Anders Lee and Casey Cizikas each had a goal and an assist and the New York Islanders returned from the all-star break with an offensive outburst Wednesday, beating the Canucks 6-3 in Vancouver.
Matt Martin, Matthew Barzal, Brock Nelson and Zach Parise — playing in his 1,100th NHL game — also scored for the Isles (17-17-6), and Cal Clutterbuck contributed a pair of assists.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Elias Petterson and Luke Schenn replied for the Canucks (21-21-6).
Vancouver goalie Jaroslav Halak was pulled midway through the first period after coughing up five goals on 12 shots. Thatcher Demko stopped 14-of-15 shots in relief.
Illya Sorokin registered 34 saves for New York, who were playing in their first game since Feb. 2.
Watch the goal.— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 10, 2022
Stay for the celly! pic.twitter.com/ifUIdTeRRJ
The Canucks, coming off a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, were sluggish and sloppy to start the game and surrendered three goals before the game was four minutes old.
Vancouver rallied in the second and outshot the visitors 37-27 across the game, but couldn’t dig itself out from the early hole.
Cizikas set up the final goal of the night 14:19 into the third, chasing down Canucks defenceman Tyler Myers deep in Vancouver territory and picking his pocket. The centreman pulled up just before the goal line and dished a pass to Martin at the top of the crease and Martin beat Demko cleanly with his second goal of the season to make it 6-3.
The Canucks started clawing their way back into the game in the middle frame, outshooting the visitors 12-6 across the period.
Schenn brought Vancouver within two at the 14:35 mark with blast from inside the blue line that squeaked through Sorokin’s pads.
A minute and a half earlier, Pettersson made it 5-2, collecting a pass from Vasily Podkolzin below the goal line, then muscling his way to the top of the crease and forcing a shot behind Sorokin’s skate for his 13th goal of the year.
Vancouver’s first period was a mess, with the home team struggling to get out of their own end and gifting New York scoring chances.
Ekman-Larsson gave the Canucks a glimmer of hope with less than two minutes to go in the frame, picking up a loose puck and firing it past Sorokin stick side to cut the deficit to 5-1.
Boos rained down 16:19 into the period as Barzal sent a backhanded shot top shelf and in off a breakaway to put the Islanders up 5-0. Halak was pulled and Demko took over the crease.
Cizikas scored just over three minute earlier, collecting a pass from Anthony Beauvillier and riffling a shot up and over Halak’s pad.
The game had barely started when the Islanders leapt ahead with three goals in 31 seconds.
Parise was first on the board, jamming a shot through Halak’s pads 3:25 into the first period.
Nelson followed up 18 seconds later, tipping in a shot from Adam Pelech inside the blue line.
Lee poured salt into Vancouver’s wounds 3:56 into the game with a long bomb that appeared to deflect off a body and into the net, giving New York an early three-goal cushion.
Wednesday marked the first time the Islanders have scored five goals in the first period since March 3, 1996, when they dropped a 7-5 decision to the Winnipeg Jets.
NOTES: Vancouver went 0-for-2 on the power play. New York was scoreless on its lone man advantage. … The Canucks will wrap a three-game homestand Saturday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Islanders continue on to Edmonton where they’ll face the Oilers on Friday. … Wednesday marked the first time the two teams faced off since March 10, 2020.
THE CANADIAN PRESS