J.T. Miller scored the go-ahead goal on a great individual play early in the third period and collected three assists to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-3 NHL win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night.
Miller extended his points streak to 10 games, collecting 21 points on seven goals and 14 assists.
Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, both on the power play, and Travis Hamonic also scored for the Canucks (29-23-6). Bo Horvat added an empty-net goal. Vancouver has won three straight games and is 8-2-0 in its last 10.
Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and had an assist while Rem Pitlick had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens (15-35-7) who suffered just their second loss in the last nine games. Lehkonen has six goals and two assists in his last five games.
Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 22 shots.
Montreal goalie Sam Montembeault made 28 saves.
PICKED HIS POCKET 🚨 pic.twitter.com/uGsWaxUc2E— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 10, 2022
Miller gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead when he stole the puck off Montreal’s Cole Caufield at the blue line, skated in alone, then wired a wrist shot that beat Montembeault over the glove hand.
He also assisted on Pettersson’s power-play goal just a few minutes later, making a pretty drop pass that helped the slick Swede score his 18th of the season.
Pitlick drew the Habs close scoring at 15:35 with Montembeault on the bench for an extra attacker.
Lehkonen tied the game 2-2 at 14:22 of the second period with his second goal of the night. Pitlick sent a pass from the corner that Lehkonen took in front of the net then jammed the puck through Demko’s legs.
Vancouver scored just nine seconds into a power play to take a 2-1 lead. Boeser fired a sharp angle shot that Montembeault blocked. Boeser collected the rebound and put it over the goaltender’s shoulder at 10:34 for his 17th of the season.
Montembeault made a pair of brilliant saves to keep the game close. He got his pad on the puck to stop Boeser on a two-on-one breakaway then blocked an Alex Chiasson shot on a power play.
The teams scored 54 seconds apart in the first period.
Montreal opened the scoring on a two-on-one breakaway. With Quinn Hughes the lone defenceman back, Lehkonen took a pass from Jake Evans and launched a shot over Demko’s left pad.
The Montreal fans at Rogers Arena were still cheering that goal when Vancouver tied the game at 13:35. Hamonic fired a seeing-eye shot from the point that looked to deflect off a player and past Montembeault.
Notes: Vancouver opened a seven-game homestand. … The Canucks dedicated proceeds from the $1 million 50/50 jackpot to the Ukraine humanitarian crisis appeal through the Red Cross of Canada. … Former Canadiens superstar Guy Lafleur, who is battling lung cancer, was named Wednesday to the Order of Hockey in Canada as a Distinguished Honouree for 2022. … Prior to the game seven members of Canada’s 2022 Winter Olympic team were honoured, including Cassie Sharpe, a silver medallist in halfpipe freestyle skiing, and Micah Zandee-Hart, a defenceman with the gold-medal winning women’s hockey team.
THE CANADIAN PRESS