Pettersson's 2-goal night helps Canucks down Wild

Elias Pettersson scored twice to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom makes 37 saves in victory

Vancouver Canucks centre Elias Pettersson (40) celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with his teammates during the third period on Monday night. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Scoring was nice. Winning was even better for Elias Pettersson.

The speedy rookie scored a pair of the goals, the second on a third-period breakaway, to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild Monday night.

The victory snapped a two-game Canucks losing streak and came on the heels of Vancouver's 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday at Rogers Arena.

"It's always fun to score," said Pettersson, who is the 21st player in NHL history to score at least seven goals in his first seven games. "But I think the biggest thought in the team was to bounce back from our last home game and we did that."

Pettersson, who was picked fifth overall in the 2017 draft, leads all NHL rookies in goals and in points with 10.

Watch highlights from Petterson's big night:

Vancouver defeats Minnesota 5-2, Elias Pettersson scores twice. 1:29

His opening goal came at 6:51 of the second period. He took a pass from defenceman Michael Del Zotto and blew a one-timer past Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

"If I got the puck I knew I would do a one-timer," said Pettersson. "It was a good pass, right in the wheelhouse."

The second goal early in the third had the crowd of 16,546 on their feet cheering. First Pettersson blocked a shot at the blue line. Then Brock Boeser passed the loose puck to the streaking 19-year-old from Sundsvall, Sweden, who beat Dubnyk high on the blocker side.

"Good defence leads to good offence, so I want to do what I can do best in the situation," said Pettersson. "In the defensive zone, if you have to block a shot for us to win, you do it."

Head coach Travis Green praised Pettersson's hockey sense.

"He's got a really good mind for the game, his details are sharp," said Green. "He understands the defensive side of the game.

"He's caught onto it real quick playing centre and he'll be better. He's going to get better in his own zone and he is every game. He's a good player, does a lot of good things."

Slow starts continue for Wild

Markus Granlund and Jake Virtanen, on the power play, also scored for the Canucks (7-6-0) who ended the Wild's five-game winning streak. Ben Hutton scored into an empty net with 39.1 seconds remaining.

Jordan Greenway, with his first goal in the NHL regular season, and Ryan Sutter, on the power play, scored for the Wild (6-3-2).

Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau said his team paid the price for a slow start. Minnesota gave up the opening goal for the eighth time in the last nine games.

"You keep doing that too often, I told them, it's going to happen," said Boudreau. "Nobody is able to come back all the time if you're going to start that slow."

He also was frustrated his team took five penalties and gave up a power-play goal.

"If you look the top-six players are playing too much and the bottom-six players aren't playing enough," he said. "That's all due to penalties.

"To me the third and fourth lines are playing good most nights. I think they deserve to play a little more."

Boudreau was curt in his assessment of Pettersson.

"He's going to be a good player for a long time," he said.

One positive for the Wild was Greenway scoring his first goal. He collected a rebound of his own shot, then scored on scramble in the first period.

"It was good for sure," said the rookie, who was recalled Sunday from a two-game stint in the AHL where he had a hat trick Saturday. "It would have been a lot nicer to get a win with it.

"I really wanted to get the pucks to the net, go to the net. It worked out for me. I might keep doing it."

Greenway did have a goal in the playoffs last year.

The excitement provided by Pettersson helped mask a 37-save performance by Canuck goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

"He was great tonight, he wasn't just good," said Green. "They had the heat on us and . . . [Markstrom] was a rock back there."

Dubnyk, making his third consecutive start, stopped 26 shots for Minnesota.

Canuck centre Brandon Sutter left the game early in the second period favouring his right shoulder after falling awkwardly into the boards.

"He's hurt and it's not day-to-day, so it will be at least weeks," said Green.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.