VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks were fired up to snap a three-game losing streak against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
Chris Tanev delivered 1:30 into overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 victory, their second in 10 games against the Golden Knights since Vegas joined the league in 2017-18. The Canucks are 2-7-1 against Vegas over that span.
“I just passed it to Bo (Horvat) and went to the net,” said Tanev. “He made a really great pass. I didn’t think it was going to get to me.
“It ended up right on my stick and just went around (Marc-Andre) Fleury and ended up going in.”
Elias Pettersson scored twice for the Canucks (17-15-4) and Antoine Roussel and Tanner Pearson had the other goals.
Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Nick Holden and Mark Stone replied for the Golden Knights (19-14-5).
Jacob Markstrom made 38 saves for Vancouver, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots for Vegas.
The Golden Knights got their first power play with 2:30 left in regulation, when Jordie Benn was sent to the penalty box for tripping. But Markstrom was solid in net to keep the game scoreless and send it to overtime.
The Canucks opened the scoring when Roussel tapped a rebound past an out-of-position Fleury at 2:49 of the first period.
Pearson finished off a give-and-go between Jake Virtanen and Josh Leivo to put Vancouver up 2-0 less than five minutes later as a tripping penalty to Nicolas Hague expired. The goal was Pearson’s ninth of the year.
Marchessault got the Golden Knights on the board with 6:02 left in the first, when he wristed a rebound past Markstrom.
The Canucks restored their two-goal lead with 32 second left in the opening frame on Pettersson’s first of the game.
The Golden Knights outshot the Canucks 13-11 in the first period.
Vegas scored twice in the second. Smith narrowed the lead to 3-2 at 11:01, beating Markstrom after Bo Horvat blocked a shot from William Karlsson.
Leivo was injured barely a minute later when he was pushed into the boards by Vegas defenceman Holden. No penalty was called on the play, and Holden tied the game with 8:50 left in the second.
Travis Green calmed his team down by calling time out immediately following the goal.
“I think we were a little frustrated for sure,” said Tanev. “They scored two goals in, I don’t know, two minutes, and they were coming at us pretty good. A lot of zone time, shots from everywhere, seemed like they were getting chances almost every shift.
“It was a really good time out by coach to sort of settle us down. I think after that we played pretty well the rest of the game.”
The Canucks regained the lead at 9:19 of the third period when Pettersson roofed a wrister from the left circle high to the stick side of Fleury for his second of the night. Stone re-tied the game with 4:20 to go, setting the stage for Tanev to deliver the overtime winner.
“It’s a good point for us,” said Stone, who extended his personal point streak to six games with the goal. “We didn’t play our best to start the game but overall we dictated a lot of the game, had some chances and we got out power played 4 to 1 so for us to still outshoot our opponent by 10, or whatever it is, shows we played some really good five-on-five hockey.”
The win gave the Canucks to a 1-1-0 record on their five-game holiday homestand, which continues Saturday against Pittsburgh and Monday against Edmonton. Vegas is 3-0-1 in its last four games.
“It’s probably as close to a playoff game as we’re going to get, this year so far,” said Pearson. “It was definitely a good test for us at a tough time of the year for us right now. But to keep it going all game long was definitely a step in the right direction. To get the win, is big right now for us.”
NOTES: The Golden Knights were accompanied to Vancouver by their fathers, who watched the game from a luxury box high up in Rogers Arena. The fathers’ trip will conclude on Sunday in San Jose….Thursday’s game marked the 1,500th for the Canucks’ director of medical services and head athletic therapist, Jon Sanderson. He is currently in his 21st season with the team.