- Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored on the power play to give the Canucks a much-needed 3-2 win.
The Vancouver Canucks needed to play a team that was virtually as awful at killing penalties as they were to end a five-game NHL losing streak on Friday night.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland scored on the power play to give the Canucks a much-needed 3-2 victory. Kyle Burroughs scored his first NHL goal for the Canucks (6-10-2), who had gone 0-13 on the power play in their previous five games.
“It means a lot,” said goaltender Thatcher Demko, who was given the game’s first star after stopping 36 shots, including one from Nikolaj Ehlers in the waning seconds of the game when the Jets were playing with an extra attacker.
“Things haven’t been going our way in the last few months. We need to make up some ground. Tonight, hopefully, will be the beginning of stringing a few together and instilling some confidence in the room.”
Garland was moved to the top unit by head coach Travis Green, who made significant modifications to his power play.
“Whenever you make a change, you hope it pays off,” Green explained. “It was really good to see the players get rewarded today.”
Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored on a nice individual play for the Jets (9-4-4), who dropped their second game in a row. Eric Comrie, the goalkeeper, made 26 saves.
“We played a nice game for the most part,” Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry said. “It’s not like we weren’t in it or that we were giving up a lot of zone time or whatever.”
“We just need to polish up a couple of areas in our game.” Perhaps the crispness wasn’t present.”
The win was only Vancouver’s third in 12 games, but it may be enough to calm down unhappy Canuck supporters who have been calling for the firings of general manager Jim Benning and head coach Mike Green. There appeared to be a little more energy in the third stanza when singing “Sweet Caroline.”
Vancouver was 2-3 on the power play and didn’t have any shorthanded situations during the game.
“It’s a significant win,” Garland said after scoring his fifth goal of the season and his first on the power play. “Our power play has a big night ahead of it. It was the game’s deciding factor.
“Now we’re looking forward to gaining some confidence and getting things flowing.”
When Winnipeg was handed an extra penalty during a first-period scrum, the Canucks, who had the league’s lowest penalty kill (60.3%), took advantage of the Jets’ second-worst penalty kill (64.3%).
At 13:51, Ekman-Larsson received a feed from Elias Pettersson in the high slot and sent a seeing-eye shot through traffic and past Comrie. His second goal of the season.
Burroughs made it 2-0 with a shot through traffic that hit the left post and into the net at 3:12 of the second. The AHL veteran said he was hit as he launched the shot and didn’t see the puck go in.
He said, “I guess I was the last one to celebrate.” “It was a significant achievement, particularly for me.” In whatever league, I don’t score a lot of goals.
“It’s good to have it here, and it takes a little weight off my shoulders.” But, it’s much better to come out on top.”
Within a minute, Ehlers had halved the lead in half. He snatched a loose puck in the Vancouver zone, skated around Quinn Hughes, and scored his sixth goal of the season.
After Blake Wheeler was punished for high-ticking, Garland scored Vancouver’s second power-play goal at 6:54 of the second period. He was spotted at the top of the faceoff circle by Alex Chiasson, who beat Comrie with a bullet shot over the goaltender’s shoulder.
With 2:28 remaining, Dubois tied it up with his 10th goal of the season.
Demko stated that the club has not let the criticism become a distraction in the locker room.
“As far as what we want to do,” he continued, “we’re all on the same page.” “Guys aren’t going off on one another and being negative.”
“Wow, that’s a big sign.” It’s something we’ll need to keep working on.”
Source: CBC News
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