Brock Boeser and Elias Petterson each had a power-play goal and an assist, Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves for his first postseason shutout, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 3-0 to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five qualifier series Thursday.
Antoine Roussel and Elias Pettersson also scored for the Canucks, who outlasted the Wild in another penalty-filled, extra-testy matchup and moved within one game of advancing to the first round in their first appearance in the playoffs since 2015.
The teams played 33:49 without scoring, until Boeser got Vancouver going late in the second period with a falling-down backhander off the ricochet from Pettersson’s shot. Boeser, a native of Minnesota who grew up about 20 miles from the Wild’s arena, has three points in three games.
Roussel made it 2-0 just 2:18 into the third by beating Brad Hunt on a breakaway and flipping the puck over Wild goalie Alex Stalock’s left shoulder with a backhand shot.
Pettersson added the insurance goal with 1:22 left on the seventh power play of the game for the Canucks. The Wild went 0 for 7 and are 2 for 17 for the series.
The frequent whistles played to Vancouver’s advantage, putting that talented top line on the ice time after time and minimizing Minnesota’s forward depth in 5-on-5 play.
There were countless scrums, hits and shoves throughout the contest, with both Markstrom and Stalock taking a few blows around the net themselves. At one point, Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman tried to check Jay Beagle and wound up hitting teammate Carson Soucy instead midway through the second period.
Game 4 is on Friday night at Rogers Place at 10:45 p.m. EDT.
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