Thomas Vanek made the 700th point of his 13-season NHL career sound average. He was much more excited about helping his Vancouver Canucks get a win.
Vanek scored in the third period to add some insurance in Vancouver's 3-0 shutout of the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Vanek took a slapshot from the face-off circle while on a breakaway and beat Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson high to the far corner.
"Once I crossed the blue line I thought I saw a little spot there that I feel like I've hit before and I can hit and this time it went in," Vanek said, adding the outcome was more important than the milestone goal.
"It's a win. We've played for the most part pretty good hockey, but pretty good hockey and losing doesn't add up. Tonight we played a sound game and got the win."
A fire alarm at Canadian Tire Centre took out the public address system just prior to puck drop. There was no music for the warmup and the crowd had to sing the national anthem.
The sound eventually came back on but the Senators offence was missing in action.
Brock Boeser and Alexander Burmistrov had a goal and an assist each for the Canucks (2-2-1), while Anders Nilsson made 32 saves for a shutout in his first start of the season.
Anderson turned aside 21 of 24 in net for Ottawa (3-1-2).
'A little rusty but overall OK'
The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Canucks that started with a 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa in Vancouver one week ago.
That game also started the Senators on a three-game winning streak that came to an end Tuesday as captain Erik Karlsson made his regular-season debut following off-season foot surgery.
"A little rusty but overall OK. I think we played a well enough game for me to get back into the groove of things. I still need to fine tune a few things and it's going to take some time, but overall I felt pretty decent," Karlsson said of his return.
Despite being soundly outplayed and outshot 17-4 in the first period, Vancouver had the only goal of the period as Boeser scored on the power play 15:29 into the game.
The lead was eventually pushed to 2-0 at 16:29 of the second period when Burmistrov tipped a shot past Anderson. Boeser picked up the primary assist as he took the puck towards the point then spun and shot quickly towards the goal.
"Them getting that first goal after such a good period on our part could have been frustrating," said Senators coach Guy Boucher. "I didn't feel the frustration to be honest with you, but I felt a real strong push on their part in the second and we didn't have the same push."
Didn't have the same push
Boucher added that they were unable to get second and third opportunities on Nilsson.
"He's a big man and we knew that was pretty much going to stop all our first shots because of his size, and we knew we had to work hard around him to get secondary and third chances," said Boucher. "We didn't do enough of that, that's for sure."
Nilsson gave most of the credit to his teammates saying they picked things up after a strong Ottawa push to start the game.
"I felt pretty good all night. Ottawa came out and pushed us back in the first period and I got to make some saves early and get in the game right away," Nilsson said.
"In the second and third we took over the game and were the better team so in the second and third I didn't have that much work. The guys did a great job in front of me and we deserved the two points."