The Vancouver Canucks took care of business in a low scoring affair, holding off the Anaheim Ducks and winning 3-1 at Rogers Arena. The Canucks are now 8-1-and-1 on home ice.
While captain Quinn Hughes failed to extend his point streak past 11 games, J.T. Miller (35) crept closer to the league lead in scoring while Brock Boeser (17) extended his NHL lead in the goal scoring department.
The Canucks came out ahead after twenty minutes despite being doubled up in shots by the Ducks 12-6.
Boeser backhanded home a loose puck in the crease for his 16th goal of the season, good for the NHL lead in that category. It came at 6:34 on the rebound of a Filip Hronek shot from the left wing circle. Hronek and Miller picked up the assists, putting Miller alone in 2nd place in league scoring, one point ahead of his teammate Hughes.
Miller now has a nine-game point streak head-to-head against Anaheim, non-verbally rubbing it in the face of his good friend from back home in the Pittsburgh area, Ducks goalie John Gibson.
Both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play.
Anaheim had the energy to start the second. They hit the crossbar twice and scored a power play goal in the first half of the period, keeping Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko very busy.
A diligent attack on the man advantage led to Ryan Strome’s first goal in 13 games at the 5:10 mark as he went top shelf from the left circle past an Ian Cole screen.
It would be another ten minutes before the Canucks mounted anything, but nothing goalie Gibson couldn’t handle. Vancouver winger Dakota Joshua had two stuff chances from the side of the net with four minutes remaining.
If veteran forward Alex Killorn of the Ducks wasn’t snake-bit, the score would have been much different. He was stopped on one Grade-A chance and whiffed on two others. The former Stanley Cup winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning has just one goal on the season.
This period started much differently. With Gibson preoccupied with Andrei Kuzmenko creating havoc along the front of his crease, the Ducks goalie wasn’t ready for Elias Pettersson’s wraparound goal at the 32-second mark. Despite contact being made with “Koozy”, Gibson had the opportunity to re-set himself in time. No review for goaltender interference.
It was “Petey’s” first goal in six games and his 9th on the season. He has 15 points against Anaheim over the last six head-to-head games.
Vancouver earned a power play chance midway through the period, but failed to click. The most important moment came when Canucks winger Ilya Mikheyev took a Tyler Myers slapper off his knee and had to be helped to the dressing room.
Vancouver committed a too-many-men-on-the-ice infraction in the final five minutes. The Ducks did very little with the opportunity until Mason McTavish hit the post in the final moments.
Shorthanded, Anaheim pulled the goalie and Boeser added an empty netter, his NHL leading 17th goal. Miller added yet another assist.
The Ducks ended up out-shooting the Canucks 31-27. Power plays: Anaheim 1-for-3, Vancouver 1-for-4.
Vancouver hosts the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday before heading to Calgary to take on the Flames on Saturday night.
Canucks 3 Stars:
1) Elias Pettersson – Game winning goal. Two hits, three shots-on-goal in almost 22-minutes of play.
2) Brock Boeser – Two goals, leads the NHL with 17. Three shots-on-goal and a hit in 20:16 of ice time.
3) J.T. Miller – 2nd in the NHL in scoring after adding two assists. Two hits, three shots-on-goal.