Eriksson, Boeser lead way as Canucks thump Kings 6-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Hammered from behind on a cross-check that set up a 5-on-3 power play, Vancouver Canucks rookie Brock Boeser waited patiently on the bench to get back in the action.
It took him precisely 12 seconds to exact his revenge.
Boeser scored twice in the second period — including on that two-man advantage — and the Canucks cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
Loui Eriksson led Vancouver’s early flurry with two goals and an assist in the first six minutes. Thomas Vanek, with a goal and two assists, and Sven Baertschi provided the rest of the offense for Vancouver, which got 30 saves from Jacob Markstrom.
Bo Horvat and Alexander Edler each added two assists.
With the Canucks up 5-2 in the second, Boeser, who came in with one goal and two assists in nine games after racking up eight goals and five assists in his previous 10, was hooked on a breakaway before Trevor Lewis crumpled him into the boards moments later to set up the 5-on-3.
The 20-year-old Boeser emphatically buried his second goal of the night and 24th of the season, which leads both the Canucks and all NHL rookies.
“I wasn’t too happy because that hurt pretty bad,” Boeser said of the cross-check. “Especially after that breakaway, I wanted to score there.”
Before Boeser’s outburst, the newly formed line of Eriksson, Vanek and Horvat was the story after the trio scored on three straight shifts to open the game.
“It’s a big win for us,” said Eriksson, who has three goals and three assists in his last five games after recording two assists in his previous 17. “We take it and it’s on to the next one now.”
Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist, and Alex Iafallo also scored for Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick allowed five goals on 19 shots, including four on 11 attempts in the first 9:58.
Darcy Kuemper made 16 saves in relief after Quick was pulled with the score 5-1 early in the second.
“They came in ready to check and play hard on pucks. We tried to play a rush game and allowed people to get behind us,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “Our two best players in the game were our goalies. ... Not often you say that when you lose 6-2.”
With the Canucks getting healthy following a slew of injuries that nullified their solid start to the season, coach Travis Green played Boeser with Henrik and Daniel Sedin to both balance out his first two lines and get Eriksson and Vanek going.
“I thought putting Horvat with Loui and Vanek would give both of them a little bit of life, a little bit of energy,” Green said. “Those guys know they’re going to play a lot when they play with Bo and they’re going to get offensive chances.”
Playing at Rogers Arena for the first time in three weeks, the Canucks opened the scoring 62 seconds into their five-game homestand when Eriksson’s initial redirection of Vanek’s shot squeezed between Quick’s arm and body and landed in the crease. The Kings goalie got a piece of the puck with his stick as he reached back in an attempt to clear it away, but Eriksson was there to poke home his seventh goal.
The Swede was at it again a couple of minutes later, taking a slick feed from Horvat — who returned to the lineup Sunday after missing 18 games with an ankle injury — off the rush and firing in his second of the night at 3:50.
Vanek continued the onslaught at 5:49 when he got behind the Los Angeles defense and sent a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle past a surprised Quick for his 14th to make it 3-0.
The Kings got one back when Iafallo scored his fourth after getting left all alone in front following a Canucks miscue behind Markstrom’s net.
Baertschi restored Vancouver’s three-goal lead with his 10th on a power play following a Los Angeles penalty for a faceoff violation at 9:58. His initial redirection off Vanek’s hard pass into the slot was blocked by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, but the Swiss winger followed up to catch Quick going the wrong way.
Boeser made it 5-1 by chipping home a rebound on the power play at 4:21 to snap a six-game goal drought and end Quick’s night.
Kopitar responded with his team-leading 19th on a Kings man advantage 1:27 later, but Boeser added his second past a screened Kuemper at 7:57 after Lewis’ cross-check.
“I knew I had to go back to the basics, work hard, and stick to the structure, and the chances will come,” Boeser said. “Our whole team played a really good game tonight.”
NOTES: The Canucks played at Rogers Arena for the first time since a 5-0 loss to Anaheim on Jan. 2. Vancouver went 2-4-1 on a recent seven-game road trip that wrapped around the club’s bye week, and was just 3-9-2 over its last 14 outings. ... The Kings lost defenseman Derek Forbort to an undisclosed injury in the second period.
Kings: Visit the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, the second stop on a four-game road trip.
Canucks: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
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