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Canucks fend off Wild comeback bid, tie series

The Vancouver Canucks spread goals among four scorers and held on in the final seconds to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Tuesday in Edmonton, tying their best-of-five Western Conference qualifying series at 1-1.

Jacob Markstrom made 32 saves for the Canucks while Alex Stalock turned aside 24 shots for the Wild.

The Canucks got a goal each from Tanner Pearson, J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat. Miller and Horvat each had an assist, and Alexander Edler chipped in two helpers.

Kevin Fiala scored twice in the last 2 1/2 minutes to bring the Wild close. Luke Kunin added a single goal for the Wild.

Pearson gave the Canucks an early jump, scoring 24 seconds into the contest. Off the rush, Horvat fired a high, hard one at Stalock, who deflected it up high behind the net. The puck bounced back onto the ice as Stalock attempted to signal to officials that the puck went out of bounds.

Instead, there was no call, and Stalock’s defensemen failed to corral the puck. Pearson jumped on it and one-timed it past the goalie.

The Wild got that goal back, though, after an aggressive forecheck while on the power play. Defenseman Ryan Suter sent a long pass up ice to Zach Parise, who made a perfect cross-ice pass to a streaking Kunin. Kunin wristed the puck past Markstrom.

The Canucks built a two-goal lead in the second. Miller streaked in, pulled a toe drag and fooled Stalock at 3:01. About five minutes later, Boeser collected a rebound off a shot from the point by Elias Pettersson and increased the Canucks’ lead to 3-1.

The Wild were steadily in trouble with the referees, taking seven minor penalties, and the Canucks finally capitalized in the third. With Brad Hunt in the box for slashing Pettersson, Miller sent an around-the-back pass to Quinn Hughes, whose point shot bounced off Horvat’s stick and into the net.

With an empty net and an extra skater, the Wild drew within two at 17:31 when Fiala wired the puck high gloveside on Markstrom. He added another goal with just 7.7 seconds left to bring the Wild within one.

The Wild outshot the Canucks 35-28.

Vancouver’s Micheal Ferland, who Monday was fined $5,000 for spearing Ryan Hartman on the Wild bench Sunday in Game 1, left the game in the first period. Ferland missed much of the regular season with concussion-related symptoms following an October 2019 fight.

–Field Level Media

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