Defenceman Quinn Hughes scored twice and collected an assist as the Vancouver Canucks finally found their scoring touch in a 5-2 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers in NHL pre-season play Saturday night.
Phillip Di Giuseppe had a goal and two assists for the Canucks (1-2-1) who had managed just two goals in their previous three exhibition games, all losses.
Andrei Kuzmenko and Elias Pettersson added power-play goals while Brock Boeser collected three assists.
Adam Erne and Raphael Lavoie scored for the Oilers (2-2-1).
Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko made 24 saves, while Stuart Skinner stopped 23 shots for the Oilers.
The Oilers beat the Canucks 2-1 in overtime in Edmonton Wednesday.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, Hughes got the Canucks back into the game with goals 1:53 apart in the second.
The Vancouver captain tied the game on a pretty play at 8:35. Di Giuseppe chased down a puck in the Edmonton end, then sent a rink-wide pass that Hughes deflected past Skinner.
BACKHAND. BEAUTY. 🤌 pic.twitter.com/4vPJcMP3Ql— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 1, 2023
Hughes put Vancouver ahead 2-1 at 10:28 when he lifted an innocent looking backhand from the faceoff circle that got through Skinner.
The Canucks had a chance to extend their lead late in the period when Edmonton defencemen Evan Bouchard and Markus Niemelainen were called for penalties, giving Vancouver a two-man advantage for 1:02. Boeser and Hughes both had good looks but Skinner made the saves.
Vancouver was awarded a second two-man advantage when former Canuck Brandon Sutter was called for tripping just 17 seconds into the third. Kuzmenko made it 3-1 just 23 seconds later with a low shot to Skinner’s glove side.
Pettersson extended the lead to 4-1 with another power-play goal at 5:08, beating Skinner with a high shot from the top of the faceoff circle. Di Giuseppe scored at 8:16 when he deflected defenceman Ian Cole’s point shot.
Lavoie narrowed the gap for the Oilers at 8:42, sending a shot over Demko’s shoulder.
Edmonton controlled long stretches of the first period, keeping the Canucks hemmed in their own end and using a pair of power plays to outshoot Vancouver 14-5.
Erne opened the scoring with 96 seconds left in the period and Vancouver having killed a power play. Mattias Janmark got off a shot that Demko stopped. Erne picked up the rebound in the crease, spun around, and put the puck past Demko.
Before the game the Canucks commemorated the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a ceremonial puck drop, a performance of a Coast Salish prayer song, traditional drumming and a moment of silence to honour survivors of residential schools.
Vancouver defenceman Cole McWard was called for three penalties in the first two periods. … Veteran goaltender Spencer Martin, who started last season as Vancouver’s No. 2, was claimed on waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday. … Players not dressed for the Canucks included centre Dakota Joshua, right-winger Vasily Podkolzin and defencemen Tucker Poolman and Jeff Woo. … Among the Oilers who didn’t make the trip were forwards Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, defencemen Cody Ceci and Mattias Ekholm and goaltender Jack Campbell. … Canuck fans had their first chance to see the massive new video board at Rogers Arena which has wraparound screens and separate screens underneath for fans sitting in the lower bowl.
The Canucks play their final two exhibition games beginning Wednesday against the Seattle Kraken in Abbotsford, B.C., then face the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena Friday. Vancouver opens the regular season on Oct. 11 at home against the Oilers.
The Oilers play in Seattle on Monday, then host the Calgary Flames Wednesday before ending their pre-season schedule at home Friday against Seattle.
Jim Morris, The Canadian Press