If it weren’t for Elias Pettersson, a 20-year old rookie from Sweden, Vancouver Canucks would hardly manage to end their negative run of eight games without a victory.
The fifth pick from the 2017 Draft was playing impeccable, and he alone was the initial spark which pushed this team towards their 11th win of the season.
Pettersson scored the decisive goal of the match after he intercepted Dion Phaneuf’s pass inside the red line, and routinely beat Kings goalie Cal Petersen. It was his 13th goal of the season, proving that Canucks did a good job when picking him to be the future star of this franchise. At the moment he is the top scorer among all rookies.
Another youngster had his night at the Staples Center. Adam Gaudette scored his first goal in the National Hockey League. The 22-year old center broke the ice after 25 appearances for the Vancouver-based franchise. Jake Virtanen and Nikolay Golodobin did a great job setting up the assist, after which it wasn’t too hard for Gaudette to execute.
.@_EPettersson with a multi-point performance, @Hockey_Gaud with his 1st career goal and the #Canucks leave LA with a win. 🚨@BudweiserCanada Highlights | https://t.co/3gETaqx2mX pic.twitter.com/dHdfSMZuDD
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 25, 2018
The game was exciting. The opening part went without goals, but things started developing in the second third when we saw 4 scores. Gaudette brought the lead to Vancouver, but the Kings leveled after Drew Doughty capitalized an extra man on the ice. It was the first power play used by the Los Angeles Kings after 16 which went without scoring.
With 12:18 into the second period, Sam Ganer netted on a power play, after Bo Horvat’s perfect assist. Just some four and a half minutes later. Matt Luff equalized, making this his third game in a row in which he scored.
However, the last sequence went to the Canucks. First Pettersson cracked Kings’ defense, and when hosts opened, another punishment arrived. Having a power-play and pulling a goalkeeper to make it a two-man advantage, the home team created a perfect chance for Vancouver’s counter-attack. Tyler Motte used that closing this match with an empty-net goal.
The LA Kings are the worst team of the league with 7-14-1, and they will have to improve a lot of things in order to move up from the bottom. Up next they host Edmonton on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Canucks have 11-13-2 and are 5th in the Pacific Division. Their next game will also be against the Kings, only this time in Canada.