Thatcher Demko made 31 saves as the Vancouver Canucks raced out to a four-goal lead and recorded a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers Sunday night in the opener of a four-game road trip.
Tanner Pearson and Tyler Myers scored in the first period on goals set up by former Ranger J.T. Miller. Juho Lammikko also scored and Matthew Highmore netted a power-play goal late in the second when the Canucks outshot the Rangers by a 15-6 margin.
Elias Pettersson finished it off with an empty-net tally with 2:09 remaining as the Canucks won their third straight.
Demko made eight saves on Chris Kreider, stopping New York’s leading scorer on a partial breakaway early in the first and then denying him on a wraparound attempt midway through the third.
Demko improved to 8-2-1 in his past 11 starts as he helped the Canucks beat the Rangers for the fifth straight time and improve to 8-3-1 in their past 12 games since Jan. 25.
Alexis Lafreniere and Ryan Strome scored 4:10 apart in the third as the Rangers fell to 5-2-1 in their past eight games and 9-2-2 in their past 13 home games.
New York goaltender Alexandar Georgiev allowed four goals on 33 shots in his first start since Jan. 27.
It took Vancouver 3:12 to jump ahead by capitalizing on a New York defensive miscue.
Georgiev stopped Pearson’s initial shot but the Rangers could not clear the rebound. As four Rangers headed to the blue line, Miller retrieved the puck from behind the net, moved to the left circle and dished to Pearson, whose wrist shot from the high slot eluded Georgiev.
Vancouver took a 2-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the second when Myers buried a wrist shot from above the right circle over Georgiev and inside the post after getting a cross-ice feed from Miller.
After Myers scored his first goal since May 18, Lammikko redirected a pass by Luke Schenn over Georgiev 6:06 into the second following a giveaway by New York defenceman Zac Jones in the right corner.
Highmore made it 4-0 with 4:44 remaining when he deflected a wrist shot by Oliver Ekman-Larsson into the net.
Lafreniere ended New York’s goalless drought when he scored his 12th goal and Strome buried a rebound moments after Demko made a diving save on Kreider’s wraparound try.