VANCOUVER, B.C. - Evander Kane extended his Western Hockey League-leading points streak to 21 games Sunday as the Vancouver Giants beat the Portland Winter Hawks 5-2.
Just when it looked like he would be held off the scoresheet for the first time this season, Kane scored an empty-net goal after he recovered from being hooked off the puck with only 21.2 seconds left in the game.
Brent Regner, Jon Blum, Garry Nunn and James Henry also scored for the Giants (17-1-0-3) before a crowd of 9,108 at the Pacific Coliseum. Casey Pierro-Zabotel supplied two assists as the Giants posted their third straight win.
Killian Hutt and Radim Valchar replied for Portland (7-15-0-0) as its season-high win streak ended at three games. The Winter Hawks are now 5-3 since Mike Johnston, a former associate coach with the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, took over as their coach and general manager in late October.
Vancouver outshot Portland 38-20. The Giants scored on one of three power plays while the Winter Hawks were blanked on the same number of man-advantage opportunities.
The score was tied 1-1 after the first period and the Giants led 2-1 after the second, but most of the game's suspense was around Kane's streak. The 17-year-old Vancouver native, who is projected as a first-round choice in next summer's NHL draft, was listed as a possible scratch after he hurt his ankle Friday against Kelowna, but coach Don Hay kept him in the lineup.
The Giants dominated the first period, but Hutt gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 11:24. With Vancouver's Pierro-Zabotel racing back in an attempt to break up a two-on-one, Colin Reddin dropped the puck back to Hutt, and he promptly fired the puck over the shoulder of goaltender Jamie Tucker.
Regner tied the game 1-1 at 17:11 when Portland goaltender Keith Hamilton misplayed the defenceman's harmless-looking wrist shot from the right boards. The Giants outshot the Winter Hawks 19-6 in the first 20 minutes.
Blum sent the Giants ahead 2-1 on a power play at 12:07 of the evenly-played second period as his point shot bounced along the ice past Hamilton.
Vancouver went up 3-1 only 53 seconds into the third as Nunn scored on a wraparound. Henry's short-handed breakaway goal 56 seconds later put the Giants up 4-1.
Valchar reduced Portland's deficit to 4-2 at 15:19.