VANCOUVER — Matt Dumba scored his first goal of the season midway through the third period as the Minnesota Wild used a 3-2 victory to spoil the Vancouver Canucks’ NHL home-opener Tuesday night.
Mats Zuccarello and Jonas Brodin also scored for the Wild (5-1-0).
Alex Chiasson, on a power play, and Bo Horvat scored for the Canucks (3-3-1), who saw a two-game win streak snapped.
Goaltender Cam Talbot made 22 saves for Minnesota.
Thatcher Demko stopped 27 shots for Vancouver.
The Canuck home-opener was the first game with full capacity at Rogers Arena in 595 days.
The last time the Canucks played before a full house was in a 5-4 shootout win over the New York Islanders on March 10, 2020, two days before the NHL was put on pause due to COVID-19. The team played without fans in the stands during last year’s shortened season.
Dumba’s goal came after Vancouver’s Brock Boeser had taken a hard shot that went over the top of Minnesota's net and around the boards. The Wild moved the puck up the ice and Dumba scored off a pass from Rem Pitlick.
Horvat cut the lead to 3-2 at 15:53 after taking a long, lead pass from defenceman Tyler Myers, fighting off the check of a Wild defenceman, and scoring on a backhand.
A Canucks turnover gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead at 2:27 of the second period. Vancouver defenceman Jack Rathbone coughed up the puck at his own blue line. Brodin fired a shot that Demko stopped, but then scored his first of the season on the rebound.
The Wild came close just a few minutes later on a partial breakaway. Kevin Fiala fed Frederick Gaudreau at the front of the net, but Demko made the save.
Vancouver cut the lead to 2-1 on a power play at 10:26. With Nick Bjugstad off for interference, and Marcus Foligno playing without a stick, the Canucks controlled the puck in the Wild end. With five second remaining on the penalty Elias Pettersson sent a slap-pass in front of the net which Chiasson directed past Talbot.
Minnesota came close before the period ended when Pitlick had a breakaway after stepping out of the penalty box but his shot hit the post.
The Wild opened the scoring at 7:41 of the first. Zuccarello got behind the Canuck defence of Tucker Poolman and Quinn Hughes, took a long pass from Joel Eriksson Ek, then beat Demko through the five-hole for his third goal of the season.
The Canucks had the best scoring chance of the period just a few minutes later on a three-on-one breakaway. Boeser unloaded a hard shot off a fed from J.T. Miller but Talbot made the save.
NOTES: Zuccarello’s goal was the first time this season the Wild opened the scoring. … Vancouver returned home from a six-game road trip, their longest of the season. … Eriksson Ek’s assist on the first goal was the 100th point of his career. … Travis Green coached his 296th regular season game leaving him fourth among Canuck coaches. Alain Vigneault leads with 540. … Canuck defenceman Tucker Poolman left the game late in the second period and didn’t return.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2021.
Jim Morris, The Canadian Press