VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)Elias Pettersson scored the lone goal in the shootout, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Friday night.
The Swedish center deftly stick handled his way in, waiting out Winnipeg goalie Eric Comrie, then wrapping a shot around his outstretched frame.
Nils Hoglander had a pair of goals for Vancouver, while Conor Garland also found the back of the net and Bo Horvat added a pair of assists. Thatcher Demko stopped 34 shots in regulation for the Canucks.
”They’re a good team. They’ve got good players,” Demko said of the Jets. ”They’re sneaky, they can make some plays happen out of seemingly not so much. So you’ve got to be on your toes, especially with that top line out, the top two lines out.”
Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had a goal and two assists for Winnipeg, Mark Scheifele also scored and Comrie had 33 saves in his first start since Nov. 19.
Wheeler went down midway through the third period with an apparent knee injury.
”It’s going to be a while,” coach Paul Maurice said of his captain’s prognosis. ”We’ll get him looked at (on Saturday). I’m not a doctor, but it’s going to be a while.”
It’s the first time Vancouver has won three games in a row, and all have come under new coach Bruce Boudreau.
Both sides had stellar chances to put the game away in overtime, but Demko and Comrie each made magnificent saves.
”You wish you could just play 3-on-3 forever, until someone scores,” Scheifele said. ”That’s just the way it is, we have to be happy with our game and look at the good things.”
Vancouver got an extra man for the final 49.6 seconds of overtime after Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers was called for tripping. The Canucks called a 30-second time out to scheme, but couldn’t get a puck past Comrie.
”They can’t all be Picassos,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Earlier in the game, the two sides traded goals across the first two periods then locked in for a defensive battle across the third.
Winnipeg was 1 for 3 with the man advantage Friday. Vancouver went scoreless on two power plays.
”I thought it was a really gutsy effort by the defenseman,” Boudreau said. ”Some of these guys are playing more minutes than they’ve ever played before and you’re playing a team like Winnipeg with speed after speed and they competed their rear ends off.”
NOTES: Wheeler extended his point streak to five games. He has one goal and nine assists across the stretch. . The Canucks (65.9 per cent) and Jets (68.4 per cent) came into Friday’s game with the two worst penalty kills in the league. . Vancouver placed defenceman Travis Hamonic on injured reserve Thursday and called Noah Juulsen up from the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks. Hamonic suffered a lower-body injury against Boston Wednesday and is expected to miss two to three weeks.
Canucks: Continue the homestand Sunday by hosting Carolina.
Jets: Host Buffalo on Tuesday.
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