Canucks present resolve after dealing Golden Knights’ playoff hopes a startling blow

Canucks present resolve after dealing Golden Knights’ playoff hopes a startling blow


LAS VEGAS – It was unusual music for a funeral. During a third-period lull, Vancouver Canuck followers, quite a few sufficient to be heard within the Vegas Golden Knights’ enviornment, began chanting: “Bruce, there it is!”

This was a serenade, after all, for Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau, the catalyst of the crew’s mid-season turnaround. But it additionally felt like greater than that on Wednesday, because the Canucks, who had just one win in 4 years in Vegas for the reason that Golden Knights galloped spectacularly into the National Hockey League, gained 5-1.

The efficiency virtually definitely got here too late to essentially assist Vancouver, which had gained simply three of its earlier 12 video games whereas falling 9 factors out of a wildcard playoff spot.

But it was a show of resolve to not go quietly into the draft lottery, and absolutely a satisfying one for Canuck gamers who’ve suffered significantly by the hands of the Golden Knights however on Wednesday dealt Vegas’ personal playoff ambitions a startling blow.

It extinguished the Knights’ five-game profitable streak and stored them some extent out of a playoff spot in a race in opposition to groups which have performed fewer video games.

“Yeah, it’s a tough barn,” Canucks defenceman Tyler Myers mentioned of T-Mobile Arena. “I’ve played here a lot, played a playoff series here (with the Winnipeg Jets). It’s a good team over there. We played exactly the way we needed to get two points. It was nice to get one, especially in this arena.”

And good to get a win whereas lacking prime defenceman Quinn Hughes and top-six ahead Brock Boeser, ailing and injured, respectively, following the Canucks’ 3-2 additional time loss to the Knights in Vancouver on Sunday.

Kyle Burroughs, who had performed 5 NHL video games in six years earlier than becoming a member of his hometown Canucks this season and forcing his method into the lineup, performed his first recreation since struggling an upper-body harm on Feb. 19. Boudreau mentioned he owed Burroughs the possibility to reclaim his spot.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson changed Hughes on the facility play and had two assists. Myers logged 25:10 of ice time within the re-made defence. But the difference-maker, apart from goalie Thatcher Demko, was ahead Elias Pettersson, who performed proper wing on a line with J.T. Miller and Tanner Pearson and scored two objectives and two assists and appeared to drive play every time he was on the ice.

“I thought was his best game,” Myers mentioned. “I thought it was his best game of the year. He’s played a lot of good hockey the last month, the last couple months. Never mind the points. . . Petey is a special player and he played special tonight. We get him to play like that more often, he’s going to be a great player for a long time for us.”

Told about Myers’ evaluation that this was Pettersson’s finest recreation, Boudreau mentioned: “It could have been.  I mean, he was all around the puck. He made some really intelligent plays. He knows where to go. And I think playing on the right side. . . he sees the ice so well, so when he’s got the puck on the right side, and he turns, he’s got everything on his forehand. If you look down history, (Alex) Ovechkin, guys that have played their off-wing, have been very good. And I think Pettersson has that same kind of vision.”

Pettersson, a left-shot centre who has performed plenty of left wing this season, has six objectives in 5 video games.

He was concerned in all however the second Canucks objective as Vancouver, which really trailed 1-0 in opposition to the run of play when Jack Eichel scored at 12:02 of the primary interval, dominated a lot of the primary half and allowed the Golden Knights simply 9 pictures on web within the first 29 minutes.

Bo Horvat’s rebound objective from Ekman-Larsson’s level shot tied the sport on an influence play at 16:38, and simply 17 seconds later, Brad Richardson buried a free puck behind Vegas goalie Robin Lehner after the primary of a number of giveaways by Knights defenceman Alec Martinez.

Pearson, on a wonderful backhand setup by Pettersson, made it 3-1 at 11:40 of the second earlier than Pettersson scored at 16:03, shaking freed from Eichel by looping across the Vegas web simply in time to redirect Ekman-Larsson’s wonderful feed in the direction of the again publish.

Another Martinez giveaway, and a pleasant reverse move by Alex Chiasson, allowed Pettersson to attain once more at 1:11 of the third interval as Vancouver’s energy play went two-for-three.

It was throughout however the singing.

“For the time of year and what we needed, it was a pretty good all-around game,” Boudreau mentioned. “The goalie had to be great, but the players in front of him were really good, too. When they play 60 minutes, they’re a tough team to beat because we’re usually pretty good when we’re playing with the lead.”

Asked about profitable with out Hughes and Boeser, Boudreau mentioned: “It made them more in tune that they had to play their best game because we’re missing two top players. When you’ve got that — and I’ve seen it happen many times — when your lineup gets depleted, everybody’s senses are heightened and. . . they just play a better game.”

“I thought guys stepped up tonight,” Myers mentioned. “Just a few guys out of the lineup from final recreation — vital guys out of the lineup — and guys stepped up. I believed it was one in every of our higher crew video games shortly.

“We talk about it almost daily — about how we’re at our best when we play above the puck. And when we don’t, we’re pretty average out there. We just have to do it more consistently. I know there’s not a lot of games left, but we have to do it for the remaining 11 here.”

The Canucks go to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday earlier than opening a five-game homestand Saturday in opposition to the San Jose Sharks.



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