The Vancouver Canucks scored three first-period goals and Thatcher Demko made 27 saves in a 4-0 victory over the host Winnipeg Jets on Monday night at Bell MTS Place.
Nate Schmidt, J.T. Miller and Nils Hoglander scored early as the Canucks (9-14-2) ended the Jets’ four-game winning streak. Elias Pettersson sealed the victory with an empty-net goal.
Demko’s first career shutout helped give the Canucks their first victory in five games.
The teams will face off again Tuesday night in the finale of the Jets’ four-game homestand.
After being held to one shot on goal over the first eight-plus minutes, Nate Schmidt sent a fluttering shot from the high slot past a screened Connor Hellebuyck at 8:28.
A similar play just 18 seconds later doubled Vancouver’s lead. This time Schmidt’s point shot was redirected by Miller at 8:46.
Vancouver’s second power-play unit used the same formula to extend the lead at 14:50. Tyler Myers sent a wrist shot from inside the blue line that Hoglander tipped to make it 3-0.
🙌 FIRST CAREER SHUTOUT FOR DEMKO! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/YKZDe9xiFY
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 2, 2021
Demko, meanwhile, was steady if unspectacular in the Vancouver net, giving up few rebounds and coming through when needed.
The Jets, who fell to 8-4-1 at home, seemed more inspired in the second period but had difficulty delivering any sustained pressure.
Winnipeg (13-7-1) pressed at times in the third. Mark Scheifele had two decent chances midway through the period and Blake Wheeler was denied after a crafty deflection on a Sami Niku shot.
The Jets pulled Hellebuyck with over five minutes left in regulation. Winnipeg hit the post on a deflected shot but Pettersson put the game away at 16:26.
The Canucks had 19 shots on goal and improved to 4-8-0 on the road.
After Tuesday’s game, the Jets will take to the road for 12 of their next 14 games.
The Canucks will return home to kick off a five-game homestand Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena.
THE CANADIAN PRESS