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game recap

Canucks defeat Kings in shootout, avoid elimination from playoff race

Demko makes 37 saves, Hughes has assist in NHL debut for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

Boeser nets rebound while falling

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

Quinn Hughes earns his first career point as Brock Boeser chips a rebound past Jonathan Quick while falling to the ice in the 2nd period

  • 00:37 •

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks avoided being eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention with a 3-2 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Vancouver (33-35-10), which ended a three-game losing streak, is seven points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. The Canucks will be eliminated if the Avalanche get one point against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Thatcher Demko made 37 saves, and Quinn Hughes, who was the No. 7 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, had an assist in his NHL debut.


[WATCH: All Kings vs. Canucks highlights]


"I want to play my best hockey here and produce and do what I can to pitch in, so it's nice to do that," said Hughes, who signed a three-year, entry-level contract on March 10.

Austin Wagner and Adrian Kempe scored, and Jonathan Quick made 36 saves in his 600th NHL game for Los Angeles (28-40-9), which has lost two straight and has been eliminated from playoff contention.

"We want wins, obviously, but you can live with an overtime loss if you compete and play as hard as you can," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We love playing the game of hockey and we are committed to making this team better every night and we all play with heart and we all compete and that's what we ask." 

Video: LAK@VAN: Pearson puts Canucks ahead in shootout

Forward Dustin Brown played his 1,112th NHL game, passing Dave Taylor for the most in Kings history.

"It's something you never think about," Brown said. "I just put my head down and work and eventually when you look up, you are at some places you never thought you'd be."

Wagner scored on his own rebound off a wraparound attempt at the right post to make it 1-0 at 12:56 of the first period.

Video: LAK@VAN: Wagner nets own rebound for opening tally

Alexander Edler scored on a point shot through traffic at 14:07 of the second period to tie it 1-1. The goal was Edler's 94th in the NHL, passing Mattias Ohlund for most in Canucks history by a defenseman.

"It's a special milestone," Edler said. "There are some pretty big names up there (in the Canucks Ring of Honor at Rogers Arena) with Mattias."

Boeser scored 56 seconds later to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead. After Hughes banked the puck to himself off the back of the net to get past his defender, he skated out to the right circle and took a shot before Boeser chipped the rebound over Quick from a sharp angle while being knocked to the ice.

"He's got special talent, that's for sure," Canucks coach Travis Green said of Hughes. "It doesn't look like he lacks confidence, which you want in your guys that are skilled. You want them to make plays and he made a few tonight that obviously are very exciting."

Video: LAK@VAN: Canucks score two goals 56 seconds apart

Kempe tied it 2-2 at 11:47 in the third period on a wrist shot following a turnover by Canucks forward Loui Eriksson at the blue line.

Quick made a sprawling glove save on Boeser on a 2-on-1 with Elias Pettersson in overtime, but Tanner Pearson scored the only goal in the fourth round of the shootout on a shot that hit his shoulder and bounced in.

"The save on Boeser might be one of the best saves I've ever seen him make, and that's a lot of really good saves," Brown said.

Video: LAK@VAN: Quick robs Boeser with terrific glove save


They said it

"We had opportunities. I wish we had a little more killer instinct on two power plays, one late and one in overtime. We need to learn. We are out of the playoffs, but that is the difference between playoff teams and non-playoff teams, opportunities like that slipping through your fingers. Good teams find a way to capitalize." -- Kings forward Dustin Brown

"It was surreal to have the Canucks fans supporting me like that. It was a tremendous night for me and my parents and I'm just really happy to be here." -- Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes

"It's a team I grew up watching. I grew up idolizing these guys, being from Southern California. It was a little surreal in warmups seeing those guys down there. But once the game starts, you've got to lock in. Definitely a cool one." -- Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, who is from San Diego


Need to know 

Kings defenseman Dion Phaneuf was a healthy scratch for the fourth time in the past six games. … Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton returned after missing 11 games with a foot injury. He had two shots in 24:37 of ice time. … Edler has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games.


What's next

Kings: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN360, SNP, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Video: Pearson scores in SO to lift Canucks past Kings, 3-2

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