Canucks defeat Penguins for second straight win
Photo: Derek Cain/Getty Images

Bo Horvat had two goals to power the Vancouver Canucks past the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Rogers Center.

Andrei Kuzmenko had a goal and an assist, Ilya Mikheyev picked up two assists and Spencer Martin made 34 saves as Vancouver (2-5-2) picked up a second consecutive win after defeating Seattle on Thursday.

"[Tonight] was obviously one of our more complete games we've played all season, against a good hockey team that was well-rested, and we were coming off a back to back", Horvat said. "So, i'm proud of our guys. I'm proud of the way we came out and played tonight, despite the adversity."

The Canucks had given up multigoal leads in each of their first four games and were outscored 16-4 in the third period heading into Friday night's game.

"It's two games, but you could tell it's like the weight of the world was lifted off our shoulders, quite frankly", said coach Bruce Boudreau. "Because every other third period has been like 'Oh, what's going to happen that's negative?' And I think once we got through the first three minutes, it was like, 'OK, let's go'. And everybody just played and I thought it was good."

Rickard Rakell scored Pittsburgh's only goal and Tristan Jarry made 24 saves as the Penguins (4-3-1) have dropped the first three of a four-game road trip that concludes on Saturday.

"I think at some points, maybe some urgency, execution", said captain Sidney Crosby when asked what's been lacking during the team's current slump. "We had some looks maybe to get back in the game, a few of them, and we didn't, especially tonight. I don't think it's the same thing necessarily, but if anything's been consistent, it's been our starts we've struggled with, so we've got to establish that."

Penguins flat in third straight loss

Tanner Pearson put Vancouver in front with 6:08 left in the first period, tapping home a backdoor pass from Mikheyev seven seconds after a power play had expired.

Horvat doubled the Canucks' lead 32 seconds into the second period, but Rakell halved the deficit with Pittsburgh on a power play, poking home a loose puck in the crease after Martin had saved Bryan Rust's initial shot.

Kuzmenko made it 3-1, deflecting a point shot by Luke Schenn a little more than halfway through the third period.

"Confidence is an amazing thing", Boudreau said. "And it looks like we're gaining a little bit now."

Horvat scored on yet another power play, tipping in an Oliver Ekman-Larsson point shot and J.T. Miller scored into the empty net with 2:10 left for the 5-1 final.

"Obviously there's a lot more energy, obviously the smiles on our faces", Horvat said of the recent feeling in the locker room. "But we've got to dig ourselves out of the hole here. Obviously, we put ourselves in this situation. Just because we won two games, you can't be satisfied. We've got to keep going here."

Martin, who hasn't lost in regulation in two seasons with the Canucks (4-0-4) and is 1-0-1 this season, stopped Rakell on a breakaway at 6:13 of the first and made a sprawling save on a rebound attempt by Crosby at 8:14 of the second on a power play.

"It probably feels good for everybody, but especially me, just to get my season started off in a good way", he said.

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