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Canucks score five goals in first period in rout of Panthers


J.T. Miller had two goals and the Vancouver Canucks scored five times in the first period on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

Vancouver got on the board less than two minutes in and kept up offensive pressure that overwhelmed the Panthers much of the game.

Josh Leivo had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Brandon Sutter, Tim Schaller, Jake Virtanen and Brock Boeser also scored. Alex Edler and Elias Pettersson contributed three assists apiece.

Brian Boyle and Mike Hoffman scored for Florida, but the loss snapped an eight-game point streak (4-0-4).

Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko made his fourth start of the season and stopped 27 shots.

Coming off a 6-2 win over Edmonton on Sunday, the Panthers had hoped to rest netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. Sam Montembeault started between the pipes but was replaced early in the first after allowing three goals on nine shots. Bobrovsky made four saves in 13:42 before the 22-year-old Montembeault returned for the second period. He made some impressive saves and finished with 26.

Sutter and Micheal Ferland opened a dominant first period with a nice give-and-go sequence that ended with Sutter putting a wrist shot past Montembeault 1:14 into the game.

Schaller widened the lead 1:11 later, taking a pass from Jay Beagle down low and muscling a heavy shot into the Florida net.

Virtanen added another goal less than two minutes later, giving Vancouver a 3-0 advantage. The goal was the third in three games for the right wing.

The Panthers replaced Montembeault with Bobrovsky just 6:18 into the game after Virtanen’s goal.

Florida got on the board 8:09 into the period after Leivo turned the puck over in the Canucks zone, where it was picked up by Jayce Hawryluk. He sent it over to Boyle and the center sent a rocket sailing past Demko, cutting Vancouver’s lead to 3-1.

But the Canucks weren’t finished.

Midway through the period, Pettersson got a short pass off to Miller near the blue line and he fired a wrist shot past Bobrovsky for the 100th goal of his NHL career.

Vancouver closed out the period with a goal from Leivo, who popped a quick snap shot into the Florida net with less than 54 seconds on the clock.

Boeser was the only Canucks forward who didn’t have a point in the first 20 minutes.

Coyotes 3, Sabres 2 (SO)

In Buffalo, Nick Schmaltz scored in the shootout, leading Arizona past the hosts.

Conor Garland and Carl Soderberg scored in regulation for the Coyotes (7-3-1). Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves and stopped all three Sabres attempts in the shootout.

Schmaltz scored the game-winner on a low shot to the glove side.

Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner scored for Buffalo (9-2-2), which had won four of five. Carter Hutton made 41 saves.

Arizona dominated the last part of the game, outshooting the Sabres 30-15 over the final two periods.