Power-play goals push Vancouver over Winnipeg, 3-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland scored power-play goals for the Vancouver Canucks to snap a five-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.
Defenseman Kyle Burroughs, with his first NHL goal, also scored for the Canucks who were 0-4-1 in their previous five games.
“It’s big,” said Thatcher Demko, who stopped 36 shots, including one off Nikolaj Ehlers in the dying seconds of the game with the Jets playing with an extra attacker. “Things haven’t been going the way we want them the last few. We have some ground to make up. Hopefully tonight is the start of stringing a few together and building some confidence in the room.”
Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Jets, who lost their second consecutive game. Eric Comrie had 26 saves.
“For the most part we played a decent game,” Adam Lowry said. “It wasn’t like we weren’t in it or were giving up a lot of zone time or things like that. It’s just a couple of areas of our game we want to clean up. Maybe the sharpness wasn’t there.”
The win was just the third in 12 games for Vancouver but may cool the temperature of disgruntled fans who have been calling for general manager Jim Benning and coach Travis Green to be fired.
Demko said the team hasn’t let the criticism it has faced become a distraction.
“We are all on the same page as far as what we want to accomplish,” he said. “Guys aren’t turning on each other and getting negative. That’s a huge sign. It’s something we have to keep building with.”
Ekman-Larsson took a pass from Elias Pettersson in the high slot for a shot that traveled through traffic and past Comrie with about six minutes left in the first period.
Burroughs made it 2-0 at 3:12 of the second on another shot through traffic that hit the left post and into the net. Ehlers cut the lead in half just a minute later.
Garland notched Vancouver’s second power-play goal at 6:54 of the second after Blake Wheeler was called for high-sticking. Dubois made it interesting with his tenth goal of the season with 2:28 remaining.
Jets: Host Pittsburgh on Monday.
Canucks: Host Chicago on Monday.