Pettersson pots five points, Vancouver Canucks down Philadelphia Flyers 6-2

VANCOUVER — Elias Pettersson put up five points and hit a career milestone Saturday, propelling the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Swedish centre scored a pair of empty-net strikes and contributed three assists for the Canucks (22-30-4), while newcomer Anthony Beauvillier added a pair of goals. Andrei Kuzmenko and Phillip Di Giuseppe also scored and Luke Schenn contributed two helpers.

Scott Laughton and Morgan Frost replied for the Flyers (22-25-10), who lost their fourth straight game.

Vancouver goalie Arturs Silovs made 35 saves to collect his first NHL win. The 21-year-old Latvian netminder was called up from the American Hockey League's Abbotsford Canucks on Tuesday and made his debut in a 6-4 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Carter Hart stopped 17-of-21 shots for Philly.

The result snapped a three-game skid for Vancouver, who are 4-5-1 since Rick Tocchet took over as head coach on Jan. 22.

Pettersson sealed the score at 6-2 with his second empty-net strike of the night with 40.3 seconds left on the clock.

Philadelphia pulled Hart with just over three minutes remaining on the game clock in favour of an extra attacker, and got a prime opportunity to claw back a goal when Di Giuseppe was called for high sticking moments later.

The Flyers opted to go with six attackers but it was the Canucks who found the back of the net when Pettersson flipped a backhanded shot out of his own zone and it glided down the ice, into the empty net to make it 5-2.

The Canucks boosted their cushion to two goals 10:04 into the third period.

Hart stopped Brock Boeser's shot, but couldn't quite cover the rebound. Di Giuseppe crashed the net, collected the puck and muscled it in to give Vancouver a 4-2 lead.

Philadelphia cut its deficit to a single goal 17:28 into the second with a power-play tally after Schenn was called for roughing.

Twelve seconds in, Frost emerged from a scramble in front of the Vancouver net to collect a rebound and pop it in-between Silovs' skate and the post to make it 3-2.

The Canucks were 1-for-2 with the man advantage Saturday and the Flyers went 1-for-2.

Beauvillier's second of the night — and 13th of the season — came on a power play midway through the second after Travis Konecny was called for tripping.

Just four seconds into the man advantage, Pettersson launched a rocket from the point and Beauvillier tipped it in to put the Canucks up 3-1 at 13:35.

Pettersson's assist on the play — his third of the game — marked his 69th point of the season, (25 goals, 44 assists), setting a new career high.

Vancouver regained the lead 1:53 into the middle frame when Hart came up to the top of crease to stop Schenn. Instead of taking the shot, the D-man dished the puck to Kuzmenko, who tipped a puck into the yawning net for his 24th goal of his first NHL season.

The Flyers levelled the score ahead of the first intermission when Justin Braun fired a shot at the Canucks' net from the far edge of the faceoff circle and Laughton chipped it up under Silovs' arm to make it 1-1 at the 15:56 mark.

Braun's assist on the play was his first point of the season. The veteran defenceman has been a frequent healthy scratch and has played in just four of Philly's last 23 games.

Vancouver opened the scoring 14:24 into the game moments after Hart made a solid stop on a blistering Pettersson one-timer.

The Canucks collected the rebound and Schenn launched a bomb from inside the blue line. Stationed at the hash marks, Beauvillier deflected it into the Philadelphia net.


Vancouver defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ankle sprain) and forward Curtis Lazar (lower-body) missed the game after suffering injuries in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the New York Rangers. Tocchet said Saturday morning that Ekman-Larsson is out "some weeks" and Lazar is "day to day."

The Canucks also placed Travis Dermott on injured reserve Saturday. The 26-year-old defenceman has played just 11 games this season after sustaining a head injury in a pre-season practice.


Canucks: take on the Predators in Nashville on Tuesday.

Flyers: continue a four-game road swing against the Calgary Flames on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2023.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press