Pittsburgh Penguins’ Juuso Riikola, right, of Finland, checks Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Motte during second period NHL hockey action in Vancouver, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Potent power play pushes Canucks to 4-1 win over Penguins

Virtanen, Miller tally with man advantage for Vancouver

VANCOUVER — First-period power-play goals by Jake Virtanen and J.T. Miller sparked the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at Rogers Arena.

Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser also scored for the Canucks (18-15-4), and Tyler Myers had two assists. Jake Guentzel replied for the Penguins (21-11-4).

Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves for Vancouver, while Matt Murray stopped 10 shots for Pittsburgh.

The game got off to a sluggish start, with 10:24 elapsing in the first period before Antoine Roussel recorded the game’s first shot on goal.

Soon after, the Canucks earned a long 5-on-3 power play. Dominik Simon received a double-minor for high-sticking Adam Gaudette, befire Brandon Tanev was whistled for holding 29 seconds later.

Miller appeared to give the Canucks the lead during the 5-on-3 power play, but the goal was called back due to a coach’s challenge for offside.

Virtanen eventually opened the scoring with 4:50 left in the first, on a slap shot from the left boards that beat Murray high to the glove side. With the Canucks still on the power play, Miller doubled Vancouver’s lead just 1:50 later, picking up his 14th of the year by tipping an Oscar Fantenberg shot over Murray’s glove.

Shots on goal were 5-0 for Vancouver at the end of the first period — the first time the Canucks held their opponents to no shots in a period since April 5, 2018.

READ MORE: Tanev nets OT winner as Canucks top Vegas 5-4 in OT

In the second, the Penguins dominated play, outshooting Vancouver 20-6. Guentzel’s goal came off a rebound with 4:32 left to play, while Gaudette was serving a high-sticking double minor.

Less than a minute later, the Canucks replied, with Pettersson roofing a rebound high over Murray’s glove after a shot by Tyler Myers. It was Pettersson’s 17th goal of the year and his fifth in his last six games.

In the third, the teams traded power-play chances before Boeser recorded his 13th of the year, converting a feed from Pettersson from behind the net. Vancouver finished the game 2-for-5 with the man advantage, while Pittsburgh was 1-for-5.

NOTES: Miller’s goal was his first in seven games, his longest stretch without scoring since he joined the Canucks. Now 2-1-0 on their homestand, Vancouver will host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday before breaking for Christmas. Saturday marked Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan’s 500th career game as an NHL head coach. Pittsburgh’s loss snapped a four-game winning streak. Their next game will be on Friday in Nashville. The Canucks held their annual ‘Jersey Off Our Backs’ night on Saturday.

Carol Schram, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanucksNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Goose in Abbotsford rescued after legs wrapped up in fishing line

Wildlife centre operator says people need to be more careful

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read