A hat trick from Brandon Sutter lifted the host Vancouver Canucks to a 7-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday.
It was a much-needed victory for Vancouver (3-5-0), which had not won in regulation since its season opener on Jan. 13. Tanner Pearson had a goal and an assist for the home team, while Tyler Motte, Quinn Hughes and Olli Juolevi also scored. Bo Horvat tallied two assists. Ottawa’s (1-4-1) lone marker came from Austin Watson midway through the second period, with assists from Thomas Chabot and Mike Reilly.
Thatcher Demko had 34 saves and collected his first win of the season for the Canucks. Sens goalie Matt Murray stopped 28-of-35 shots.
With just 54 seconds left on the game clock, Sutter snuck his third goal of the night in behind the Ottawa goaltender.
Juolevi beat Murray with a long-range blast to make the score 6-1 three minutes earlier. It was the Finnish defenceman’s first NHL goal.
Hughes had widened Vancouver’s lead to four 12:12 into the final frame after Horvat’s shot clinked off both posts. The young defenceman deftly snatched up the rebound and deposited it home
Watson got Ottawa on the board 11:58 into the second, deflecting in a shot from Chabot, despite having two Canucks defenders draped all over him. Demko didn’t appear to see the puck until it was behind him in the net.
Vancouver was quick to regain the two-goal lead. Thirty seconds after Watson scored, Horvat won a draw in his own zone and sent the puck to Nils Hoglander in the neutral zone. Hoglander chased the puck over Vancouver’s blue line and dived, poking it to Pearson. The left-winger fired a wrist shot past Murray for his first goal of the season.
Sutter padded Vancouver’s lead with a short-handed marker, his second goal of the night, 17:44 into the second frame.
Canucks winger J.T. Miller had been called for slashing on Ottawa’s prized rookie Tim Stutzle, drawing the ire of some Sens players. Chants of “boot him!” emanated from the ice as Miller made his way to the box.
Artem Anisimov blasted a shot at Demko on the ensuing power play and the Canucks netminder dived backwards to make the stop.
Antoine Roussel picked up the loose puck and got it to Sutter, who streaked down the ice and took a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle that found the top-left corner of the net.
What a night for Brandon Sutter!
— NHL (@NHL) January 26, 2021
The veteran centre already had a highlight-reel-worthy goal on the night, having flicked a diving backhand in past Murray 9:31 into the first frame.
Motte put the Canucks up 2-0 before the end of the first, stealing the puck as Ottawa tried to clear it from deep within their own end as Vancouver changed lines. Motte sent a pass to Beagle, who waited for the right moment to put it back on the Winger’s tape. Motte then buried a snap shot from the top of the crease.
Roussel and Josh Brown drop the gloves midway through the third period, with boisterous encouragement from their respective benches. Neither seemed to get a blow in before the pair were separated by officials and sent to the box.
Tempers flared again shortly after Hughes scored. Watson took umbrage with Zack McEwen’s hit on Brady Tkachuk and faced off with the big forward at centre ice. They continued to have words in the box and their teammates appeared to exchange verbal jabs from the benches.
Monday’s matchup was the first in a three-game series between Ottawa and Vancouver. The Canucks will play host again on Wednesday and Thursday.
NOTES: Stutzle returned to the Sens lineup after missing three games with a wrist injury. … Vancouver has allowed more goals (34) than any other team in the league this season.
THE CANADIAN PRESS