The Canucks persevered for a 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday but the victory wasn’t enough to keep Vancouver’s faint playoff hopes alive.
Quinn Hughes had a goal and two assists and set a single-season franchise record for points by a Canucks defenceman with 64. Oliver Ekman-Larsson added one of each, Sheldon Dries, J.T. Miller and Luke Schenn all scored and Conor Garland contributed three assists.
Vancouver (39-30-11) was playing without all-star goalie Thatcher Demko, who head coach Bruce Boudreau said had a “little bit of an ouch.” Spencer Martin took over the Canucks’ net and stopped 31 of 33 shots for his second NHL win.
Joey Daccord made 22 saves for Seattle, who lost their third straight.
Despite the win, the Canucks were officially eliminated from playoff contention when the Dallas Stars moved closer to a post-season berth with a 3-2 shootout win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
It’s the second year in a row that Vancouver will miss the playoffs.
WATCH l Canucks take down Kraken:
Hughes capped his milestone night with a goal 15:59 into the third.
The defenceman and Garland escaped the defensive zone on a two on one, and Garland sliced a pass across the slot to Hughes who tapped it in for his eighth goal of the season and his 66th point.
A lucky bounce helped the Canucks put away their fourth goal of the night.
Daccord stopped a shot in tight from Matthew Highmore, but saw the puck bounce off his stick and up over his head, landing in the crease behind him. Schenn knocked it in over the goal line 13:08 into the third to make it 4-2.
Penalties dismantled the Canucks’ game in the second. Vancouver was called for five separate infractions across the frame and had to weather three minutes and 42 seconds of five-on-three play.
The Kraken cut the deficit to a single goal 9:12 into the second. Riley Sheahan dished a puck to Geekie from along the end boards and the forward sent a shot up and over Martin’s glove to make it 3-2.
Seattle got on the board with a power-play tally 4:59 into the period after Brad Richardson was called for tripping.
Eberle sent a shot into the top corner from in tight for his 20th goal in a Kraken jersey.
Vancouver was 1 for 3 with the man advantage Tuesday and Seattle went 1 for 8.
Using a screen in front of the net, the Vancouver defenceman fired a shot from just inside the blue line to notch his fifth goal of the season 15:05 into the game.
Vancouver outplayed the visitors mightily through the first, with the Kraken going the first 11 minutes without a shot on goal despite a two-minute power play.
The Canucks went up 2-0 just 3:34 into the first when Garland slipped Miller a back pass and the feisty forward unleashed a blast from the high slot, sending the puck sailing past Daccord’s glove.
Hughes got a secondary assist on the play, his 64th point of the season. The tally sets a new single-season record for points by a Canucks defenceman, passing a mark set by Doug Lidster in 1986-87.
The record breaking assist 😊<br><br>Hughes ➡️ Garland ➡️ Miller 🚨 <a href=”https://t.co/c3wacozSHy”>https://t.co/c3wacozSHy</a> <a href=”https://t.co/kvfxEI80ob”>pic.twitter.com/kvfxEI80ob</a>
Hughes set a single-season franchise record for assists by a defenceman on Saturday when he notched his 56th of the season in Vancouver’s 6-3 loss to Calgary.
Dries opened the scoring 2:46 into Tuesday’s game with a shot from inside the faceoff circle off an odd-man rush.
The Kraken will host the L.A. Kings on Wednesday. The Kings will then head north to take on the Canucks in Vancouver on Thursday.