Vancouver Canucks centre Brandon Sutter (20) tries to clear Ottawa Senators right wing Connor Brown (28) from in front of Vancouver Canucks goaltender Braden Holtby (49) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver Canucks centre Brandon Sutter (20) tries to clear Ottawa Senators right wing Connor Brown (28) from in front of Vancouver Canucks goaltender Braden Holtby (49) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Boeser has 3 points as streaking Canucks sweep aside Ottawa 4-1

Vancouver climbs back to .500 with third straight victory

Brock Boeser had two goals and an assist Thursday, helping the host Vancouver Canucks to a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

It was the third time in four nights that the Canucks (5-5-0) beat the Sens (1-6-1), completing a sweep of the three-game series.

Elias Pettersson scored and had an assist for Vancouver, while Tanner Pearson tallied a goal and Quinn Hughes chalked up two assists. Ottawa’s lone marker came from Thomas Chabot, an unassisted goal 14:15 into the second period.

For the third game in a row, the Senators outshot the Canucks, this time by a margin of 36-to-25. Vancouver netminder Braden Holtby weathered the onslaught, making 35 saves. At the other end of the ice, Matt Murray stopped 21-of-25 shots as Ottawa dropped its seventh game in a row.

The Sens had a prime opportunity to cut into the Canucks’ lead when they got a two-man advantage with less than 10 minutes on the clock.

Vancouver defender Jalen Chatfield had been sent to the box for going after Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk when he hit Tyler Motte near centre ice. The pair had a brief tussle before both were handed penalties for roughing, and Chatfield given an additional two-minute minor for interference.

Just 30 seconds into the Ottawa power play, veteran Canucks defenceman Alex Edler was sanctioned for cross-checking Drake Batherson, leaving the Sens with a minute and 30 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey.

Ottawa got a few decent shots off across the stretch but none that caused Holtby much trouble.

Pearson put the Canucks up 4-1 early in the third with a sharp-angle shot from below the goal line.

Chabot got the Sens on the board midway through the second, getting around Hughes and driving toward the net before shovelling a puck through Holtby’s pads to make the score 3-1.

Connor Brown nearly added to Ottawa’s tally before the end of the period with a prime chance on a short-handed breakaway. Holtby came to the top of his crease to challenge the shot and got enough of it to send the puck careening wide of the net.

READ MORE: Demko dynamite with 42 saves as Vancouver Canucks beat Ottawa 5-1

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Boeser had widened Vancouver’s lead to three earlier in the second frame after Holtby sent a rebound through the neutral zone. Pettersson picked it up and slid a pass up to his linemate, and Boeser ripped a shot from the point, sailing the puck over Murray’s right shoulder for his second goal of the game.

The right-winger registered his assist 10:49 into the second when he couldn’t get his full might behind a shot, leaving a rebound for Pettersson to tap in over a sprawled-out Murray.

Vancouver opened the scoring on a power play early in the first after Austin Watson was called for interference. The Sens winger vocally protested the call with some colourful language as he headed to the box.

The Canucks top power-play unit settled in with some patient passing around the perimeter before Boeser muscled his way around Ottawa defender Josh Brown and buried a wrist shot from the top of the crease.

There was a scary moment for Ottawa near the halfway point of the third period, with Chabot flying into the Vancouver net.

The Sens defenceman’s thigh struck the post with force and he spun towards the boards. He skated to the bench gingerly and returned to the ice soon after.

Thursday’s game was the last in a six-game homestand for the Canucks. The squad will now hit the road, stopping first in Winnipeg to face the Jets on Saturday.

The Senators will continue their western swing Sunday when they visit the Oilers.

NOTES: Tkachuk left the ice in a rage in the final minute after dropping the gloves with Vancouver’s Zack MacEwen. Both were given five-minute major penalties for fighting. Tkachuk continued having words with the Canucks bench as he headed for the dressing room, smacking the wall on his way down the tunnel. … Adam Gaudette replaced Jake Virtanen in the Canucks lineup. Virtanen was a healthy scratch. … Ottawa defenceman Josh Brown played his 100th regular-season game.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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