ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Elias Pettersson had a power-play goal and an assist to extend his point streak to eight games, Quinn Hughes had two assists to give him 60 for the season, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Sunday night.
J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist, and Collin Delia made 17 saves to help the Canucks win for the seventh time in eight games.
“We were pretty relentless from the get go,” Delia said. “I think that’s got to be our M.O., you know. Just keep our feet moving, be hard on pucks, supporting each other. Give credit, you saw it all night, the guys were working for each other.”
Ryan Strome scored to spoil Delia’s shutout bid with 6:50 left in the third and John Gibson had 38 saves for the Ducks, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
“In the third period, we had some desperation and we put some pucks towards the net and forechecked hard and were competitive,” Strome said. “Unfortunate we didn’t get a 60-minute effort.”
After Pettersson, Miller and Hughes combined for five points in a 3-2 shootout win at Los Angeles on Saturday, they continued their torrid production by working together to generate the opening two goals.
“We play fast, we play skilled. We can make plays,” Pettersson said.
Miller buried a slap shot from above the left circle off a pass from Hughes midway through the first.
Pettersson made it 2-0 at 1:31 of the second with a wrist shot in the right circle on the Canucks’ first power play, giving him five goals and seven assist during his streak.
Hughes had the primary assist to become the first NHL defenceman in nearly 30 years with consecutive 60-assist seasons. Ray Bourque had five such campaigns from 1989-90 through 1993-94, and Paul Coffey had back-to-back seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94.
“His breakouts are incredible,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said of Hughes, who has 20 assists in his past 20 games. “The Coffeys of the world, the (Scott) Niedermayers, Bourque, they’re great breakout guys. … And I don’t want to give it to him yet, but he’s climbing that ladder.”
Hughes and Henrik Sedin are the only players in Canucks history with multiple 60-assist seasons. Sedin did it six times.
Pettersson said Hughes’ contributions go well beyond creating offence from the blue line.
“His numbers show it, but he has made plays all over the ice. And then, I mean, this year he’s taken more of a leadership role. Playing a lot better, playing a lot on the PK, and he’s good for us all over the ice,” Pettersson said.
The Ducks will miss the post-season for the fifth straight year, extending the longest drought in franchise history. Before this stretch, they had not gone longer than three years without playoff hockey, starting with their first three seasons as an expansion team in 1993-94 through 1995-96 and again from 1999-2000 to 2001-02.
“I think everyone understands where we are as a club, a team that’s retooling and trying to shape things for the future. But the guys in the locker room had high expectations for ourselves this year and fell short for that," defenceman Cam Fowler said.
"It’s not a spot that we want to be in, but we have to do things the right way to prepare for the future."
Pettersson picked up a point for the 10th straight road game, the longest run by a Vancouver player since Sedin opened the 2013-14 season with two goals and 10 assists in the first 10 games away from home. … Referee Chris Rooney was not on the ice for the first period because of a flight delay.
Canucks: Host Vegas on Tuesday night.
Ducks: Host Calgary on Tuesday night.
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Dan Greenspan, The Associated Press