VANCOUVER — It wasn’t Tyler Myers’ greatest shot, but it was good enough to get the job done.
The big defenceman scored on a floating shot from just inside the blueline with 1:29 left in the third period to give the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers Saturday.
“You just have to get it there,” Myers said after the Canucks extended their NHL-best winning streak to seven games, the team’s longest in six years. “Fortunately, it went in. It was a big two points for us. It keeps this momentum going.”
Canucks captain Bo Horvat earned his second assist of the night when he fed Myers. With several Vancouver players running interference, Ranger goaltender Alexandar Georgiev didn’t see the puck until it was behind him.
"We had so much motion, it created a little bit of chaos. You could tell the goalie had trouble seeing it,” said Myers, who has three goals and an assist in his last three games after collecting just one goal and five assists in the previous 25.
Georgiev, who finished the game with 25 saves, lay face down on the ice for several seconds after the goal.
“We have to work from the positives and build on that good game and not feel sorry that it didn’t go our way,” said Georgiev. “If we keep playing like that, we will have success.”
Antoine Roussel scored for Vancouver (23-15-4) who haven’t won seven consecutive games since between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14, 2013.
A scoreless second period left the teams tied 1-1 after 40 minutes. The Rangers buzzed around the Vancouver net like angry bees in the third period, outshooting the Canucks 14-6. Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom was forced to make big saves off shots from Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast.
With just under four minutes remaining, Markstrom went old-school, stacking his pads to rob Jacob Trouba. That earned a huge cheer from the Rogers Arena crowd.
“These games, goalies that come out don’t really do it that often,” said Markstrom, who was named the game’s first star after stopping 35 shots. “Games aren’t perfect. Sometimes you’ve just to be athletic.
“It’s about stopping the puck. It’s not textbook and how I really wanted it. I stopped the puck and that’s the main part.”
Myers heaped praise on Markstrom who has been in net for six of the seven Canuck wins during their current streak.
“He’s playing great,” said Myers. “I feel like he’s been playing great the whole year. He made a couple big saves for us in the third to keep us tied.”
Pavel Buchnevich had the lone goal for the Rangers (19-18-4), who lost their third in a row and are winless in seven of their last 10.
“We did almost everything right, expect score and it’s really disappointing,” said New York coach David Quinn. “It really was a kick in the gut to have that one shot go in, to play as well as we did in third and give up that (one) late.
“We’ve got to fight through some adversity here.”
The teams exchanged first-period goals.
The game was just 1:46 old when Roussel gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead. Loui Eriksson deflected a shot that Georgiev stopped, but the rebound went to Roussel who scored his fifth of the year.
An aggressive play by Chris Kreider set up New York’s tying goal at 7:59. Kreider stole the puck off Canucks defenceman Chris Tanev at the side of the goal, then passed across the crease to Buchnevich who had an open net.
Markstrom made another big play in the second period.
The Rangers were playing shorthanded, but Mika Zibanejad managed to gain control of the puck behind the Canuck net and attempted a pass to Fast who was open in the slot. Markstrom spotted Fast and used his stick to deflect the pass.
Saturday’s game was a stark contrast from Vancouver’s 7-5 win over Chicago on Thursday. That game was a wide-open affair with the teams trading chances.
Roussel said the Canucks are showing they can win different ways.
“It’s huge,” he said. “Sometimes it’s going to be good, sometimes it’s not going to be great.
“At the end it’s about the win.”
NOTES: To celebrate 90s night the Canucks wore their black and gold uniforms with the flying skate logo. … Markstrom was selected Friday to play in his first NHL All-Star Game. … Micheal Ferland and Brandon Sutter, both out with upper-body injuries, skated on their own Saturday and could join the Canucks on their five-game road trip which begins Tuesday in Tampa Bay. … Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist missed the morning skate with illness but dressed as the backup.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2020.
Jim Morris, The Canadian Press