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Instant Reaction: Elias Pettersson takes care of business for Canucks in Aidan McDonough’s NHL debut

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Photo credit:© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
10 months ago
Folks, Elias Pettersson did it again. More on him later.
This afternoon’s 4-2 Canucks victory over the Chicago Blackhawks was the much-anticipated NHL debut of Aidan McDonough, who prior to puck drop, posed for a photo with longtime best friend Jack Rathbone.
McDonough signed with the Canucks after finishing his collegiate career with Northeastern University earlier this month. He’s been with the team for over a week, and finally got into the lineup today.
McDonough played a team-low 3:16 in the first period, but threw a team-high two hits. He was tied with JT Miller, who played 6:28 in the first, in the hit column, and that bodes well for a young player trying to do whatever he can to get noticed.
In the second period, McDonough had a prime opportunity to take a whack at a loose puck in front, but the chaos in the crease ended with Petr Mrazek getting the pad down and denying McDonough the first goal of his NHL career. McDonough threw in a dogged effort on the back check to go with a stronger performance in the second, and finished the night with 10:03.
The Canucks conceded the first goal of the game while shorthanded, and you once again had to question the logic of having Filip Hronek on the half wall of the first unit. Unless the players on the first unit are told to start rotating positions with one another, having Hronek in that spot makes almost no sense.
Phil Di Giuseppe scored a weird one late in the second to tie things up heading into the third for the Canucks, and that’s where Elias Pettersson takes over.
First Pettersson scored a goal at five on five twelve minutes into the third, with Andrei Kuzmenko and Ethan Bear picking up the assists. Then, just a hair over a minute later with his team now on the power play, Pettersson wasted little time in extending their lead even further after banking home an Andrei Kuzmenko shot that was trickling toward the goal before Pettersson sealed the deal, scoring his second of the game, and his 36th of the season.
From there, it was protect mode for the Canucks. The Hawks pulled their goalie with just under two minutes remaining and pulled back within one, but the Canucks managed to ice this with another empty netter. And the best part here is that it was Brock Boeser who got the goal. Boeser has looked great under Rick Tocchet, but doesn’t necessarily have the production to reflect that. It’s nice to see him get one. Boeser had a big night last night as well!
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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