VANCOUVER — A potent power play scored a trio of goals for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, leading the home team to a 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
J.T. Miller had a pair of goals for the Canucks (3-2-0) while Elias Pettersson and Alex Edler each had a goal and a pair of assists.
Troy Stecher also had a goal and Brock Boeser tallied three assists for Vancouver.
The Red Wings’ lone goal came from Dylan Larkin and netminder Jonathan Bernier stopped 27-of-32 shots for Detroit (3-3-0).
Thatcher Demko had 26 saves for Vancouver to collect his first win of the season in his first start.
The Canucks have won three games in a row, matching last year’s best win streak.
Vancouver got off to a rough start Tuesday night with a costly turnover deep in its own zone.
Detroit right-winger Anthony Mantha collected the puck and found Larkin alone in the slot. The centre slid a shot past Demko’s blocker to put the Red Wings up 1-0 just 30 seconds into the game.
The Canucks replied late in the first frame as Jake Virtanen sent a spinning backwards pass to Stecher at the point. Stecher sailed a high rocket past Bernier for the equalizer.
A dominant second frame saw the Canucks grow their lead, starting with a power-play goal 1:13 into the period.
Detroit’s Mike Green was called for holding on Bo Horvat and Edler buried a long wrist shot 20 seconds into the man advantage.
Edler and the defensive core have been key to Vancouver’s offensive success this year, scoring six of the team’s 17 goals.
Blue liner Tyler Myers set up the Canucks’ next goal, firing a shot at Bernier. The Detroit netminder made the stop, but couldn’t control the rebound.
Down in front of the crease, Pettersson batted the puck out of the air and into the Wings’ net.
Another penalty to Green gave Vancouver the advantage once again midway through the second period.
Miller parked himself in front of Detroit’s crease and tipped a shot from Edler in to make the score 4-1.
The Canucks had to go on the defensive early in the third, however, after both Miller and Jay Beagle were sent to the box for tripping within 23 seconds of each other.
Their teammates killed off the ensuing five-on-three, but emotions erupted with nine seconds left in the second penalty when Mantha and Brandon Sutter started a dust-up near centre ice.
Mantha head-butted Sutter in the face, spurring several others to pair off.
Once officials had calmed the melee, Mantha headed to the box for tripping and un-sportsman-like conduct, while Sutter was called for roughing.
The Canucks got their fifth power-play opportunity of the game midway through the third period after Jacob de la Rose was called for holding.
Pettersson was taken down along the boards early in the advantage, but got up and rejoined the rush, setting up the final goal of the night.
The Swedish centre patiently passed the puck around until he found Miller in the slot. Miller wasted no time in firing a wrist shot past Bernier to seal the score at 5-1.
The action wasn’t over, however. Before the final buzzer, Stecher and Detroit’s Adam Erne got into a scuffle deep in the Canucks end, resulting in both being sent down their respective tunnels with game misconducts.
The Canucks embark on a four-game road swing, starting with a visit to the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The Red Wings play the Flames in Calgary the same night.
NOTES: Alex Biega made his Red Wings debut. The former Canucks defenceman was sent down to Vancouver’s American Hockey League team in Utica, N.Y., after training camp, then traded to Detroit earlier this month. … Red Wings defenceman Danny DeKeyser was scratched from the lineup with an upper-body injury.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2019.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press