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Demko, Canucks open road trip with 5-2 victory over New York Rangers

Matthew Highmore adds two points for Vancouver on his 26th birthday
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko stops a shot by New York Rangers centre Mika Zibanejad (93) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Thatcher Demko made 31 saves and the visiting Vancouver Canucks beat the New York Rangers 5-2 on Sunday night.

Matthew Highmore and Tyler Myers each had a goal and an assist and Tanner Pearson, Juho Lammikko and Elias Pettersson also scored for the Canucks, who started a four-game road trip. Vancouver was also coming off a 7-1 victory over Calgary on Thursday that ended the Flames’ 10-game winning streak.

J.T. Miller, the subject of trade rumors ahead of next month’s trade deadline, had two assists for the Canucks.

Ryan Strome and Alexis Lafrenière scored third-period goals for the Rangers, who have lost for the second time in two days coming off a 1-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday. Alexandar Georgiev started for the first time since Jan. 27 and made 29 saves for New York.

The Canucks opened the scoring early in the first period. Miller circled behind the net and passed to Tanner Pearson, who was driving toward the slot and wristed it past Georgiev at 3:12 for his 10th goal of the season.

Demko was especially sharp in the opening period as the Rangers had several good scoring chances. He made multiple saves on Mika Zibanejad from in close a few minutes in and stopped Chris Kreider’s backhand a minute after Pearson’s goal. Demko stopped Kreider again in front of the net on the Rangers’ first power play midway through the period, made a nice save on Kreider again on the Rangers’ next power play and denied K’Andre Miller’s attempt late in the final minute.

After the save on K’Andre Miller, the Canucks drove the other way and scored as J.T. Miller sent a pass to Myers, who scored his first goal of the season at 19:21.

The Canucks made it 3-0 at 6:06 of the second. Defenseman Luke Schenn shot from the point and Lammikko deflected it past Georgiev for his sixth of the season.

READ MORE: Miller records 4 points as Canucks crush visiting Calgary Flames 7-1

Demko kept it that way as he stopped Kreider on a breakaway midway through the period.

The Canucks added to the lead on the power play when Highmore tipped in Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot from the point at 15:16.

Trailing 4-0 after two periods, the Rangers took advantage of a Canucks turnover as Zibanejad sent a pass to Lafrenière, who scored his 12th of the season at 9:53. Strome made it 4-2 when he scored his 11th of the season at 14:03.

Pettersson added an empty-net goal at 17:51 to seal the win.

NOTES: J.T. Miller has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in his past eight games. … The Rangers fell to 17-5-3 at Madison Square Garden this season.


Canucks: At New Jersey on Monday night.

Rangers: Host St. Louis on Wednesday night.


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