Dakota Joshua and Sheldon Dries scored goals 34 seconds apart in the third quarter as the Vancouver Canucks rallied from two one-goal deficits to defeat Chicago 5-2 and give Rick Tocchet a win in his first game as head coach of Vancouver.
There was a mix of boos and cheers as Tocchet was introduced to the crowd during the first period. The game was only 3:30 in the game when a fan tossed a Canucks jersey onto the ice.
The Canucks outshot Chicago 48-14 and failed to score on five power play opportunities.
Andrei Kuzmenko scored twice for the Canucks (19-25-3) who snapped a three-game losing streak. Elias Pettersson had two assists, giving him six goals and 22 assists in the last 16 games. Bo Horvat also scored on empty net at 18:34, equaling a career high of 31 goals in a season.
CLOCK | Dries takes Vancouver beyond Chicago:
Patrick Kane and Sam Lafferty scored for Chicago (14-28-4) which lost its second straight game.
Vancouver goalie Collin Delia stopped 12 shots.
Petr Mrazek made 43 saves for Chicago.
The Canucks’ go-ahead goal came just seconds after Kane capitalized on a fine scoring opportunity in the Canuck zone.
CLOCK | The National: Canucks fans slam organization after Boudreau fired:
Defenseman Quinn Hughes sent the puck onto the ice. Brock Boeser tried to take a shot from a sharp angle. Mrazek stopped the puck, but Joshua jumped it over the prone keeper for a 3-2 lead at 11:34.
In the ensuing faceoff, Mrazek saved a Conor Garland shot. Dries directed the rebound into the net with a shot between the legs.
Kuzmenko scored his 20th and 21st goals in the second period to tie the game 2-2 after 40 minutes.
His first goal came from the rebound of an Ilya Mikheyev shot to tie the game 1–1 at 7:02.
Lafferty gave Chicago a 2-1 lead when his innocent-looking shot went through Delia’s five holes at 12:06.
Kuzmenko tied the game again at 15:47 with a nice deflection of a Pettersson pass.
Vancouver trailed 1-0 after the first period despite outshooting Chicago 21-6. Kane scored with 2:11 remaining on a shot from across traffic that went over Delia’s shoulder.
Mrazek made several great saves during the period. He stopped Vancouver’s Curtis Lazar on two shots from close range, got a blocker on a burst from Bo Horvat during a power play and stopped defender Luke Schenn on a breakaway after he’d left the penalty box.
Tocchet had one practice and one game day to prepare for Chicago. The Canucks wore special warm-up jerseys to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Vancouver was unable to score on a four-minute power play early in the first period when Chicago’s Seth Jones was called over. Kim Sim, Vancouver’s first Asian mayor, dropped the puck in the ceremonial opening showdown.
Chicago center Max Domi was assessed minor incitement, major fighting and 10-minute misconduct for a fight with Vancouver’s Dakota Joshua at 8:13 of the second period. Chicago saw a three-game winning streak snapped in a loss to LA on Sunday. Chicago forward Tyler Johnson, who scored 14 points in 22 games, was placed on injured reserve after aggravating a sprained left ankle.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Canucks who play Wednesday night in Seattle. Vancouver returns home to face Columbus on Friday, then begins a four-game road trip on February 2 in New Jersey.
Chicago continues its road trip with games in Calgary on Thursday and Edmonton on Saturday before returning home to face Anaheim on February 7.
CLOCK | Boudreau greets the Vancouver crowd at the final game with the Canucks: