Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders

Not A Surprise – Canucks 6, Islanders 5

Ultimately one guy really cared about getting a win tonight for the Islanders; former Canucks captain Bo Horvat. Sure his new teammates and the crowd wanted to get it, but on the other side you had an entire team desperately wanting a victory, especially the guy who went the other way in the highly publicized trade a little more than a week ago, former Islander Anthony Beauvillier.

He scored the game winner in the Canucks 6-5 win. Horvat skated off with the loss. The Vancouver club was overjoyed.

The Canucks bent but didn’t break. Emotion and determination carried them to victory; carried by their star and likely future captain Elias Pettersson who tallied a three-point night.

With the Canucks trailing 4-3 entering the 3rd period, Pettersson first scored on the power play at the 4:38 mark and then scored again at even strength a little less than four minutes later. Vancouver went ahead 5-4.

At 16:58 Beauvillier tipped home an insurance goal that turned out to be the game winner. Down 6-4 the Isles scored late to cut it to a one-goal game, but they couldn’t find the equalizer in the final minute.

Canucks Notes

The Canucks power play went 2-for-4 along the way. The Islanders managed a 1-for-3. Shots were 34-29 in favour of Vancouver.

Collin Delia did just enough in net for the Canucks, turning aside 24 of 29 shots for the win.

Vancouver moves to 1-1-and-1 on their eventual four game road trip that ends in Detroit against the Red Wings on Saturday night. The Islanders suffer a blow against their playoff chances. They’re tied in points, 59, with the second wild card team in the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The big problem: the Penguins have a whopping five games in hand.

‘Petey’ was excellent. Brock Boeser tallied a four point night with a goal and three assists. J.T. Miller grinded out an assist, 53% wins on his face-offs, and blocked three shots, including two in the final minute.

In an otherwise lost season, it will be one of the highlights for the Vancouver Canucks.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.