Battered, bruised and playing on the second night of a back-to-back, it would have been reasonable if the energetic Vancouver Canucks surrendered ground in their astonishing playoff push.
Rather, the Canucks figured out how to beat the Los Angeles Kings.
Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser scored in a shootout after Adam Gaudette tied it up with 1:38 staying in the third time frame to give the Canucks a 4-3 win over the Kings on Thursday night.
“I was worried that we’d be emotionally maybe a little low today just because we put a lot on the table last night,” Canucks coach Travis Green said, referencing the 1-0 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday. “Not just emotionally. Physically it was a tough game, and to win a game like that can lift a team.”
Playing without defenseman Christopher Tanev and forward Jake Virtanen due to injuries sustained against the Ducks, the Canucks got run of the mill commitments from Pettersson and Boeser, who each scored in regulation.
Be that as it may, it was Gaudette who gotten the free puck and scored on a wrist shot from the left hover to guarantee the Canucks earned no less than one point, playing as the additional assailant in a job that may have gone to a healthy Virtanen under normal circumstances.
“It’s really nice for Adam to get rewarded and that’s what happened,” said goalie Jacob Markstrom, who never saw the tying goal as he was still getting settled on the bench. “Ice time is up for grabs and he’s out there for 6-on-5 and scores a huge goal for us. It was a team comeback.”
Markstrom made 35 spares through extra minutes, previously enabling a shootout objective to Ilya Kovalchuk and after that halting Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe as the Canucks finished their four-game road losing streak.
Alec Martinez had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who had not played at home since Jan. 21 on account of the All-Star Game, bye week and a six-game road trip while Staples Center hosted the Grammys. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves.
Martinez had put the Kings ahead 10:59 into the third time frame when Markstrom was not able prevent the flimsy shot from the blue line through traffic.
The Canucks could react in the weight existing apart from everything else, demonstrating the development Green accepts can just originate from being in the playoff pursue. Vancouver moved into a tie with Minnesota for the second special case in the Western Conference.
“Mindset is different when you are out of it,” Green said. “You can still play in those games at this time of year, but if there’s not something on the line then you don’t feel pressure and it’s not the same thing. For our young guys to go through this, it means a lot. We hope we make it. We hope we’re there at the end. But we’re learning as we go.”
For the Kings, they earned a point for the fifth time in six recreations however stay toward the end in the Western Conference and seven behind the Canucks and Wild.
“I think we’ve just got to learn from this stuff,” Martinez said. “I think we’ve been practicing better as of late and that’s translated to games, but like I said we need points right now.”