Pettersson scores winner, Boeser scores twice as Vancouver Canucks beat Ducks 3-1

A year ago, Brock Boeser was nearly a healthy scratch on the night the Vancouver Canucks honoured those fighting cancer.

Now, he leads the NHL in goals with 17 and has had a career resurgence during the 2023-24 season.

The Vancouver Canucks beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena courtesy of an Elias Pettersson third-period goal that snapped a 1-1 deadlock, and 30 saves from sharp netminder Thatcher Demko.

Pettersson scored the winner 32 seconds into the third period after evading Anaheim’s (9-13-0) Mason McTavish and wrapping around netminder John Gibson for the goal.

But Vancouver was chasing the game for 40 minutes, being outshot and sustaining heavy pressure in their defensive end.

“It’s a lesson that we learned last year,” said Boeser about the Canucks emerging in the third period to outshoot and outscore their opponents.

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“There were lots of games last year where we weren’t good in third periods. (Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet) came in and I think that was one of the things I think we picked up on, ‘You’ve got to play good in third periods and you can’t have a letdown.’”

The Vancouver Canucks (15-7-1) opened the scoring when Filip Hronek’s blocked shot was knocked home by Boeser in the first period.

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The goal was Boeser’s 16th of the season, putting him on top of the NHL scoring list.

“It paid off being there, Millsy made a great play of off (Hronek),” said Boeser.

Ryan Strome tied it for the Ducks after a tick-tack-toe play ending with the forward firing his shot from the right faceoff circle at 5:10 of the second period.

“I think we liked our work ethic. The third period it seemed they turned it on a little bit but I think the first 40 we played a great game,” said Strome. “Even the third, I thought we defended hard, it was just they got the one wraparound goal and that seemed to just deflate us a bit.”

Gibson stopped 25 shots for the Ducks.

Boeser scored his 17th of the season into an empty net in the dying seconds of the third period.

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“I’m very happy. He’s been great for us this year and he keeps scoring goals,” said Pettersson about Boeser leading the league in goals.

The Canucks were outshot 27-12 through the first two periods before an improved third-period performance.

McTavish had a chance to play hero and tie the game with 2:17 left in the third but was denied by the goalpost. The Ducks have now lost seven straight games.

“You could see it from the bench, the net was wide open and I saw it going in and I expected the light to go on and it’s kind of a shock but we got to score more than one goal or two goals a game,” said Ducks head coach Greg Cronin.

Anaheim was missing veteran defenceman Radko Gudas, who is listed day to day with a lower body injury sustained in an 8-2 loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, and lost defenceman Ilya Lyuybushkin late in the first period to an undisclosed injury. The Ducks finished the game with five defencemen, including three rookies with 49 games combined NHL experience.

The Canucks announced before the game they had traded forward Anthony Beauvillier to the Chicago Blackhawks.

In exchange, the Canucks will receive a fifth-round pick in the 2024 draft.

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Beauvillier had eight points this season.

Tocchet supported the roster move when speaking to reporters after the game.

“It’s business, right? We need the cap space. He’s a guy who was tradable,” said Tocchet. “We now have the cap space to get the stuff we need down the road.”

The Vancouver Canucks host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, next.

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