Panthers snap point streak, struggle to comeback against Canucks
Vancouver got on the board less than two minutes in and kept up offensive pressure that overwhelmed the Panthers much of the game.
Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko made his fourth start of the season and stopped 27 shots.
Coming off a 6-2 win over Edmonton on Sunday, the Panthers had hoped to rest netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. Sam Montembeault started between the pipes but was replaced early in the first after allowing three goals on nine shots. Bobrovsky made four saves in 13:42 before the 22-year-old Montembeault returned for the second period. He made some impressive saves and finished with 26.
Sutter and Micheal Ferland opened a dominant first period with a nice give-and-go sequence that ended with Sutter putting a wrist shot past Montembeault 1:14 into the game.
Schaller widened the lead 1:11 later, taking a pass from Jay Beagle down low and muscling a heavy shot into the Florida net.
Virtanen added another goal less than two minutes later, giving Vancouver a 3-0 advantage. The goal was the third in three games for the right wing.
Florida replaced Montembeault with Bobrovsky just 6:18 into the game after Virtanen’s goal.
The Panthers got on the board 8:09 into the period after Leivo turned the puck over in the Canucks zone, where it was picked up by Jayce Hawryluk. He sent it over to Boyle and the center sent a rocket sailing past Demko, cutting Vancouver’s lead to 3-1.
But the Canucks weren’t finished.
Midway through the period, Pettersson got a short pass off to Miller near the blue line and he fired a wrist shot past Bobrovsky for the 100th goal of his NHL career.
Vancouver closed out the period with a goal from Leivo, who popped a quick snap shot into the Florida net with less than 54 seconds on the clock.
Boeser was the only Canucks forward who didn’t have a point in the first 20 minutes.
The scoring derby slowed in the second period until Edler was called for tripping Evgenii Dadonov.
Hoffman scored for the Panthers on the ensuing power play, ripping a laser shot from inside the faceoff circle. The puck hit Demko’s water bottle at the back of the net, sending the orange cap flying.
Miller’s second goal put the Canucks up by four once again with 29 seconds left in the second.
Boeser got on the scoresheet 13:20 into the third, sending a wrist shot into the top right corner.
Pettersson got his third assist on the play. He has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his last four games.
NOTES: Left wing Loui Eriksson returned to the Canucks lineup after being a healthy scratch for nine games in a row. He assisted on Schaller’s first-period goal.
Panthers: At the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
Canucks: A three-game road swing through California starts Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings.
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