Ryan Miller, Canucks hold off Islanders in shootout
Vancouver netminder makes 47 saves; Radim Vrbata scores SO winner
Ryan Miller made 47 saves and Radim Vrbata scored in the shootout, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday.
Ben Hutton scored for the Canucks in regulation.
Despite receiving an 25-save effort from Jaroslav Halak, the Islanders' fell to 24-15-6 as their two-game winning streak came to an end.
Ryan Strome scored for New York.
New York entered the day third in the Metropolitan Division despite having the same amount of points (53) and the same record (24-15-5) as the second place New York Rangers. The Rangers are in second place because they have one more regulation and overtime win (22-21).
The first of two regular-season meetings between Vancouver and New York was unusually chippy. The tenor of the game was underscored by Mikhail Grabovski called for boarding Henrik Sedin into the Vancouver bench with 1:44 left in the first period. Grabovski was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit.
Both teams skirmished in the far corner following the hit, while Sedin was on his hands and knees being examined by a trainer. Eventually, the Vancouver captain was helped off the ice, but he did not return.
The Canucks retaliated in the second period as Derek Dorsett steamrolled an unsuspecting John Tavares in the defensive zone as the Islanders' captain battled for a loose puck following a faceoff.
Despite being outshot 48-26, it was the Canucks who opened the scoring.
Vancouver broke through 9:46 into the second period on Hutton's goal. The 22-year old defenceman's goal was the culmination of a sequence which began with Halak turning away Jared McCann's wrist shot from the right side. Daniel Sedin corralled the rebound and attempted to set up Jannik Hansen from the low slot, but the right wing whiffed on the shot and puck ended up on the left side of the ice where Hutton snapped it from the left circle for his first NHL goal.
Miller attempted to make the slim lead hold up despite being under siege for the entirety of the third period. New York outshot Vancouver 22-4 in the third, but could not equalize until Ryan Strome's goal with 50.8 seconds left.