Vancouver Canucks, Elias Pettersson

Canucks Beat Blackhawks 4-2 In McDonough Debut

FINAL: Vancouver Canucks 4, Chicago Blackhawks 2

Coming off a 3-1 road victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday, the Canucks line-up featured the first ever NHL game for forward Aidan McDonough, Vancouver’s 7th-round draft pick in 2019 who signed a two-year entry-level contract two weeks ago.

The 6-foot-2, 200 pound left winger started the game Sunday and relished the opportunity to play with Boston boyhood hockey pal Jack Rathbone, the Canucks blueliner playing in just his second NHL game since November. Despite seeing just 9:14 of ice time, Rathbone scored a goal in the victory against Dallas.

Both players grew up and attended university in Boston; McDonough at Northeastern and Rathbone at Harvard.

McDonough would play 10:03, have one shot on goal and deliver two hits.

Collin Delia started in net for the Canucks Sunday while Petr Mrazek picked up the start for the Blackhawks.

Chicago opened the scoring in the 1st period with a shorthanded goal from defenceman Connor Murphy. Vancouver leads the NHL in shorthanded goals relinquished, 13, while also leading the most shorthanded goals scored category with 14.

Canucks Goal Scorers

2nd Period

1-1 Tie – Even Strength – Phil Di Giuseppe (6) from J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes, 19:43

PDG’s intended backhand pass through the slot to Boeser went in the net off the skate of ‘Hawks D-man Seth Jones.

With the assist, Hughes set a new franchise record for points in a season by a defenceman with 69. He set the record last season with 68.

3rd Period

2-1 Canucks – Even Strength – Elias Pettersson (34) from Ethan Bear and Andrei Kuzmenko, 12:06

A slow developing odd-man rush found ‘Petey’ waiting by the right post to one-time a shot home.

3-1 Canucks – Power Play – Elias Pettersson (35) from Andrei Kuzmenko and Brock Boeser, 13:09

A double deflection that leaked through Mrazek was finished off by ‘Petey’ just before it crossed the goal line.

4-2 Canucks – Even Strength (empty netter) – Brock Boeser (15) from Ethan Bear and Phil Di Giuseppe, 18:57

Boeser fired the puck into the empty net.

The Canucks and Blackhawks tied in shots-on-goal, 31-31. Power plays: Vancouver 1-for-3, Chicago 0-for-3.

Vancouver 3 Stars

1) Elias Pettersson – Two goals to tie Kuzmenko for the team lead with 35. Had the game winner.

2) Andrei Kuzmenko – Assists on both of Pettersson’s goals.

3) Phil Di Giuseppe – Got the scoring started and added a late assist.

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.