make it 4-3 with 3:09 remaining before Jared McCann tied it 30 seconds later.
Matthew Tkachuk beat Kraken goalie Chris Driedger with a low shot between the pads with 2:26 left and the Flames added a late empty-netter.
“I should have been better on the last two goals,” Driedger said. “It’s my job to keep pucks out of the net.”
–Field Level Media