Canucks end season-opening skid at 7, beating Kraken 5-4
SEATTLE (AP) — Ilya Mikheyev scored his first two goals of the season and the Vancouver Canucks ended their season-opening losing streak at a franchise-record seven games, beating the Seattle Kraken 5-4 on Thursday night.
Elias Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko and Conor Garland each had a goal and had an assist to help coach Bruce Boudreau reach 600 NHL victories. Garland scored the winner into an empty net.
“Just to to hear the music in the (locker) room and knowing how hard they’ve practiced and they’ve never given up hope,” Boudreau said. “… The spirit has never been down where we’ve gone into a game and gone, ‘Oh, woe is me.’ So I think it was a great reward for them.”
Thatcher Demko stopped 32 shots for the Canucks, including two as he lay on his back midway through the third. Referees also disallowed a late Andre Burakovsky goal for a high stick.
Jamie Oleksiak, Jared McCann, Matty Beniers and Jaden Schwartz scored for Seattle, with Schwartz connecting on a power play with 30 seconds left.
“Sometimes you have a hot goalie and he played pretty well,” Beniers said. “You know, it just happens that way. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.”
Jordan Eberle had two assists, reaching 600 points on Beniers’ goal that made it 3-3 in the second.
Martin Jones made 14 saves for Seattle. The Kraken are 0-5 against their nearest rival.
“We were the better team for most of the night, but they beat us on specialty teams by one and that was ultimately the difference in the hockey game,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said.
Boudreau became the 22nd coach in NHL history and the fifth active coach to reach 600 wins (600-322-127). Only former Detroit Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman (.657) has a better points percentage than Boudreau’s .633.
It took a lot longer than he imagined, however.
“I haven’t been thinking about that since the third game,” he said. “I just wanted to get the win for the guys and and let them feel better.”
NOTES: With five players on injured reserve since Monday, Vancouver acquired F Jack Studnicka from the Boston Bruins on Wednesday for depth. The Bruins received goaltender Michael DiPietro and D Jonathan Myrenberg in exchange for Studnicka. He played in one game this season for Boston, recording four penalty minutes, and has recorded seven points in 38 career games. He’s expected to join the team Friday. … Oleksiak scored for the second straight game, Beniers for the third straight and McCann for the fourth straight. Those are career streaks for McCann and Beniers, a rookie.
Canucks: Host Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Kraken: Hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
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