LAS VEGAS (AP) — Elias Peterson scored twice and two assists to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-1 win over Vegas on Wednesday night, breaking a five-game winning streak for the Golden Knights .
The win boosted the Canucks’ slim playoff hopes as they chased down a Western Conference wild card. With both the Golden Knights and the Canucks looking on the outside, Vancouver is in desperation mode.
Vegas (82 points) is one point behind eighth-place Dallas, while the Canucks (76) are seven behind the Stars.
Petersen scored his third two goals in his last five matches. He has 10 points in the last seven matches.
“Really happy with the way we played,” Pietersen said. “I think today was a really good game for us for 60 minutes. That’s what we need to bring every game. The whole team worked. We are aware of the position we are in. Basically, every game Have to win. We can only focus on what’s next. Obviously happy with today’s result, but we have to focus on the next match.
Bo Horvet, Brad Richardson and Tanner Pearson also scored for Vancouver. Thatcher Demko was excellent at suppressing a red-hot offense from the Golden Knights, stopping 33 shots.
“For the time of year and what we needed, it was a very good all-around game,” said Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau. “The goalkeeper had to be great, but the players around him also played well. We started on time.”
The Golden Knights averaged 4.4 goals during their five-match run. In this one, they looked like a team on foot, averaging only 2.1 goals before a five-game streak to go 2–8. Jack Eichel scored for Vegas and Robin Lehner made 26 saves.
It marked Vancouver’s first win over the Golden Knights since joining the NHL in 2017.
“We were terrible,” said Vegas coach Peter DeBoer. “We were terrible on the nets front. We were terrible at breakouts. We were terrible everywhere. I can’t tell you it was a thing. We were no good. We’ll flush it and move on.”
Swiping once from the slot he thought he went inside but Demko walked away, Eichel finished with a rebound after a series of shots and the back of the net to give Vegas an early 1–0 lead. Found.
The Canucks took advantage of a power play late in the first period after Ben Hutton was called for a holding. Patterson’s shot from point went off Lehner’s right shoulder and swung to the right of Horvat, who punched him home for an equalizer.
It took Vancouver 17 seconds to gain the lead, as Richardson entered the slot behind Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez and fired a loose puck from the inside edge of the right circle and under Lehner’s pads.
The Canucks opened a two-goal cushion in the middle of the second period when Patterson sent a graceful pass into the slot to Pearson, who ended the crowd after beating Lehner with a wrist shot at his blocker.
After assisting in two of Vancouver’s first three goals, it was Pettersson’s turn on the receiving end of a Nifty pass. Left alone from the front corner of the net after turning away from Eichel, Peterson redirected Oliver Ackman-Larsen’s back door pass to make it 4-1.
A little more than a minute into the third, Vegas defender Brayden McNab went into the penalty box for tripping. Seven seconds later, Petersen scored his second goal of the night.
Notes: Since taking over from Travis Green on December 5, Boudreau has led the Canucks to 25-13-8 points, including 14-6-3 on the road. … Eichel played the 399th match of his career and could touch the 400 mark against Arizona at home on Saturday.
Canucks: Visit the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
Golden Knights: Host the Coyotes on Saturdays.
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