Travis Green said his Vancouver Canucks got some lucky bounces en route to a victory over the slumping Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night.
“It didn’t feel like a 5-1 game by any means, but we’ll take it for sure,” said the head coach.
It wasn’t so long ago that the Canucks scratched and clawed to get those lucky bounces but continuously came up empty, Green noted.
Vancouver went 3-8-3 in November, but have turned things around this month with a 4-2-1 start.
“When you play the right way, you’d like to think that good things happen. And they did tonight,” Green said after Saturday’s game.
Brock Boeser notched a goal and assist, while Chris Tanev, Loui Eriksson, Josh Leivo and Markus Granlund all scored for Vancouver (15-16-4).
“I don’t think it was our best hockey, but we found a way to get it done and I think that’s encouraging,” said Boeser.
The 21-year-old right-winger has seven goals and two assists in his last eight games.
Scott Laughton scored for Philly (12-15-4).
Jacob Markstrom turned away 31-of-32 shots for the Canucks.
“We’ve been doing a good job, but we can’t sit back and relax and be happy about that,” the goalie said. “So we’ve got to re-charge the batteries and be as sharp next game, too.”
Goaltending has been an issue for the Flyers this season, with injuries plaguing a number of netminders, including their No. 1, Brian Elliott.
On Saturday, Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz stopped two-of-four shots before he was pulled midway through the first period and headed to the dressing room with a lower-body injury.
Backup Alex Lyon made 17 saves in his second game of the season.
The 26-year-old played 11 games last season and said he’s learned in his short career that professional hockey is full of ups and downs.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Sidney Crosby or a guy battling in the East Coast League, there’s just ebbs and flows all the time and I have just found the way you come out on the other side is the most important part,” Lyon said.
“We just have to wipe the slate clean and do the best we can tomorrow. I know it sounds old and cliche but really there is nothing else to do.”
Saturday’s loss was the second in two nights for the Flyers, capping a five-game road trip that saw the squad take just three points.
“I don’t know what hockey gods we pissed off but we’re getting some tough bounces and some very untimely situations and it’s tough sledding right now,” said Philadelphia centre Jordan Weal.
Philadelphia has already made changes at the top this season, replacing general manager Ron Hextall with Chuck Fletcher earlier this month.
Rumors have swirled that head coach Dave Hakstol could be next.
Saturday’s game hurt, the coach said, but there were still bright spots.
“I think guys, a night like tonight, you are angry when you walk off the ice and come out of the rink. So we get a long trip home, we have to get things cleared up in our minds,” he said.
“In terms of the overall effort and some of the opportunities we were able to generate there’s a ton of good things there. Not good enough obviously because the end result is what matters.”
Veteran defenceman Radko Gudas said the stretch has been one of the most frustrating of his career, but he wasn’t ready to place the blame on Hakstol.
“We let our goalies down, we let our fans down, we let everybody down, so it’s not on the coach’s shoulders,” he said. We have to perform better, we have to play as a group better. It’s not on his shoulders entirely, it’s a big fault of ours.”
The Flyers will take on the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
The Canucks are back in action on Sunday when they host the Edmonton Oilers.