VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—The Vancouver Canucks finally found the offense they were looking for, and it came from three unlikely sources.
Defenseman Alex Edler scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist, Max Lapierre and Chris Higgins(notes) also each scored a pair of goals and the Canucks beat the Washington Capitals 7-4 on Saturday night.
“We talked about playing more aggressive and keeping our team together all over the ice,” Edler said. “It’s nice to score seven goals in a game.”
Vancouver (5-5-1) ended a two-game skid and won at home for the third time in six games.
“It’s so important to get scoring by committee,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “That’s how you win on a consistent basis. For our team tonight to have both (Lapierre’s) line and (Manny Malhotra’s)(notes) line come up and score key goals at key times, it was really important, and we’re going to hope that that continues moving forward here.”
“We had a bad first so the coach comes in and yells,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Our team comes out and has a better second. They come back out, and we knew what was going to happen in the third as far as effort, and they got the first one, so it generates more energy in the building. We sort of sagged for five minutes and the game’s over.”
The Canucks outshot the Capitals 43-32 as the teams combined for 75 shots. Vancouver converted two of five power-play chances, while Washington was 1 for 4.
Lapierre opened the scoring 3:31 into the game. He checked the puck off Tomas Vokoun(notes) behind the net, then banked it in off the Washington goaltender’s skate as he tried to get back into his net.
Ovechkin tied it at 8:55 of the first period. He jammed the puck into Luongo, then it flew high in the air and bounced in off the goalie’s back as he searched for the puck in vain.
Higgins gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead on a power play about 5 1/2 minutes later, putting in his own rebound after Vokoun robbed him on his initial shot. David Booth(notes), acquired in a trade from Florida last week, got an assist for his first point with the Canucks.
“I didn’t think Tomas was very sharp,” Boudreau said. “He’s played eight games in a row at a very high level. The first and third goals weren’t very good. I thought this was as good a time as any—since Neuvy was sharp in practice—to get him in the game again.”
Knuble scored on a penalty shot at 5:07 after Luongo blocked the shot with his arm but then fell back into the net, knocking the puck in. The penalty shot was awarded after Edler tripped Knuble on a breakaway.
Edler put the Canucks ahead 4-3 at the 8-minute mark of the second as he cruised into the high slot and fired in Henrik Sedin’s pass.
Johansson tied it 4-all at 17:54 of the second when he elected to shoot during a 2-on-1 with Ovechkin.
Henrik Sedin gave the Canucks a 5-4 lead just more than six minutes into the third when he flipped in a rebound after Neuvirth made two saves but could not freeze the puck.
Lapierre capped the scoring with his second of the night midway through the third. Using Higgins as a decoy on a 2-on-1, he slid a shot through Neuvirth’s legs.
NOTES: The Canucks start a six-game road trip in Calgary on Tuesday. The Capitals head home to face Anaheim the same night. … Capitals defenseman Mike Green(notes) (ankle) missed his fifth straight game. He is expected back next weekend. … Injured Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome(notes) (hand) and wing Steve Pinizzotto(notes) (shoulder) remained out, but are expected to return sometime during the upcoming road trip. … Many fans were dressed in Halloween costumes.