VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)The Vancouver Canucks got the victory they sorely needed.
J.T. Miller had a goal and three assists to lead the Canucks to an 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
Miller finished Vancouver’s home opener with a career-high four points, while Brandon Sutter had two goals and an assist and Chris Tanev added a goal and an assist.
Elias Pettersson, Josh Leivo and Alex Edler also scored for Vancouver, which had dropped its first two games. Rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes scored his first NHL goal.
”We needed a win,” coach Travis Green said. ”Not necessarily because it was two losses. You just want to get a win. And when you have a new group as well you’re not expecting to score eight goals. We’ll take it.”
Tyler Toffoli and Sean Walker scored for the Kings.
Jacob Markstrom made 37 saves in the win. Jonathan Quick stopped 17 of 25 shots.
Vancouver opened the scoring on a power play 5:26 into the first period after Walker was called for tripping.
Hughes wound up and sent a slap shot from the point that soared past Quick for the rookie’s first NHL goal.
”It’s something I have been thinking about for a long time, just to get that one under my belt,” said the 19-year-old Hughes said.
”I’ve told everyone from the start I’m going to try to get better every game and from game 30 I will be a different player. I feel really good right now.”
Sutter added a goal 42 seconds later after the Kings failed to clear the puck. Sutter beat Quick on the glove side with a wrist shot.
A bit of patient play by Sutter early in the second period set up Vancouver’s next goal.
After getting the puck in the slot, he waited for help and found Pettersson, who scored on a wrist shot for a three-goal advantage.
The Kings responded 7:28 into the second. Carl Grundstrom sent a crisp pass to a wide-open Toffoli, who slipped a shot past Markstrom on a breakaway.
The Kings’ Ilya Kovalchuk helped on the Canucks’ fourth goal of the night.
Miller sent a backhanded pass into traffic from down low and the puck bounced off Kovalchuk and in.
The goal was Miller’s first with the Canucks. He was traded to Vancouver from Tampa Bay last June.
”We continue to do a lot of good things. I don’t want people thinking that we lost the first two games, it’s a bad start,” Miller said. ”I think we felt really comfortable and confident after those games coming into this one. It’s nice to see the pucks finally start to go in.”
The Kings kept pressing in the third period, and added a second goal 6:51 in after Anze Kopitar left a drop pass for Walker along the boards. Walker beat Markstrom with a shot high on the glove side to make it 4-2.
The Canucks added to their two-goal lead.
Just 40 seconds after the Kings’ goal, Brock Boeser connected with Hughes, whose shot was tipped in by Tanev tipped it in for his first goal of the season and 100th NHL point.
Miller set up the next goal, getting the puck to Edler, who scored on a slap shot to make it 6-2 with 10 minutes remaining.
Less than two minutes later, Bo Horvat sent a pass across the top of the Kings’ crease and Leivo tipped it in.
Sutter finished the scoring 16:03 into the final period with a long backhanded shot.
However, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty dug the puck out of the net and play continued for a few moments before the horn was blown. The play was reviewed and officials deemed it was a good goal.
”A team like that should not be beating a team like ours 8-2,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. ”There’s absolutely no way.”
Coach Todd McLellan said there wasn’t anything he liked about the Kings’ game on Wednesday.
”Right off the bat we got ourselves in trouble, we weren’t under control, we took penalties we weren’t able to kill, turned the puck over,” he said.
NOTES: The Canucks named Bo Horvat as the franchise’s 14th captain. Sutter, Tanev and Edler were all named assistant captains for the season. … Vancouver has yet to allow a power-play goal this season. … Los Angeles had four power plays.
Kings: Host Nashville on Saturday afternoon.
Canucks: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
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