Vancouver rallies in the 3rd period to beat Chicago in Tocchet’s practice game with the Canucks

Vancouver rallies in the 3rd period to beat Chicago in Tocchet’s practice game with the Canucks

Dakota Joshua and Sheldon Dries scored goals 34 seconds apart in the third period as the Vancouver Canucks battled back from a two-goal deficit to beat Chicago 5-2 and give Rick Tocchet his first game as Vancouver head coach.

Tocchet was named the Canucks 21st head coach on Sunday after firing Bruce Boudreau along with assistant coach Trent Cull. The Canucks hired Adam Foote as an assistant coach and Sergei Gonchar as a defensive development coach.

There was a mix of boos and cheers when Tocchet was introduced to the crowd during the first period. The game was only 3:30 old when fans threw Canucks jerseys onto the ice.

The Canucks outshot Chicago 48-14 and failed to score on five power-play chances.

Andrei Kuzmenko scored twice for the Canucks (19-25-3) who snapped a three-game losing streak. Elias Pettersson had two goals, six goals and 22 goals in the last 16 games. Also, Bo Horvat scored shorthanded into an empty net at 18:34, matching a career high of 31 goals in a season.

SEE | Dries leads Vancouver over Chicago:

Dries beauty between the legs leads Canucks over Chicago

Sheldon Dries puts his stick between his legs and fires in a rebound as he falls in Vancouver’s 5-2 win over Chicago. Rick Tocchet has a win in his first position as coach for the Canucks.

Patrick Kane and Sam Lafferty scored for Chicago (14-28-4) which lost its second game in a row.

Vancouver goalie Collin Delia stopped 12 shots.

Petr Mrazek made 43 saves for Chicago.

The Canucks goal came just seconds after Kane had a good scoring chance in the Canuck end.

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Defenseman Quinn Hughes put the puck up the ice. Brock Boeser attempted a shot from a sharp angle. Mrazek stopped the puck but Joshua’s shot over the goalie sprawled for a 3-2 lead at 11:34.

On the following faceoff, Mrazek stopped Conor Garland’s shot. Dries directed the rebound into the net with a shot between his legs.

Kuzmenko scored his 20th and 21st goals in the second period to tie the game 2-2 after 40 minutes.

His first goal came off an Ilya Mikheyev shot to tie the game 1-1 at 7:02.

Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet, back centre, talks to Conor Garland, centre, as defensive development coach Sergei Gonchar, right, and assistant coach Adam Foote, back left, listen standing behind the bench.
Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet, back centre, talks to Conor Garland, centre, as defensive development coach Sergei Gonchar, right, listens as assistant coach Adam Foote, back left, stands behind the bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, Tuesday, January 24, 2023. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Lafferty gave Chicago a 2-1 lead when his innocent shot went through Delia’s five-hole at 12:06.

Kuzmenko tied the game again at 15:47 with a nice deflection of Pettersson’s pass.

Vancouver trailed 1-0 after the first period despite outshooting Chicago 21-6. Kane scored with 2:11 left with a layup that sailed over Delia’s shoulder.

Mrazek made some great saves during the period. He stopped Vancouver’s Curtis Lazar on two shots from close range, found a substitute on Bo Horvat’s blast during a power play and stopped defender Luke Schenn on a breakaway after stepping out of the penalty box.

Tocchet had one practice and one game day skate to prepare for Chicago. The Canucks wore special warm-up jerseys to celebrate the Lunar New Year Vancouver failed to score on a four-minute power play early in the first period when Chicago’s Seth Jones was called for a high tackle. Kim Sim, Vancouver’s first Asian mayor, dropped the puck in the opening ceremony.

Chicago center Max Domi, in his inaugural minor, was assessed a major misconduct and 10 minutes for a fight with Vancouver’s Dakota Joshua at 8:13 of the second period. Chicago saw its three-game winning streak snapped in a loss to LA on Sunday. Chicago forward Tyler Johnson, who had 14 points in 22 games, was placed on injured reserve after aggravating a left ankle injury.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Canucks who play Wednesday night in Seattle. Vancouver returns home to face Columbus on Friday, then begins a four-game road trip on Feb. 2 in New Jersey.

Chicago continues their road trip with games in Calgary on Thursday and Edmonton on Saturday before returning home to face Anaheim on February 7.

SEE | Boudreau congratulates the Vancouver crowd in the final game with the Canucks:

An emotional end to the game for Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau an hour before the break

It looked like Bruce Boudreau would remain on the Canucks bench Saturday night after his team’s 4-2 loss to Edmonton. It would be his last game after he was stung by the team hours later.

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