Pettersson scores twice as Canucks win in Chicago on Pride night

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.

Chicago did not wear Pride-themed warm-up jerseys due to anti-gay Kremlin law

Ethan Bear and Elias Pettersson embrace in celebration after Pettersson's second goal.
Ethan Bear, middle, set up Elias Pettersson for his first goal of the night during a 4-2 win on Sunday in Chicago. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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 Canucks won their third straight and sent Chicago to its fifth straight defeat.

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.

Defenceman Nikita Zaitsev was the only Russian-born Chicago player in the lineup on Sunday. Injured centre Philipp Kurashev holds dual Swiss-Russian citizenship.

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:

Pettersson pots a pair, leads Vancouver to a win over Chicago

2 months ago
Duration 1:41
Elias Pettersson's two third period goals proved to be the difference as Vancouver defeated Chicago 4-2.

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.

"We're kind of reaping the rewards of that right now."

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."

Before the game, Chicago coach Luke Richardson said of Pride night, "I'm appreciative of being involved with it. I know the whole organization's committed 365 days a year, not just today. That's the biggest message we want to show the community — support."

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:

Handful of NHLers object to wearing Pride-themed jerseys

2 months ago
Duration 2:02
Canadian NHL players Mark and Eric Staal are the latest to join a handful of others who are refusing to wear Pride-themed warm-up jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community. It’s ignited a debate over inclusivity and personal freedom in pro-hockey.

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