Canucks open 2-game set with 3-1 win over Maple Leafs


Jake Virtanen scored twice, main the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night time within the opener of a two-game set.

Bo Horvat additionally scored for Vancouver, offering a little bit of a cushion with a aim halfway via the third interval.

“It felt good in a win. In case you misplaced it in all probability would not have regarded so good to you, ”Virtanen stated of his targets. “You all the time really feel loads higher while you win. Whenever you win video games, we’ve enjoyable. Whenever you lose you do not have enjoyable and you’re a bit depressing. So it was a giant victory for us tonight.

Pierre Engvall scored for the Maple Leafs with an help from Ilya Mikheyev.

Thatcher Demko stopped 32 photographs for Vancouver.

It was a a lot wanted victory for the Canucks, who’re second to final within the North Division.

“(Demko) is a good goalie,” stated Auston Matthews of Toronto. “He performed very well tonight, he made some massive saves for them. We had some high quality alternatives there, particularly on the finish. It got here in massive, so generally you simply should tip your hat.

Michael Hutchinson made 24 saves for Toronto, which ended its four-game profitable streak. The Leafs had crushed their opponents 15-2 in that streak.

The Maple Leafs had been coming off a three-game sweep towards the Edmonton Oilers, together with a 6-1 win on Wednesday.

“There are video games the place all of it goes the way in which you need it to and in the present day was a type of video games the place all of it went down in Vancouver,” stated Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe.

“They actually performed onerous and deserved it. Whenever you play like this, usually issues find yourself getting in your means. “

Being in a troublesome sport on a back-to-back Thursday was no excuse for being quick, Leafs defenseman Justin Holl stated.

“I do not suppose fatigue was the primary issue,” he stated. “We’ve performed lots of video games not too long ago, however that was undoubtedly not the rationale. I assumed we had simply performed.

The Canucks had been enjoying with out star middle Elias Pettersson, who left the morning skate with an higher physique damage on Thursday and is taken into account hand-to-hand.

The groups meet in Vancouver on Saturday.

Auston Matthews got here near scoring a second aim for the Leafs with lower than two minutes to go, however Demko stretched via the web for a last-second save.

The Canucks have struggled to remain forward this season. However towards Toronto, they appeared decided to not let the sport slip away.

Vancouver began the third interval aggressively, controlling the puck and dotting Hutchinson’s photographs.

Horvat beat the Toronto goalie at 7:56 within the interval, accumulating an help from defenseman Alex Edler and throwing a shot from one of the best hash marks. Horvat’s tenth aim of the season gave Vancouver a 3-1 lead.

Halfway via the second, Justin Holl of Toronto was referred to as upon to stumble, which led to a giant energy play for the Canucks.

Regardless of the person benefit, Demko was compelled to make his most spectacular save of the night time when Alexander Kerfoot and Mikheyev received a 2-1 shorthanded.

Kerfoot sliced ​​a last-second cross to Mikheyev in internet and Demko slid deftly via the crease, stacking his pads to make the save.

On the opposite finish, Virtanen took a shot from an acute angle between Hutchinson’s left shoulder and the crossbar, giving Vancouver a 2-1 lead.

It was the 24-year-old winger’s second aim of the sport and his third of the season. He opened the scoring 2:59 within the first.

Virtanen made his means via the Toronto zone with velocity and landed a backhand shot on the internet. Hutchinson appeared to get a chunk of the puck earlier than it popped up and crossed the aim line to provide the Canucks an early lead.

Engvall responded for the Leafs at 5:15 p.m. within the interval, sending a low wrist shot into the lunge over Demko’s shoulder to tie the rating at 1-1.

NOTES: Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes performed his one centesimal sport within the NHL. He has 79 factors (10 targets, 69 assists) in his profession. … Marc Michaelis performed his first sport within the NHL. The 25-year-old winger signed with Vancouver as a free agent in March 2020 after enjoying 4 years at Minnesota State College, Mankato.


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