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Best of the Best: March 2019

...unreal plays from a busy month for the Canucks

by Brady Trettenero @BradyTrett / Freelance writer

From Pettersson's jaw-dropping shootout goal to Hughes' impressive first NHL point, the youngsters stole the show this past month. Here's the best of the best:

Best Goal

Pettersson scores ridiculous shootout goal vs. Devils (03/15/19)

Elias Pettersson has been sensational in his first NHL season. The 20-year-old forward recently set the franchise record for most points by a rookie when he reached the 61-point mark in a March contest against the Blackhawks. While breaking Pavel Bure's rookie scoring record is impressive, what Pettersson did in a shootout win over the Devils this past month was simply jaw-dropping. After already beating goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood in regulation, Pettersson used a wicked move in the shootout that resembled the famous deke of fellow countryman Peter Forsberg in the 1994 Olympics. The young Swede moved in on Blackwood and got the netminder sliding one way before using a nasty one-hand maneuver to tuck the puck into the net on the opposing side. We've seen six months of Pettersson magic and he's still finding ways to stun the hockey world.

Video: NJD@VAN: Pettersson pulls off phenomenal move in SO

Best Assist

Hughes dazzles for first career point vs. Kings (03/28/19)

Quinn Hughes signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Canucks this past month after completing his second NCAA season with the University of Michigan. The 19-year-old blueliner made his anticipated NHL debut against the Kings in March and didn't disappoint. Hughes skated 15:36 in the contest and made a great play on Brock Boeser's second-period goal for his first career point. The sequence started in the offensive zone when Hughes made a quick dash from the blueline and took the puck behind the net. Instead of circling around the goal, Hughes stopped up and used the back of the net to play the puck to himself and evade forechecker Trevor Lewis. Hughes' creativity allowed him to come out the near side and fire a shot on Jonathan Quick. While his shot was denied, Boeser was able to bury the rebound to give Vancouver the lead.

Video: LAK@VAN: Hughes earns first point on Boeser's goal

Best Save

Markstrom robs Leafs' Tavares from sharp angle (03/06/19)

The Canucks rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Maple Leafs in overtime this past month, but it wouldn't have been possible without the stellar play of goaltender Jacob Markstrom. The Swedish netminder stopped 28 of 30 shots to help Vancouver takedown one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. It was one of five victories this past month for Markstrom, who has faced the third-highest amount of shots in the NHL this season (1863). Markstrom made several sensational saves in the victory, but his best may have been a timely third-period glove stop on one of the league's top scorers. With the game tied in the final frame, Leafs' forwards Mitch Marner and John Tavares moved in on a 2-on-1 in tight. Markstrom showed great flexibility and awareness to track the pass from Marner and stretch out to rob Tavares with the glove.

Watch: Youtube Video

Best Accomplishment

Edler sets impressive franchise record vs. Kings (03/28/19)

Not only did top defensive prospect Quinn Hughes make his NHL debut against the Kings this past month, but veteran blueliner Alex Edler made franchise history in the same game. The 32-year-old rearguard became the franchise leader for most goals by a Canucks defenseman when he beat netminder Jonathan Quick on the power play for his 94th career goal. With Vancouver trailing 1-0 in the second period, Bo Horvat won the offensive zone faceoff and Pettersson got the puck to Edler at the point. The long-tenured Canuck beat Quick five-hole with a wrist shot to score his 10th goal of the season and surpass Mattias Ohlund as the highest goal-scoring defenseman in Vancouver history. Edler found the back of the net five times this past month, marking the third time in his career he's reached double-digits in goals.

Video: LAK@VAN: Edler sets franchise record with PPG

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