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Brock Boeser scores a second period goal past Alex Stalock of the Minnesota Wild in Game 2.
Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild defends against Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2.
Jake Virtanen and Alex Galchenyuk of the Minnesota Wild collide in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Tanner Pearson celebrates his first period goal in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild face off in Game 2.
Elias Pettersson and Jordan Greenway of the Minnesota Wild mix it up in Game 2.
Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks and Jonas Brodin #25 of the Minnesota Wild battle for the puck in Game 2.
Oscar Fantenberg #5 of the Vancouver Canucks and Mats Zuccarello #36 of the Minnesota Wild pursue the puck in Game 2.
Troy Stecher #51 of the Vancouver Canucks and Joel Eriksson Ek #14 of the Minnesota Wild fight for position in front of Jacob Markstrom #25 in Game 2.
Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Vancouver Canucks reacts after giving up a first period shorthanded goal to Luke Kunin #19 of the Minnesota Wild in Game 2.
Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild makes a sticks save against Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2.
Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks plays the puck against Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild in Game 2.
Troy Stecher #51 of the Vancouver Canucks and Brad Hunt #77 of the Minnesota Wild crash into the boards in Game 2.
Chris Tanev #8 of the Vancouver Canucks battles for the puck against Ryan Donato #6 and Ryan Hartman #38 of the Minnesota Wild in Game 2.
Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his second period goal with J.T. Miller #9 and Elias Pettersson #40 in Game 2.
Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Vancouver Canucks makes a save against Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild in Game 2.
J.T. Miller #9 of the Vancouver Canucks shoots the puck past Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild for a second period goal in Game 2.
J.T. Miller #9 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his second period goal in Game 2.
Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild makes a save against Jay Beagle #83 of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2.
Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild makes a glove save in Game 2.
Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Vancouver Canucks makes a save in Game 2.
Head coach Dean Evason of the Minnesota Wild looks on from the bench in Game 2.
Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green looks on from the bench during Game 2 against the Minnesota Wild.
Jacob Markstrom #25 and Tyler Myers #57 of the Vancouver Canucks fight for position against Jordan Greenway #18 of the Minnesota Wild in Game 2.
Joel Eriksson Ek #14 of the Minnesota Wild and Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks get tangled up in Game 2.
Oscar Fantenberg plays the puck as Mats Zuccarello of the Minnesota Wild is tripped up in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Jordan Greenway #18 of the Minnesota Wild checks Alexander Edler #23 of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2.
Jacob Markstrom #25 and Chris Tanev #8 defend the net in Game 2.
Jay Beagle #83 of the Vancouver Canucks exchanges words with Eric Staal #12 of the Minnesota Wild at the end of Game 2.
Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen celebrate a 4-3 victory Tuesday.
EDMONTON — They changed the lineup, their start and the game plan.
More important, they changed the result.
Here’s what we learned from the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, which evened their best-of-five qualifying round series with the Minnesota Wild at a game apiece:
It was a night of collective and individual redemption for the Canucks following an indifferent performance in the 3-0 Game 1 loss on Sunday night .
For starters, Jacob Markstrom won the goaltending duel with Alex Stalock, stopping 31 of 34 shots in recording his first career NHL postseason win.
“It means a lot,” the Canucks’ goalie said. “It’s been a long time and we have a young group, a very exciting group. We knew we needed a big game and so many players stepped up. We battled hard for 60 minutes and we got rewarded.”
But Markstrom wasn’t the only Canuck with a bounce-back game. Tanner Pearson, who took two bad penalties in Game 1 and failed to record a shot on goal, opened the scoring just 24 seconds in.
J.T. Miller, who had a quiet offensive night in Game 1, gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead in the second when he ripped a wrister over Stalock’s glove hand. And Brock Boeser scored the first postseason goal of his career later in the middle frame on a play started by Elias Pettersson, with his first career postseason point.
It was Boeser’s first goal since Jan. 11. Pettersson also drew three penalties. The two played a lot together last season in Pettersson’s rookie campaign but head coach Travis Green had split them up for much of this season.
“Obviously we had some chemistry in the past.” Boeser said. “I feel we picked up where we left off. Our top six forwards needed to contribute tonight and I thought we did that.
“I’m excited to get back out there with those guys.”
The Canucks’ penalty kill, meanwhile, went six-for-six after surrendering two power-play goals in Game 1.
The Canucks’ power play, finally, scored an insurance goal in the third on their seventh try of the night when Bo Horvat tipped in Quinn Hughes’s point shot.
They had one power play in Game 1.
Kevin Fiala scored two late goals for the Wild, the last with seven seconds left in the game.
The news wasn’t all good for the Canucks. Micheal Ferland suffered an injury late in the first period and didn’t return. Antoine Roussel also took a puck to the head in the third period.
Canucks head coach Travis Green made a couple of roster moves for Game 2, one by design, the other out of necessity. Jake Virtanen and Loui Eriksson slotted into the lineup after missing Game 1 for Adam Gaudette, who was a healthy scratch, and Tyler Toffoli, who suffered an injury in Game 1. Toffoli was reportedly seen in a walking boot on Tuesday.
As a result, Boeser took Toffoli’s spot on a line with Pettersson and Miller and Eriksson slotted in with Horvat and Pearson. Virtanen played largely with Brandon Sutter and Roussel.
“The last game was a tough loss for our group for different reasons,” said Green. “There’s been so much talk in Vancouver about this series, for years now. The whole buildup for the Game 1 was for months and when we lost I could really feel they were down. They were upset. It was good we had a day off.”
Pearson’s goal 24 seconds in gave the Canucks an early — very early — lead but they squandered whatever momentum they’d earned with two brutal power plays late in the frame.
After they were shut out in Game 1, Pearson beat Stalock with a professional snipe over his glove hand. The Canucks then killed back-to-back penalties in the early going — which meant their first two lines barely saw the ice over the first seven minutes — before they were awarded three straight power plays.
The first one was OK, with Stalock making saves of Boeser and Horvat. But the last two were amateurish with turnovers galore and no zone time. With 16 seconds left in the second power play, Zach Parise picked out Luke Kunin with a cross-ice pass and his so-so wrister beat Markstrom.
Thursday | Game 3
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks
11:30 a.m., Rogers Place, TV: Sportsnet. Radio: Sportsnet 650 AM
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020