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.
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.