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game recap

Demko wins season debut, Canucks top Red Wings for third straight victory

Miller scores twice on power play; Detroit loses opener of three-game trip

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Miller's second power-play tally

DET@VAN: Miller snipes his second power-play goal

J.T. Miller rips a wrist shot from the slot into the net, increasing the Canucks' lead to 5-1 with his second power-play goal of the game

  • 01:22 •

VANCOUVER -- Thatcher Demko made 26 saves in his first start of the season, J.T. Miller scored two power-play goals and the Vancouver Canucks won their third straight game, 5-1 against the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.

Demko got the start after Jacob Markstrom was granted a leave of absence by the Canucks to attend to a family matter that is expected to keep him away until the weekend.

 

[WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Canucks highlights]

 

It didn't start well for Demko; Dylan Larkin scored on the first shot, a breakaway 30 seconds into the first period, to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead. But Demko responded by saving the final 26 shots he faced.

"Every goalie has been through that, so just kind of drawing on past experiences," Demko said. "I felt good and didn't want that one to ruin my night.

"It's tough. I haven't played in a while and gave up the first one, but if you want to play at this level, you've got to put that behind you. The team just did a great job. After we gave up that goal we really started rolling."

Elias Pettersson and Alexander Edler each had a goal and two assists, and Brock Boeser had three assists for Vancouver (3-2-0), which went 3-for-5 on the power play after starting the season 1-for-14.

Video: DET@VAN: Pettersson bats puck home to double lead

The Canucks swept a three-game homestand after opening the season with back to back losses on the road and matched their longest winning streak from last season.

"We've been playing really good and starting to find our game," Pettersson said. "We're quicker to the puck, we make quicker decisions and we're there for each other all the time. That's what you need to have to win hockey games in this league."

Jonathan Bernier made 27 saves for Detroit (3-3-0), which has lost three of its past four games since opening the season with consecutive wins.

"It wasn't enough for our team to come in and start a road trip and not have the compete level anywhere near to what theirs was, what it should be in an NHL game," Larkin said. "It was unacceptable, frustrating. If we play like that every night, it is going to be the same result.

"We're not good enough to come out and just throw our sticks out there and play hockey. We need to battle, we need to block shots, the [penalty kill] needs to be good, we need to win battles in front of our net, and we didn't do any of that tonight and it's frustrating."

Video: DET@VAN: Edler rips in wrist shot on power play

Detroit was 0-for-3 on the power play, including a 5-on-3 for 1:36 less than five minutes into the third period.

"Special teams were not good enough," said Red Wings forward Frans Nielsen, who returned after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. "They just wanted it a little more than us. Structure wise, we're fine, it just comes down to working harder and competing out there and they did a better job at that."

Troy Stecher tied it 1-1 at 17:58 of the first period with a shot from the right face-off circle.

Edler's power-play goal gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead 1:13 into the second period, and Pettersson knocked a rebound out of the air at the side of the net to make it 3-1 at 3:48.

Miller deflected Edler's low point shot over Bernier's glove on the power play to make it 4-1 at 13:52. He scored again on the power play at 13:23 of the third period with a wrist shot from the slot for the 5-1 final.

"We shot a couple more pucks, and I think it was just a matter of time," Miller said of the power play. "It's amazing; sometimes when you simplify like that and get back to what makes some power plays good, it's having a shooting threat. It worked out tonight and it's good for our confidence going forward."

Video: DET@VAN: Miller deflects Edler's shot for PPG

 

They said it

"We need to show up, we need to compete. When we win and we have success, we are in the game, we are battling, we are winning our battles, guys are playing as hard as they can and tonight, I am one, I wasn't there the whole night. But it needs to be everyone." -- Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin

"Having your guys put up five [goals] definitely gives me a little more cushion, a little more confidence. I can ride that and build off that for myself." -- Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko

 

Need to know

Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser was a late scratch with an upper-body injury that coach Jeff Blashill said was sustained during warmups. Blashill said he wouldn't have an update on DeKeyser until Wednesday. He was replaced by Trevor Daley, who missed the previous three games because of a lower-body injury. … Defenseman Alex Biega made his Red Wings debut after being acquired from the Canucks on Oct. 6. … Vancouver recalled goalie Zane McIntyre from Utica of the American Hockey League to back up Demko.

 

What's next

Red Wings: At the Calgary Flames on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Canucks: At the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Video: Miller, Pettersson power Canucks to 5-1 victory

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