Pittsburgh Penguins’ Juuso Riikola, right, of Finland, checks Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Motte during second period NHL hockey action in Vancouver, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Potent power play pushes Canucks to 4-1 win over Penguins

Virtanen, Miller tally with man advantage for Vancouver

VANCOUVER — First-period power-play goals by Jake Virtanen and J.T. Miller sparked the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at Rogers Arena.

Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser also scored for the Canucks (18-15-4), and Tyler Myers had two assists. Jake Guentzel replied for the Penguins (21-11-4).

Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves for Vancouver, while Matt Murray stopped 10 shots for Pittsburgh.

The game got off to a sluggish start, with 10:24 elapsing in the first period before Antoine Roussel recorded the game’s first shot on goal.

Soon after, the Canucks earned a long 5-on-3 power play. Dominik Simon received a double-minor for high-sticking Adam Gaudette, befire Brandon Tanev was whistled for holding 29 seconds later.

Miller appeared to give the Canucks the lead during the 5-on-3 power play, but the goal was called back due to a coach’s challenge for offside.

Virtanen eventually opened the scoring with 4:50 left in the first, on a slap shot from the left boards that beat Murray high to the glove side. With the Canucks still on the power play, Miller doubled Vancouver’s lead just 1:50 later, picking up his 14th of the year by tipping an Oscar Fantenberg shot over Murray’s glove.

Shots on goal were 5-0 for Vancouver at the end of the first period — the first time the Canucks held their opponents to no shots in a period since April 5, 2018.

READ MORE: Tanev nets OT winner as Canucks top Vegas 5-4 in OT

In the second, the Penguins dominated play, outshooting Vancouver 20-6. Guentzel’s goal came off a rebound with 4:32 left to play, while Gaudette was serving a high-sticking double minor.

Less than a minute later, the Canucks replied, with Pettersson roofing a rebound high over Murray’s glove after a shot by Tyler Myers. It was Pettersson’s 17th goal of the year and his fifth in his last six games.

In the third, the teams traded power-play chances before Boeser recorded his 13th of the year, converting a feed from Pettersson from behind the net. Vancouver finished the game 2-for-5 with the man advantage, while Pittsburgh was 1-for-5.

NOTES: Miller’s goal was his first in seven games, his longest stretch without scoring since he joined the Canucks. Now 2-1-0 on their homestand, Vancouver will host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday before breaking for Christmas. Saturday marked Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan’s 500th career game as an NHL head coach. Pittsburgh’s loss snapped a four-game winning streak. Their next game will be on Friday in Nashville. The Canucks held their annual ‘Jersey Off Our Backs’ night on Saturday.

Carol Schram, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Purchase of Francophone school brings with it “sense of belonging” say parents

École Entre-lacs now has a permanent home in Penticton thanks to the provincial government

Penticton’s Slackwater Brewing to host Australian bushfire fundraiser

Money raised at Australia day party goes directly to Victoria Bushfire Relief Fund

Successful Canadian Sport School coming to Penticton

A meeting is planned for February about Canadian Sport School - Penticton

Peachfest announces 2020 headliners

Glass Tiger and Honeymoon Suite back featuring large in the list of headliners.

U.S. lawyer charged with allegedly smuggling restricted firearms across Osoyoos border

Shawn Jensen allegedly smuggled AR-15, Ruger .22 over U.S./Canada border, with no licence.

WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Kelowna RCMP completes internal review of sexual assault cases deemed “unfounded’

The results of the investigation are expected to be released in the next few weeks

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

Former Shuswap residents head to Mars habitat for brain research

Fast, mobile analysis could determine if brains of doctors, pilots, others, fatigued

Historical society working to preserve cabin and rename roundabouts in Summerland

Summerland branch of society has taken on duties for former Heritage Advisory Commission

Plan in works to keep Salmon Arm’s homeless people warm in extreme weather

Advocate aims higher, wants a 24/7 friendship centre operating in city

VIDEO: ‘Porn’ answer was a wrong one for Surrey family on ‘Feud’ game show

Surrey’s Rams competed on the TV show Wednesday night

Most Read