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Canucks score twice early in third, rally past Islanders 4-3

NEW YORK (AP) — Nils Hoglander and rookie Vasily Podkolzin scored 45 seconds apart midway through the third period and Thatcher Demko made 24 saves as the Vancouver Canucks edged the New York Islanders 4-3 on Thursday night.

NEW YORK (AP) — Nils Hoglander and rookie Vasily Podkolzin scored 45 seconds apart midway through the third period and Thatcher Demko made 24 saves as the Vancouver Canucks edged the New York Islanders 4-3 on Thursday night.

Anthony Beauvillier had put the Islanders ahead 3-2 early in the third, flipping the puck past Demko at 1:49 for his ninth goal after the teams each scored twice in the second period.

But the Canucks struck twice against the struggling Semyon Varlamov for their second win in New York-area games this week. Vancouver defeated the Rangers 5-2 on Sunday before losing 7-2 at Newark to the New Jersey Devils on Monday.

“We have been a pretty good bounce-back team," Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”We are trying to be mentally tough."

Vancouver has won seven of its last 10 games and is 19-8-4 since Boudreau replaced Travis Green as coach in early December.

“We just come to the rink and work hard," Canucks forward Brock Boeser said. ”Our D has been a little more aggressive and helping us, for sure. We want to play hard and play smart."

Brad Hunt and J.T. Miller scored second-period goals for Vancouver, while Noah Dobson and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Islanders.

The 21-year-old Hoglander scored his ninth goal at 9:34 of the third finishing off a pretty passing sequence from Conor Garland and Quinn Hughes. Hoglander was a second-round pick by Vancouver in 2019.

The 20-year-old Podkolzin, the 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft, scored his 10th at 10:19 with an assist to Bo Horvat to put the visitors ahead.

“Pods has been awesome,'' said the 33-year-old Hunt, whose goal was his first as a Canuck. ”It's really nice to see him succeeding."

The Islanders started a six-game homestand at UBS Arena after a five-game Western road trip during which they were 2-2-1. Varlamov made 34 saves, but fell to 3-11-1 on the season. New York, which reached the semifinals the past two postseasons, is 20-23-8 this season.

“There a pretty good offensive team,'' Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We turned the puck over way too many times. ... Every mistake seems to end up in the back of our net.”

Dobson opened the scoring at 3:37 of the second. The 22-year-old defenseman has 10 goals on the season. Brock Nelson and Andy Greene assisted.

Dobson has nine points — four goals and five assists — in his last 10 games, and his 10 goals since Dec. 5 are the most of all NHL defensemen over that span.

Vancouver tied it at 7:19 when a shot by Hunt trickled past Varlamov. The goal was Hunt's first this season.

Miller, the former Ranger, notched his team-best 21st goal at 11:50. Boeser and Quinn Hughes assisted. Miller has points in seven straight games and 17 points (five goals and 12 assists) in his last 10 games overall.

Hughes, who also assisted on Hoglander’s goal, has 11 points in his last 10 games and is second on the Canucks with 39 assists.

“You knew they would come with a push. We couldn't find a way to keep the pressure on them,'' said Palmieri, who tied the contest again for the Islanders at 18:20 of the second, rifling a shot past Demko for his seventh goal. ”They tied it up and got the quick one after."

Palmieri’s goal was his sixth in his last nine games.

The Islanders had earned points in 11 consecutive games against the Canucks, with a 7-0-4 mark. And in their last five home games against Vancouver, the Islanders were 3-0-2. All five of those games were played at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

But Demko and quick strikes from the potent Canucks offense changed that dynamic.

The Islanders are 4-6-8 in games decided by a single goal including 2-6 in regulation.

“The attitude with our group is pretty good,'' Trotz added. ”They felt they should have gotten a point tonight and I do, too."


The Islanders will play 17 games in March, their busiest month in franchise history. Eleven of the contests will be at home, including a six-game homestand that began against the Canucks.


The Islanders are 5-4-1 in the front end and 3-7-1 in the back end of back-to-back games. The next back-to-backs will be home games March 10 against Columbus and the next night vs. Winnipeg.

NOTES: The Islanders won the previous meeting, 6-3 at Vancouver on Feb. 9. ... The Islanders scratched injured center Mathew Barzal plus left wing Ross Johnston and defenseman Zdeno Chara. ... The Canucks scratched Madison Bowey and forwards Jason Dickinson and Phillip Di Giuseppe.


Canucks: Visit Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Islanders: Host St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

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Allan Kreda, The Associated Press