VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Elias Pettersson scored twice, Bo Horvat had a career-high four assists and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Friday night for their second victory in three games under Rick Tocchet.
Tocchet took over as coach after Bruce Boudreau was fired Sunday.
Quinn Hughes had a goal and an assist to help the Canucks improve to 20-26-3. Ilya Mikheyev and Dakota Joshua also scored and Collin Delia made 23 saves to help send the Canucks into the All-Star break on a winning note.
“It’s been a long year up until this point, I’m sure everyone in the league feels like it,” Hughes saod. “And I think everyone was excited for the break and was happy that we got a good one tonight. And we can kind of go into the break and enjoy and feel good about ourselves. Obviously, still lots of work to be done. It hasn’t been a great season, but we’ll enjoy the time off.”
Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin announced after the game that Mikheyev is set to have season-ending knee surgery next week. He said the 28-year-old Russian winger suffered a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a preseason game Sept. 25.
Kirill Marchenko had two power-play goals for the Blue Jackets (15-30-3). Joonas Korpisalo stopped 29 shots for Columbus.
“We just weren’t really in this one,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “We didn’t have as much energy really all game.”
Hughes gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead midway through the firsy period on a long shot through traffic on a power play. Mikheyev scored with 45 seconds left in the first, unleashing a blast from above the faceoff circle that ricocheted off the end glass, hit Korpisalo’s skate and skittered into the net.
Joshua scored at 8:20 of the third on an errant pass. The forward looked to send a puck across the slot to Brock Boeser, but the puck hit Columbus defenseman Adam Boqvist in the leg and caromed into the net to make it 4-1.
Pettersson made it 5-1 with a power-play goal with 7:08 left.
Blue Jackets: At Seattle on Saturday night.
Canucks: At New Jersey on Monday, Feb. 6.