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game recap

Boeser's three goals power Canucks past Penguins

Rookie forward scores first NHL hat trick

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Brock Boeser scored his first NHL hat trick, including the game-winning goal, and had an assist to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

After Greg McKegg tied it 2-2 at 4:49 of the third period for the Penguins, Boeser scored his third goal 1:07 later to restore the lead. The 20-year-old rookie forward took a back pass from Bo Horvat, cut left into the high slot and beat Matt Murray with a wrist shot over the glove.

"When they tied the game, we didn't have any panic. We knew we had to keep putting our foot on the pedal," Boeser said. "It's special being my first hat trick, but just against the Stanley Cup champions and those types of guys, it makes it a little more special."


[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Canucks highlights]


Boeser leads the Canucks with 13 points (five goals, eight assists) through their first 13 games despite being a healthy scratch for the first two and missing a third with a bruised foot.

"He can shoot the puck and he's in the right spot at the right time," Horvat said.

Playing mostly against the Penguins' top line of Sidney Crosby, Connor Sheary and Patric Hornqvist, Vancouver's top line of Boeser, Horvat and Sven Baertschi combined for four goals and seven assists.

Video: PIT@VAN: Boeser tallies first hat trick of NHL career

The Canucks had scored one goal in their previous two games, home losses to the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils.

"The last two games before this we were hurting for goals," said Horvat, who scored with 3:21 left in the third period and had three assists. "To finally get rewarded for our chances felt great."

Jacob Markstrom made 37 saves, and Baertschi had three assists for the Canucks (7-4-2).

"If [Markstrom] wasn't as sharp as he was we weren't going to win," Vancouver coach Travis Green said.

The same was true of his young top line of Boeser, Baertschi (25), and Horvat (22).

"As I keep playing with Bo and Sven we keep gaining chemistry. I feel more confident each game," Boeser said. "We play quick and we create turnovers. That's how we create chances."

Jake Guentzel scored, and Murray made 17 saves for the Penguins (8-6-2), who went 1-3-1 on their season-high five-game road trip after starting the season 7-3-1.

Video: PIT@VAN: Guentzel converts on gorgeous passing play

"We did some good things," said Crosby, who had an assist but was minus-3. "It could easily have been two or three nothing in the first period, then maybe it's a different game. We still have to find ways to not allow those big chances they ended up converting. There's kind of two sides to it. We'd like to convert on those chances and if we're not, we have to find ways to keep the puck out of our net."

Guentzel made it 1-0 on a power play 2:53 into the first period with a backdoor tap-in after a passing play that started with a between-the-legs feed from Crosby to Phil Kessel.

Boeser tied it at 7:07 of the first period and put Vancouver ahead 2-1 7:14 into the second after a Horvat backhand pass from near the end boards to Baertschi in the slot. Baertschi kicked the puck over to Boeser, who was coming out from behind the net on Murray's right and scored into an open net behind the goalie from a sharp angle.


Goal of the game

Boeser's first goal at 7:07 of the first period.

Video: PIT@VAN: Boeser dangles, slides puck past Murray


Save of the game

Markstrom's save on Kessel with 6:12 left in the third period.

Video: PIT@VAN: Markstrom kicks away Kessel in front


Highlight of the game

Markstrom's glove save on Kessel 3:34 into the second period.

Video: PIT@VAN: Markstrom flashes the leather to rob Kessel


They said it

"We didn't give up a significant amount of scoring chances. I thought we generated a fair amount of scoring chances. We are a little bit snakebitten right now. The puck isn't going in the net for us." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan


"I just track the puck really well right now. We've been working on it a lot in practice and the last three games it has been really frustrating to not have more wins because in practice I feel really good and in games I feel really good." -- Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom


Need to know

Pittsburgh played its NHL-leading 11th game on the road, where it is 4-6-1. … Murray hadn't given up a goal to the Canucks in his two previous starts against them, both last season. … Vancouver forwards Henrik Sedin (8:52) and Daniel Sedin (8:38) each had a season low in ice time.


What's next

Penguins: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Monday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-D, NHL.TV)


Video: Boeser's hatty leads Canucks past Penguins, 4-2

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