Pettersson scores twice as Canucks win in Chicago on Pride night
Chicago did not wear Pride-themed warm-up jerseys due to anti-gay Kremlin law
Elias Pettersson scored twice, Phillip Di Giuseppe scored, Brock Boeser got an empty-netter, and the Vancouver Canucks beat Chicago 4-2 on Sunday night.
The Chicago organization celebrated Pride night, honouring the city's gay community, without the rainbow-coloured Pride night warm-up jerseys nor coloured stick tape used in previous seasons. On Thursday, the team announced they wouldn't wear them, citing an anti-gay Kremlin law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December that could imperil Russian athletes when they return home.
Pettersson scored his 34th and 35th goals of the season in the third period. His first, a deep-angle shot from the right side, broke the tie at 12:06. His second, on a power play, came from the slot in the middle of a pileup 63 seconds later. Andrei Kuzmenko assisted on both goals.
"Listen, I'm happy we won," Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. "I just didn't like our start. We came on at the end."
WATCH | Pettersson scores pair in win over Chicago:
Chicago defenceman Connor Murphy opened the scoring, beating Canucks goalie Collin Delia with a 55-foot wrist shot with 3:59 left in the first period. It was the sixth goal of the season for Murphy who last scored on Jan. 23.
"I think we just stuck with it regardless of the situation," said Delia. "We kept on going. I think that's just a testament to our group. That's the type of habits we're trying to build. Just the commitment we have to each other day in and day out, the little habits, the practice habits.
Di Giuseppe tied it 1-1 with 17 seconds left in the second period, his centring pass from the right slot caroming into the Chicago net off the left instep of Chicago defenceman Seth Jones. Goaltender Petr Mrazek could not react to the deflection.
Rookie Lukas Reichel scored his fifth goal of the season to pull Chicago within 3-2 with 1:42 remaining, but an empty-net goal by Boeser finished the scoring.
Delia stopped 29 shots in picking up his ninth win. Mrazek made 27 saves in recording his 20th loss.
Chicago defenceman Jarred Tinordi went to the locker room with an injury midway through the second period and did not return.
"When you go five deep you've got to try to decide when to jump in the play and be aggressive," Jones said of playing with an odd number of defencemen. "I thought we did a good job."
Richardson and defenceman Murphy addressed gay fans on a scoreboard video during the first commercial break, Murphy concluding it by saying, "You are welcome here."
After the game, Murphy said players didn't use rainbow-coloured tape on their sticks because it wasn't available, adding, "Sometimes they have it for us here and we use it. When it's not, we don't use it. That's all I know."
The Canucks face the Blues in St. Louis on Tuesday night.
WATCH | Handful of NHLers object to wearing Pride-themed jerseys: