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

Public engagement on North Cowichan forest reserve begins this month

Consulting firm presents engagement plan at North Cowichan council meeting

Students evacuate safely after Thursday morning fire at Chemainus Secondary School

Numerous firefighters on the scene several hours, students sent home for the day

Mary Lowther column: Attracting beneficial insects to the garden

If we’re lucky, our own oases of pesticide-free gardens and farms will continue to buzz

Snag hit in Lake Cowichan’s A.B. Greenwell property transfer

“We ran into a brick wall,” confirmed Lake Cowichan chief administrative officer Joe Fernandez.

Business notes: Duncan’s Sands Funeral Chapel in the pink for Pink Shirt Day

Staff at Sands Funeral Chapel are wearing pink to demonstrate how important the anti-bullying day is

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

Most Read