Boeser scores twice, including OT winner, as Canucks beat Bruins

Filip Hronek tied the game with just a minute remaining in the third period, Brock Boeser scored the overtime winner, and the Vancouver Canucks completed the comeback against the Boston Bruins 3-2.

VANCOUVER — Down two goals and mired in their worst losing streak of the season, there was no sense of panic among the Vancouver Canucks.

“Maybe the last three, four games, the bench would have been a little different, slamming sticks and stuff,” said Canucks coach Rick Tocchet. “I didn’t see that tonight. There wasn’t frustration, even though we were down 2-0.”

Sixteen days after dropping a 4-0 decision to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden, the Canucks rallied for a 3-2 overtime win on home ice in a battle for first place overall in the NHL.

Brock Boeser and Filip Hronek scored third-period goals before Boeser completed the comeback on a power play at 1:34 of overtime.

Jesper Boqvist and Danton Heinen put Boston up 2-0 in the second period.

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J.T. Miller finished the night with three assists and was named the game’s first star, while stretching his current point streak to nine points in the last four games.

“Millsy willed the game,” Tocchet said. “His third period was incredible.”

Though the Canucks returned to Rogers Arena as losers of four straight games, Miller felt his team delivered a good effort that would have stood up, regardless of the outcome.

“I feel like we outplayed one of the best teams in the league today for 60 straight minutes, even though we were losing,” Miller said.

“Let’s not make it more than it is, it’s just a hockey game in February. But timing-wise, it feels good, just for the way that it’s been going a little bit lately.”

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Vancouver’s power play came through at a critical moment after going 1-for-28 over the previous nine games. During regulation on Saturday, the Canucks were 0-for-1, while the Bruins were 0-for-4.

“We’ve had 4-on-3 overtime goals before in the past,” said Quinn Hughes, who drew the second assist on the tally, a net-front tip by Boeser that came after a faceoff win by Miller.

With the win, Vancouver retained first place overall at 38-16-6 for 82 points. The Bruins slipped to 34-12-13 for 81 points.

Jeremy Swayman made 36 saves for the Bruins, while Thatcher Demko stopped 20 of 22 shots he faced for the Canucks.

“My d-men did a great job and unfortunately it just comes down to one shot, right?” said Swayman, whose Bruins are now 1-0-2 on this Pacific Division road swing and have gone past regulation in their last five games.

“A lot of great positives came from it, and the d-men boxing guys out and letting me have let a clear look at it was a really big thing for us.”

Boston came into the game with a record of 3-3-3 since the NHL All-Star break. After sending six players and coach Rick Tocchet to All-Star weekend, Vancouver went 4-1-1 before logging four-straight losses heading into Saturday’s showdown.

Both goalies stood tall in a scoreless first period, where the Bruins outshot the Canucks 10-9. David Pastrnak led the way with three shots for Boston, including a point-blank power-play chance from the left faceoff circle late in the frame.

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In the second period, the Bruins built a 2-0 lead. Boqvist opened the scoring at 5:27. After a neutral-zone faceoff-win by Justin Brazeau, playing just his third NHL game, Boqvist broke in alone and laid a sweet deke on Demko for his third of the year.

Just under six minutes later, Heinen of Langley, B.C., doubled the lead at 11:15, driving to the net and backhanding a loose puck out of the crease and over the goal line.

In the third, the Canucks spoiled Swayman’s shutout bid with 7:11 remaining. Boeser fired a wrister to the short side. Nikita Zadorov and Miller drew the assists.

Then, with Demko on the bench for the extra attacker, Hronek fired a bomb from the blue line to tie the game with 1:11 remaining in regulation. Miller and Elias Pettersson collected the assists.


The Canucks and Bruins both played their fourth game in six nights on Saturday. … Defenceman Matt Grzelcyk returned to the Boston lineup after missing one game with a lower-body injury. … Vancouver winger Dakota Joshua missed his sixth game with a broken hand. … ‘The Green Men,’ popular fixtures at Canucks games in the early 2010s, made a return to their seats next to the visitors’ penalty box. …. Playing his third NHL game, Surrey, B.C. native Arshdeep Bains made his home-ice debut for Vancouver, the team he supported growing up.


Bruins: Visit the Seattle Kraken on Monday.

Canucks: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

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