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Vancouver Canucks extend winning streak to 5 games after downing Ottawa

Elias Pettersson didn’t feel his Vancouver Canucks had their best showing Thursday, but that didn’t stop the fun of winning.

Pettersson had one goal and two assists, Ilya Mikheyev netted two goals and the red-hot Canucks defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2. The victory extended Vancouver’s winning streak to five games as the team sits in second in the Pacific Division behind the reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.

“This is a lot of fun, a lot of fun,” Pettersson said. “I mean, we’re winning now. We’re playing good, most of the time, but today I don’t think we brought our best effort. I was not happy with my game, but we still found a way to win. I think that’s a strength we have now.”

With his three points on the night, Pettersson took hold of the NHL scoring lead (24 points) and is riding a seven-game point streak (five goals, nine assists).

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Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller also scored for Vancouver (10-2-1). Casey DeSmith made 28 saves.

“We’ve got to make sure we play a 60-minute game. It’s only, like, 13, 14 games in but teams are going to be ready for us so we’ve got to make sure we match that desperation,” Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said. “Ottawa was desperate tonight and they played a desperate game.”

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Drake Batherson and Artem Zub scored for Ottawa (5-7-0), which has lost three of its last four games and was coming off a 6-3 win over Toronto on Wednesday.

Anton Forsberg stopped 11-of-16 shots.

“That’s one of the hottest teams in the league and, I mean, I thought we outplayed them,” Senators defenceman Jakob Chychrun said. “For sure, it sucks, but we’ve just got to keep moving forward here.”

“Nobody in here likes losing and things haven’t been going our way,” he added. “Nobody’s feeling sorry for us. We’ve got to dig deep here and keep working as a unit and get ourselves out of this hole.”

Boeser got Vancouver going early, scoring just 15 seconds into the game. However, it wasn’t called a goal until 48 seconds later when it was reviewed at the first stoppage of play.

Mikheyev made it 2-0 at the three-minute mark of the opening period after an Ottawa giveaway.

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“You’ve got to be ready to play when the game starts,” Senators head coach D.J. Smith said. “We had a turnover on the first shift and it ends up in the net. We had a turnover when it’s 3-2 and there’s lots of clock left and it ends up in your net. Whether they’re bad bounces or whatever they are, you’ve got to take care of the puck.”

Batherson beat DeSmith with 1:45 remaining in the first to trim the deficit.

Zub, who returned to the lineup after a seven-game absence due to a concussion, tied the game 10:58 into the second period.

However, Miller restored the Canucks’ lead with 1:52 left in the middle frame. He took a drop pass from Phillip Di Giuseppe and went bar down to make it 3-2.

“I just think when you get off to a bad start like we did the last couple of years you feel like you’ve got to play catch-up and you start doing out-of-character things and you start forming bad habits,” Di Giuseppe said.

“It’s definitely nice to come out and have the record we do and I think we can take a deep breath and not feel like we need to hit a home run on every play to win every game.”

The Canucks extended their lead in the third when Mikheyev scored his second of the night, tipping in a Pettersson shot from the point 9:23 into the third period.

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Pettersson rounded out the scoring firing in a one-timer on the power play with 6:32 remaining in the third.

The Canucks head to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

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