Canucks cruise to 5-2 win over Vegas, even series 1-1

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 25: Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks scores a goal past Robin Lehner #90 of the Vegas Golden Knights during the second period in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 25, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (Bruce Bennett, 2020 Getty Images)

EDMONTON, AB – Bo Horvat scored twice, and Tyler Toffoli and Elias Pettersson each had a goal and two assists to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night, evening their Western Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.

Tanner Pearson also scored for Vancouver, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 38 shots — including 21 in the second period.

Alex Tuch and Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knights . Robin Lehner had 22 saves in just his second loss of the postseason.

Game 3 is Thursday night.

It was the first game back for Toffoli since the first game of the qualifying round against Minnesota on Aug. 2. The NHL is not releasing information on injuries, but Toffoli had been seen in a walking boot.

Toffoli jumped over the boards for his first shift and scored nine seconds later. Pettersson swooped wide around Golden Knights defender Shea Theodore, went behind the net, then slid the puck through the crease to Toffoli for a quick wrist shot into a open net 1:29 into the game.

The Canucks then scored on the power play 9 1/2 minutes later. Toffoli, standing behind the net, delivered a tape-to-tape pass to an incoming Horvat, who blasted it past Lehner.

In the second period, Vegas got on the board on Theodore's lob pass that Nicolas Roy corralled at the right face-off circle, then delivered on the backhand to Tuch for the one-timer at 6:34, his sixth goal of the postseason.

Then it was Pettersson, left alone in the slot, taking a cross-seam pass from Alex Edler and deking out Lehner on the forehand with 1:25 left in the middle period for his fifth goal of the post-season, to go with 11 assists.

Vancouver made it 4-1 just 18 seconds into the third. Horvat scored his second goal by taking Brock Boeser's backhanded pass in front and tucking it past Lehner for his eighth playoff goal.

The frustration finally got to Vegas late in the third. Pacioretty grabbed J.T. Miller by the head and threw him down after the whistle for a roughing penalty. Tuch got a double minor for pummelling Jake Virtanen while the Vancouver forward lay on the ice.

Pacioretty scored with 1:26 left on a blast from the point on the power play with Lehner pulled for an extra attacker.

Pearson added the final Vancouver goal into an empty net.

The Canucks were looking for a bounce-back after the Golden Knights dismantled them 5-0 in Game 1 and chased Markstrom from the net for the first time in the playoffs.

NOTES: Toffoli had 10 points in 10 games after being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings at the trade deadline. ... Horvat had not found the scoresheet since scoring two goals in each of the first two games against the St. Louis Blues in the first round. ... Pettersson has been a steady point-getter throughout the playoffs but had been shut down by Vegas in Game 1, limited to no shots on net and one blocked shot. ... Markstrom allowed just nine goals on 121 shots (.926 save percentage) against Minnesota in the first round while registering his first playoff shutout. He saved 29 of 34 against the Blues (.930).