Tyler Toffoli, Elias Pettersson, and Bo Horvat combined for four goals and eight points to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in NHL playoff action Tuesday.
The best-of-seven second-round series is tied 1-1. Game 3 goes Thursday at Rogers Place.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 38 saves for the win. He kept the Canucks in the game in the second period when Vegas tilted the ice and turned his net into a shooting gallery, blasting away for 22 shots.
Alex Tuch and Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knights while Robin Lehner saved 21 of 26 shots in just his second loss of the post-season.
It was the first game back for Toffoli since the first game of the qualifying round against the Minnesota Wild on Aug. 2. The NHL is not releasing information on injuries, but Toffoli had been seen in a walking boot.
Toffoli jumped over the boards for his first shift and scored nine seconds later. Pettersson swooped wide around Golden Knights defender Shea Theodore, went behind the net, then slid the puck through the crease to Toffoli for a quick wrist shot into a yawning net.
The Canucks then scored on the power play. Toffoli, standing behind the net, delivered a tape-to-tape pass to an incoming Horvat, who blasted it past Lehner.
In the second period, Vegas got on the board on a Theodore lob pass that Nicolas Roy corralled at the right face-off circle, then delivered on the backhand to Tuch for the one-timer, his sixth goal of the post-season.
Then it was Pettersson, left alone in the slot, taking a cross-seam pass from Alex Edler and deking out Lehner on the forehand for his fifth goal of the post-season, to go with 11 assists.
Vancouver iced the game 18 seconds into the third period. Horvat scored his second goal by taking a Brock Boeser backhanded pass in front and tucking it past Lehner for his eighth playoff goal.
The frustration finally got to Vegas late in the third period. Pacioretty grabbed J.T. Miller by the head and threw him down after the whistle for a roughing penalty. Tuch got a double minor for pummelling Jake Virtanen while the Vancouver forward lay on the ice.
Pacioretty scored at 18:34 of the third on a blast from the point on the power play with Lehner pulled for an extra attacker. Tanner Pearson added the final Vancouver goal into an empty net.
The Canucks were looking for a bounce-back after the Golden Knights dismantled them 5-0 in Game 1 and chased Markstrom from the net for the first time in the playoffs.
Toffoli had 10 points in 10 games after being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings at the trade deadline.
"We had a great response, everybody was blocking shots and doing whatever it takes to win. Our line-up was great tonight, top to bottom. I’m just trying to do my part and I’ve been fortunate to put the puck in the net." – @BoHorvat pic.twitter.com/zPrTaeopoF
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 26, 2020
Horvat had not found the scoresheet since scoring two goals in each of the first two games against the St. Louis Blues in the first round.
Pettersson has been a steady point-getter throughout the playoffs but had been shut down by Vegas in Game 1, limited to no shots on net and one blocked shot.
Markstrom, in his first playoff series, has been the locomotive pulling the Canucks’ playoff train. He allowed just nine goals on 121 shots (.926 save percentage) against Minnesota in the first round while registering his first playoff shutout. He saved 29 of 34 against the Blues (.930).
All games are being played in front of no fans at Rogers Place, and the players are isolating between contests to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
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