J.T. Miller scored 26 seconds into overtime and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 host Wednesday night for their seventh straight win since Bruce Boudreau took over behind the bench.
Boudreau is the third coach in NHL history to start 7-0 with a new team, matching Geoff Ward in 2019-20 with Calgary and Jacques Lemaire in 1993-94 with New Jersey.
Miller assisted on Tanner Pearson’s tying goal early in the third period then got a breakaway chance in overtime. He put a wrist shot past John Gibson for his 11th goal of the season, extending his point streak to seven games. He has three goals and 11 points in that span.
ALL GAS, NO BRAKES 💨 pic.twitter.com/LsHb8jSCFX— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 30, 2021
Boudreau took over Dec. 3 following a leadership purge in which two Canucks executives, coach Travis Green and an assistant coach were fired.
Vancouver was in last place in the Pacific Division with a record of 8-15-2 when Boudreau came in. They are seventh in the Pacific now, but only four points back of third.
Boudreau was working in familiar territory Wednesday — he was Anaheim’s coach for nearly five seasons (2011-16) and led the Ducks to four postseason appearances.
Thatcher Demko made 22 saves for Vancouver, which was playing its first game since Dec. 16 as COVID-19 caused league-wide interruptions to the schedule.
Sam Carrick scored Anaheim’s only goal and Gibson stopped 35 shots. It was the Ducks’ first game since Dec. 17.
Carrick got behind the defence, took a stretch pass from Hampus Lindholm off the left side of the boards and put a wrist shot past Demko at 16:26 of the first period for his seventh goal of the season and third in the last seven games.
Pearson evened it 1:21 into the third when he took a cross-ice pass from Miller and scored from the right circle. It was Pearson’s fifth of the season and his first since Dec. 1.
Anaheim defenceman Cam Fowler suffered an upper-body injury during the first period while vying for the puck with Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes. Fowler lost his balance and awkwardly hit the corner boards with his shoulder and head behind the Ducks’ net.
Canucks: Remain in Southern California to face the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
Ducks: Play at Vegas on Friday.
Joe Reedy, The Associated Press