Bo Horvat put up a pair of power-play points and the Vancouver Canucks collected their first home win of the season, topping the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Friday.
Horvat and Andrei Kuzmenko each scored and notched an assist, while Tanner Pearson, J.T. Miller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson all had goals for the Canucks (2-5-2). Ilya Mikheyev contributed a pair of helpers.
Rickard Rakell replied for the Penguins (4-3-1), who saw their losing skid stretch to three games, all in regulation.
Spencer Martin stopped 34 of 35 shots in his second start of the year for Vancouver, while Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry made 24 saves.
The Canucks were coming off their first win of the season, a 5-4 victory over the Kraken in Seattle on Thursday. Pittsburgh came into the game rested, having dropped a 4-1 decision to the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday.
Weariness appeared to creep into the home side’s game, with the Penguins outshooting the Canucks 30-19 across the second and third periods, but Martin held fast for the victory.
The 24-year-old netminder is 4-0-4 during his time in Vancouver.
Pittsburgh pulled Jarry with less than two minutes on the game clock and Miller sealed the score at 5-1 with an empty-net strike.
The Canucks took a three-goal lead 16:42 into the third after Josh Archibald was called for boarding on Kyle Burroughs.
Ten seconds into the man advantage, Ekman-Larsson’s long bomb found its way through traffic and past Jarry.
Kuzmenko padded the Canucks’ advantage 10:28 into the third. Luke Schenn fired a shot from inside the blue line and, stationed at the bottom of the slot, the Russian rookie tipped it into the Pittsburgh net.
Kuzmenko celebrated his third NHL goal with a hearty yell before jumping into the boards.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 29, 2022
The Canucks briefly appeared to regain a two-goal lead at the end of the second when Conor Garland blasted a shot from the top of the faceoff circle as the horn sounded.
The puck soared in past Jarry but officials quickly disallowed the goal. A video replay showed time had already expired by the time the puck crossed the line.
Pittsburgh bit into Vancouver’s lead with a power-play tally 16:03 into the second after J.T. Miller was called for high-sticking Sidney Crosby in the offensive zone.
Bryan Rust flicked a shot on net from the slot and while Martin made the stop, he couldn’t hold on to the rebound. Rakell picked up the loose puck and backhanded it into the net, making it 2-1.
Evgeni Malkin also contributed an assist on the play, extending his point streak to three games. He has a goal and two helpers across the stretch.
Late in the first, Malkin was called for hooking Miller and the penalty proved costly for Pittsburgh early in the next period.
Just seconds in, Horvat called for the puck in the neutral zone and Kuzmenko wired him a pass. The Canucks captain skated in on an odd-man rush and unleashed a one-timer that sailed over Jarry’s glove and gave the home side a two-goal lead 32 seconds into the period.
The Canucks went 2-for-4 with the man advantage Friday and the Penguins were 1-for-4.
Vancouver opened the scoring 13:52 into the first period, seconds after Pittsburgh killed off Pierre-Olivier Joseph’s slashing penalty.
Garland used a fake slap shot to dish the puck to Mikheyev at the bottom of the faceoff circle and the Russian winger tapped it over to Pearson. Stationed at the side of the crease, he tapped it in behind Jarry and put the Canucks up 1-0 with his first goal of the season.
Earlier Friday, Vancouver picked up defenceman Ethan Bear and forward Lane Pederson from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. It’s the second deal Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin has completed this week, coming after he sent goalie Michael DiPietro and defensive prospect Jonathan Myenberg to the Boston Bruins for forward Jack Studnicka on Thursday.
The Penguins will wrap a five-game road trip against the Kraken in Seattle on Saturday. The Canucks will host Jack Hughes and the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
THE CANADIAN PRESS