VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks won their fourth straight game under coach Bruce Boudreau, 2-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes at Rogers Arena on Sunday.
Boudreau is the first coach in Canucks history to win his first four games.
“Let’s go for five,” he said. “We’re behind the eight ball. We’ve got to keep going after it.”
Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored, and Thatcher Demko made 28 saves for the Canucks (12-15-2), who were 3-9-1 in their previous 13 games before firing Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning on Dec. 5.
“A fresh start. It’s a little different, the way we’re playing,” Boeser said. “We’re trying to push forward, and you can see how much the D are pinching and getting up the ice quick and supporting each other. It’s working well so far, and we’ve got to keep building, getting better at our systems and keep getting wins.”
Video: CAR@VAN: Boeser puts pass home to open scoring
Martin Necas scored, and Antti Raanta made 24 saves for the Hurricanes (19-7-1), who lost for the first time in five games.
“The effort is always there with this group, that’s never the issue,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We made it a little harder on ourselves than we needed to, kind of some weird plays we don’t normally make that led to a couple of their goals. 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 well.”
Carolina was coming off a 3-1 win at the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and played without center Sebastian Aho, who was a late scratch because of a non-COVID illness. Aho leads the Hurricanes with 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 26 games and was on a five-game multipoint streak.
“I found out at game time he just didn’t feel right, so that’s about as much I can give you,” Brind’Amour said. “He just didn’t feel right so we left him back at the hotel. Obviously, I’d be concerned if it was more than one day, but I don’t know.”
Boeser put Vancouver ahead 1-0 at 18: 29 of the first period when he finished a give-and-go off the cycle with J.T. Miller from the right hash marks.
It was the third goal in the past four games for Boeser, who didn’t score in Green’s final 13 games as coach.
“To be able to score and get a huge win, it means a lot and builds on the confidence,” Boeser said. “You can feel the confidence building and it’s a lot better when you’re winning hockey games in the locker room and everyone’s excited to come to the rink.”
Pettersson made it 2-0 at 7: 44 of the second period, beating Raanta blocker side with a shot from the slot on a 4-on-2 rush.
Video: CAR@VAN: Pettersson finishes slick passing play
Pettersson’s goal was his first at even strength this season and just his second in the past 16 games.
“I’m a player that should score points, score goals,” Pettersson said. “This season, I’ve been kind of overdoing things, overthinking. But we’re winning now. I’m feeling better out there. There’s still stuff I have to work on, especially face-offs. I was horrendous on that (2-for-10) today. I feel good but still I have a lot in me.”
Necas cut it to 2-1 at 2: 32 of the third period. He received a pass on a 2-on-1 from Seth Jarvis, deked back to his backhand and shot five-hole on Demko.
“We needed one more,” Necas said. “Of course, it was nice [to score], but had a couple more chances to get a couple more and not enough today.”
NOTES: Vancouver played without defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Travis Hamonic for the second straight game. Ekman-Larsson is day to day with an undisclosed injury. Hamonic is out 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury. … Carolina defenseman Jalen Chatfield, who was playing his first game against his former team, left midway through the third period with an undisclosed injury. Brind’Amour did not have an update.
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