Minnesota Wild’s Jordan Greenway (18) is pushed over by Vancouver Canucks’ Christopher Tanev (8) as Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) looks for the shot during second period NHL qualifying round game action in Edmonton, on Friday August 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

EDMONTON — The Vancouver Canucks battled back from deficits three times Friday to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 and qualify for the NHL playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Chris Tanev scored on a wrist shot from the blue line 11 seconds into overtime at Rogers Place to give the Canucks a 3-1 win in the best-of-five qualifying series.

Rookie scoring sensation Quinn Hughes had a goal and assist to power the Canucks. Tanner Pearson, Brandon Sutter, and Bo Horvat also scored.

Eric Staal, Luke Kunin, Nico Sturm and Joel Eriksson Ek replied for Minnesota.

The Wild have now missed the post-season for two consecutive seasons, with first-round exits in each of three seasons before that.

Minnesota was hampered by the loss of top defenceman Ryan Suter, who did not dress after playing big minutes in the first three games. The league is not releasing injury information or any individual COVID-19 test results.

Goalie Alex Stalock had 26 stops for Minnesota.

Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom, whose stellar play in the regular season made it possible for the Canucks to make the post-season tournament, stopped 24-of-28 shots but fought the puck all night, allowing two sharp-angle short-side goals and giving up juicy rebounds.

Minnesota opened the scoring about three minutes into the first period. Kunin, on the power play, took a pass on the end line from Mats Zuccarello, crashed the net, and jammed the puck over Markstrom’s goalpad.

Pearson tied the score at the 12:52 mark, corralling a perfect stretch pass from Tanev at the left face-off dot and releasing a wrist shot that banked off the far goalpost and in.

Minnesota responded 40 seconds later. Staal, standing below the face-off circle to Markstrom’s right, took a pass from Marcus Foligno, who was behind the net, and sniped a puck past Markstrom’s ear on the short side.

In the second period, the Wild went up 3-1. Eriksson Ek grabbed a rebound off a point shot and lifted the puck over Markstrom.

The Canucks immediately cut the lead to 3-2 when Hughes’s point shot got deflected high up in the air and landed behind Stalock, allowing Sutter to jam it over the goal line.

Hughes tied the game just over a minute later on the power play, wristing the puck from the high slot through heavy traffic and in.

With under a minute to go in the period, Sturm flew in on the left wing and fired a wrist shot near the endline that managed to elude Markstrom under the arm.

The Canucks tied the game late in the third period, when Pearson fought off a check behind the net and fed Horvat for a one-timer in the slot, setting the stage for overtime.

READ MORE: Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

READ MORE: Who’s ready for a little NHL action in August?

The series was a case of Hughes and the Canucks’ high-flying top six forwards against the smothering team defence of the Wild.

Hughes, the Calder Trophy nominee, led all rookies in scoring in the abbreviated regular season (eight goals, 53 points) and kept the hot hand in the playoffs with a goal and five assists.

Vancouver’s top six didn’t score a lot but they scored enough. Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and Pearson each had two goals while Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller had one each.

Winger Tyler Toffoli didn’t play since Game 1, out with an apparent foot injury.

Vancouver lost the opener 3-0, but came back to win 4-3 and 3-0 before Friday’s clincher.

It was a close-checking, low-scoring series dominated by penalties that continued early in the game when Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen squared off and scrapped with Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman.

The 12 Western Conference teams have been playing at Rogers Place, with players in isolation to avoid contracting COVID-19. The Eastern Conference teams are doing the same in Toronto.

The tournament was created after the NHL prematurely ended the regular season in mid-March due to the COVID pandemic.

Vancouver will now play one of the top four seeds: the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars or Vegas Golden Knights.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanucksNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Saanich for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read