Brandon Sutter records hat trick, Canucks rout Senators 7-1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Brandon Sutter recorded a hat trick and the Vancouver Canucks routed the Ottawa Senators 7-1 on Monday night.
It was a much-needed victory for Vancouver, which had not won in regulation since its season opener on Jan. 13.
In an arena devoid of fans, Sutter had only his teammates to celebrate his three-goal night with, but the lack of noise didn't dull the moment.
"It feels pretty good. You never know when you're going to get one, if you're going to get one," he said ."It only took me 13 years."
The 31-year-old Sutter has played in 735 NHL games and is known more for killing penalties than scoring highlight-reel goals. Over 12 NHL seasons, he's amassed 278 points (144 goals, 134 assists).
"Any time someone scores a hat trick, it's always a good feeling as a coach for the player," Canucks coach Travis Green said. "But obviously in this scenario, a guys that doesn't get a lot of recognition for offence, you feel good for Sutts."
Tanner Pearson had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Motte, Quinn Hughes and Olli Juolevi also scored for the Canucks. Bo Horvat notched two assists.
"I just like that we stuck with our game. We didn't waver. Sometimes if you get up 3-1, 4-1, sometimes you can kind of take your foot off the gas," Green said. "We just needed to get a win, whether it was 2-1, 1-0, 3-2. And more importantly, just play a real solid game for 60 minutes and I thought we accomplished that."
Ottawa's only goal came midway through the second period when Austin Watson scored off assists from Thomas Chabot and Mike Reilly.
Thatcher Demko had 34 saves and collected his first win of the season for the Canucks.
"I thought our team defense was great tonight," he said. "When you're forechecking well and you're reloading hard and guys are getting back through the middle, those are the things that kind of add up and deter the other team from creating those scoring chances."
Senators goalie Matt Murray stopped 28 of 35 shots.
Senators coach D.J. Smith was less than impressed with his group's performance.
Ottawa failed to capitalize on any of its five power plays, and recorded nine giveaways.
"Every bad mistake ended up in your net and it's by some guys who have been in the league and should be better and it's by some young guys as well," he said. "So you've got to learn from and realize how good the National Hockey League is and how hard you have to work every shift if you want to win.
"And right now there's some guys that maybe are taking it for granted, being in the National Hockey League, and when you turn it over, it ends up in your net sometimes so we've got to be better."
NOTES: Tim Stutzle returned to the Ottawa lineup after missing three games with a wrist injury. . Vancouver has allowed more goals (34) than any other team in the league this season.
The Senators and Canucks finish their three-game set with consecutive games on Wednesday and Thursday.
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Updated January 26, 2021