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Garland scores twice as Canucks beat Golden Knights 4-3

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Conor Garland scored twice and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Monday night.

Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, and J.T. Miller had three assists. Arturs Silovs finished with 20 saves in his third start of the season.

Garland played in his 400th NHL game and several Canucks players sported Garland’s image on T-shirts forward J.T. Miller made to commemorate the milestone.

“I mean, I wish it wasn’t me on it,” Garland said with a smile. “It’s nice to come in and everybody has a laugh in the morning. It’s a big game for us tonight and it relieves some stress.”

Jack Eichel scored twice and Noah Hanifin had a goal and an assist for Vegas. Logan Thompson finished with 26 saves.

The Golden Knights took an early 2-0 lead, but Vancouver persevered and took the lead late in the second, then withstood pressure from the visitors in the third.

“These are big tests for you. Stanley Cup champs over there and we had a really good third,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “These are the moments that you look for as we go forward. When the pressure hits, you’ve got to be calm. Even at the end, there were some tense moments but I thought we did a nice job.”

The Canucks remain atop the Pacific Division, five points up on the Edmonton Oilers while the Golden Knights hold on to the Western Conference’s second wild card.

Both sides put their special teams to use, with Vancouver going 2 for 3 with the man advantage and Vegas 2 for 4.

The Golden Knights called for a timeout with 1:55 left on the clock and pulled Thompson in favor of an extra skater. Elias Pettersson sent a clearing attempt off the boards near the penalty box and the puck ricocheted down the ice, narrowly missing the far post of Vegas’ empty net.

Eichel opened the scoring on a power play 1:51 into the game as he fired a shot from the high slot and the puck went off the leg of Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov before sailing in over Silovs’ left pad.

Eichel made it 2-0 at 8:06 with his second of the night and 29th of the season. Jonathan Marchessault got around Pettersson and sliced a pass across to Eichel. Stationed alone at the bottom of the faceoff circle, Eichel fired a shot past Silovs.

The Canucks got on the scoreboard with a power-play goal as Hughes fired a shot toward the Vegas net and, while Thompson stopped the initial shot, Garland got to the loose puck and swept it in from the side of the crease to make it 2-1 with 8:10 left in the first. It was his 100th regular-season goal.

Hughes tied it with 5:34 left in the opening period as his shot from just inside the blue line got through traffic and beat Thomspon for his 17th.

Hanifin regained the lead for the Golden Knights on the power play at 9:33 of the second for his 13th. Tomas Hertl, making his Vegas debut after being acquired from San Jose on March 8, had an assist on the play.

Boeser tied it 3-3 with 6:50 left in the secondwith a shot from the high slot. It was his 40th of the season, marking the first time Boeser has hit the milestone.

“I thought it was a pretty even game,” Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “At the end of the day, they got rewarded for getting into interior ice around the front of our net, obviously did a good job screening the goalie and finding rebounds around there. So for us it’s controlling those rebounds or boxing out, clearing those rebounds.”

The Canucks took their first lead of the night with 89 seconds to go in the second. Thompson stopped a shot from Miller but couldn’t hang on to the puck and Garland came around the back of the net to tip it in for his second goal of the night and 18th of the season.

Chants of “Con-or Gar-land!” echoed through Rogers Arena midway through the third period and again after he was named the game’s first star.

“I might be the worst player ever to have their name chanted in a stadium,” Garland said with a smile after the win. “But no, it’s obviously cool. That’s the reward of playing in a Canadian market, playing in a big market like Vancouver.”

UP NEXT

Golden Knights: At Edmonton on Wednesday night to finish their regular season road schedule.

Canucks: Host Arizona on Wednesday night to finish a two-game homestand.

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AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL