Pettersson completes comeback as Vancouver Canucks beat Blue Jackets 5-4 in OT

This time the Vancouver Canucks completed the comeback.

The Canucks overcame a 4-1, third-period deficit with three consecutive power-play goals, then Elias Pettersson scored his second of the night with 59 seconds left in overtime, to give Vancouver a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in a thrilling NHL game Saturday night.

Brock Boeser snapped a six-game goal drought by scoring three times, including two on the power play in the third period, and assisted on Pettersson’s winning goal.

The Canucks had battled back from two, two-goal deficits in the third period Wednesday night but lost 4-3 in overtime to St. Louis.

“Obviously we don’t want to keep putting ourselves in those positions but just the fact we didn’t give up and came back and got two points there is huge for our team,” said Boeser.

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“I shows a lot about the guys in the room, how we didn’t give up. We took it shift by shift and kept drawing penalties and then made it count. It’s definitely a positive.”

Boeser has 30 goals in 49 games this year. His previous best was 29 goals as a rookie in 2017-2018.

“I don’t know if it hit me yet,” said Boeser. “I think it’s more that we won that game.

“It’s just sticking with it and a lot of hard work after some ups and downs. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”Pettersson’s winning goal came when he knocked a pass from Boeser behind Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins.

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A Pettersson giveaway allowed the Blue Jackets to open the scoring on a short-handed goal in the second period.

“It shows the strength we have,” said Pettersson, who also scored on the power play in the third period. “We’re not happy with the second period. We’re a good team but we gave them a lot of chances. I’m happy with the way we got back in the game.”

It was the fourth time in franchise history the Canucks had overcome a three-goal, third-period deficit. The last time was Feb. 18, 2003.

Pettersson also added an assist for Vancouver, which has points in 11 straight games (9-0-2).

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J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes each had three assists, while Pius Suter had two assists.

After missing the playoffs seven times in the last eight years, Vancouver heads into the NHL All-Star break with a 32-11-5 record and leads the Pacific Division with 71 points.

Alexandre Texier had a short-handed goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (15-23-10). Kirill Marchenko, on the power play, Sean Kuraly and Jake Bean also scored for Columbus which is (3-4-2) in their last nine games but sit last in the Metropolitan Division.

Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 26 shots. Merzlikins made 28 saves for Columbus.

Vancouver defenceman Tyler Myers was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct at 11:55 of the third period for elbowing Kuraly.

Vancouver killed the penalty, allowing only one shot on goal.

“That was huge,” Pettersson said. “The guys battled hard. Demko made a good save, guys sacrificed their body. It shows heart from all the players.”

A frustrated Texier called the loss a “learning experience.”

“We hate losing,” he said. “It’s tough when you’re up by three and this happens. You have to stay positive, move on and work. Get better and try and learn from this.”

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Coach Vincent Pascal said little mistakes cost his team.

“The penalties were the result of us not executing,” he said. “We just need to keep it simple, find a simple game. We tried to make plays we didn’t have. Things like that led to trouble.”

Trailing 4-1, Vancouver started its comeback just 70 seconds into the third period.

Miller found Pettersson open in the faceoff circle. Pettersson patiently waited then fired a hard shot that beat a sprawling Merzlikins.

Boeser made it 4-3 at 3:24 on another power play, redirecting a Suter tip of a Hughes’ shot.

Boeser earned the hat trick with another power-play goal at 6:28, jamming home the loose puck on a shot by Pettersson.

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