VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser scored as the Vancouver Canucks extended their win streak to four games with a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night.
Seven days after taking over behind the bench, Bruce Boudreau became the first Canucks coach to start his tenure 4-0-0.
“Let’s go for five,” he said. “We’re behind the 8 ball. We’ve got to keep going after it.”
Martin Necas scored for the Hurricanes, who outshot Vancouver 29-26. Carolina had won four in a row.
Thatcher Demko made 28 saves for the Canucks (12-15-2). Antti Raanta stopped 24 shots for the Hurricanes.
“The way we’re playing is a little different,” Boeser said. “I think we’re trying to push forward and you can see how much the (defensemen) are pinching and getting up the ice quick and supporting each other. I think it’s been working well so far and I think we’ve got to keep building and keep getting better at our systems and keep getting wins.”
Pettersson said Boudreau has kept the Canucks honest.
“When we have our bad periods, things we could do better, he lets us hear it,” Pettersson explained. “It’s been great so far, obviously. But we know it doesn’t come every game. We’ve got to bring it and be honest with ourselves.”
Carolina (19-7-1) played without star center Sebastian Aho, who missed the game with an undisclosed illness.
“We know it’s their third in four, we know Aho wasn’t there,” Boudreau said. “But when you can compete with the best in the league … you start to gain confidence that, ‘Hey, you know what? We’re not that bad.’ And that’s what we want them to believe.”
The Hurricanes called a timeout with two minutes left and pulled Raanta in favor of an extra skater. Demko was forced to make a big kick save on a shot by Andrei Svechnikov with just seconds left, and the Canucks held on.
“I think we made it a little harder on ourselves than we needed to tonight, kind of some weird plays that we don’t normally make and led to a couple of their goals, really. So it’s tough when you give them those,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
“I mean, (the Canucks) played OK over there, but we just kind of gave them a couple of freebies and it’s tough to come back when you’re chasing the game. We worked hard, just didn’t execute very well.”
Necas’ goal put Carolina on the board early in the third period.
Vancouver’s Vasily Podkolzin sprawled out on the ice in an attempt to prevent Seth Jarvis’ pass, but the center managed to find Necas in front of the Canucks net. Necas flipped in a quick backhand at the 2:32 mark.
“We needed one more. Of course it was nice (to score), but had a couple more chances to get a couple more and one’s not enough today,” Necas said.
Vancouver came into the third up 2-0 after Pettersson scored off the rush 7:44 into the second. He took a nice pass from Conor Garland and scored on a shot from the hash marks to pad the Canucks’ lead. The goal was Pettersson’s fifth of the season and first at even strength.
“I’m a player that should score points, score goals, etc., whatever. This season, I’ve been kind of overdoing things, overthinking,” Pettersson said. “But we’re winning now. I’m feeling better out there. There’s still stuff I have to work on, especially faceoffs — I was horrendous on that today. I feel good but still I have a lot in me.”
The Canucks went into the first intermission up 1-0 thanks to Boeser.
Stationed at the goal line, J.T. Miller sent a pass into the high slot. Boeser fired a wrist shot past Raanta on the stick side at 18:29 for his seventh goal of the season.
Miller got an assist, extending his point streak to four games. He has a goal and four assists during the stretch.
Svechnikov batted a puck into the Vancouver net earlier in the period, but the goal was quickly waved off for a high stick.
NOTES: Both sides were 0 for 1 on the power play. … Former Canuck Jalen Chatfield played his first game in Vancouver since signing with Carolina as a free agent in July. … It was the first meeting between the teams since Feb. 2, 2020.
Hurricanes: At Minnesota on Tuesday night to wrap up a five-game trip.
Canucks: Host Columbus on Tuesday night to complete a six-game homestand.
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