BOSTON — The Vancouver Canucks keep on showing that they are the surprise of the Western Conference.
Bo Horvat had two goals and two assists and the Canucks extended their winning streak to five games with an 8-5 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
“There is a lot of resiliency in this room,” Horvat said. “We played a pretty good game in Detroit and after a tough loss like that to come back shows a lot. In preseason, people didn’t think we were going to be that high-scoring of a team, but we keep proving people wrong and that’s what we need to continue to do.”
When you score two goals and pick up two assists, you smile a lot during your post-game scrum. pic.twitter.com/qRcOvovn0D
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 9, 2018
Canucks 2017 first round pick Elias Pettersson, despite notching an assist, built on his rookie scoring lead, giving him 17 points on the season. He is a big part of the reason the Canucks seemed to have made significant strides to start the season.
Loui Eriksson added two goals and an assist and spurred a five-goal outbust in the second period for Vancouver. Ben Hutton and Erik Gudbranson each had a goal and an assist, and Antoine Roussel and Jake Virtanen added goals for the Canucks, who have scored 26 goals in the last five games.
“I had some puck luck today probably,” Eriksson said. “We know we have some young guys playing, and they are still learning, but they are handling their situations and responding well.”
Jake DeBrusk scored twice, Patrice Bergeron, Matt Grzelcyk and Danton Heinen added goals, and David Krejci finished with three assists for Bruins. Boston lost for the second time at home this season and has dropped three of five overall.
Jaroslav Halak came into the game leading the NHL in save percentage, but was pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots. His replacement, Tuukka Rask, didn’t do much better, allowing three goals on the first eight shots he faced, including a misplay of a clearing attempt that led to the Canucks’ seventh goal.
“I was just trying to keep it under 10,” Rask said sarcastically. “Just trying to do damage control as it was kind of a crazy game.”
Bergeron gave the Bruins their only lead of the game, 2-1 at 0:36 of the second, when he beat Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom made 23 saves in his sixth start of the season.
“Pucks just found a way tonight,” Halak said. “Goalies have to have a short memory, so we need to regroup quickly and get ready for two tough games this weekend.”
Eriksson and Hutton responded for Vancouver by scoring in a 1:26 span, and Vancouver moved ahead 3-2 at the 8:28 mark. After DeBrusk tied it at 3 at the 11 minute mark, Halak allowed another pair of goals 1:30 apart for a 5-3 lead at 14:53.
“The prior two years I don’t know if we had the resiliency,” Gudbranson said. “A goal goes in, something bad happens and doubt would creep in, but mentally we are much stronger this year.”
Nikolay Goldobin and Markus Granlund each added two assists for the Canucks who swept the season series from Boston.
NOTES: Canucks forward Brock Boeser was sent home to see a specialist regarding his groin injury. … David Backes returned to the Bruins lineup after missing seven games. . Boston scored more than three goals for the second time in 10 games. . Eriksson played from 2013-16 with Boston, racking up 62 goals and 147 points. . Horvat’s four points tied a career high.
Canucks: Visit the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
Bruins: Continue home stand Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS