VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Elias Pettersson’s teammates couldn’t quite find the words to describe how the rookie played on Friday night.
The 19-year-old had two goals and three assists, scoring the tying goal in the final minute of regulation and then setting up Derrick Pouliot’s winner late in overtime to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 7-6 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
“Wow,” Vancouver’s Bo Horvat said when asked about Pettersson’s performance.
The Swedish center downplayed what was perhaps his most impressive play of the night — a jaw-dropping bank pass that sent the puck off the end boards right on the tape of Brock Boeser’s stick, setting the right wing up for a go-ahead goal early in the second period.
“I was just trying to make a play and it worked out,” said Pettersson, who’s now the youngest player in Canucks history to have at least five points in a regular-season game.
The play was simply the latest in a string of highlight-reel worthy moves that earned the teen the NHL’s rookie of the month nod for October.
Canucks coach Travis Green said he wasn’t sure how to describe the way Pettersson has played through nine NHL games.
“We knew he was supposed to be a pretty good player. And he’s been all of that,” he said.
Petterson’s second goal of the night tied the score with 36 seconds remaining in regulation — the game’s sixth tie — just 1:01 after Nathan MacKinnon second of the game gave the Avalanche a 6-5 lead.
“I got goosebumps when we tied the game late,” Pettersson said.
Pouliot then took a pass from Pouliot on the right side of the goal and sent a shot that hit the crossbar and deflected off defenseman Gabriel Bourque and in with 22 seconds left on the clock in overtime.
Boeser scored twice, and Loui Eriksson and Markus Granlund had the other goals for Vancouver in a game neither team lead by more than one goal. Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 shots.
Sheldon Dries, Ian Cole, Alexander Kerfoot and Nikita Zadorov also scored for Colorado, and NHL points leader Mikko Rantanen had three assists. Philipp Grubauer finished with 30 saves.
The Avalanche completed an 0-2-1 road trip, losing each game by one goal — including a 6-5 defeat at Calgary on Thursday night after giving up a 4-1 lead.
“It’s been a weird seven periods,” Grubauer said. “It wasn’t the best road trip, to be sure. We’ll need to keep working, if we’re smart as a team we’ll learn from this road trip, learn from our mistakes.”
Green had no complaints after the Canucks’ third straight win.
“Wow. What a night. Seems like a lot of ups and downs. That was a fun game to coach,” he said. “That was a hell of a win.”
Zadorov gave Colorado a 5-4 lead 1:30 into the third period with first of the season.
Granlund responded for the Canucks on a power play just past the midpoint of the period. Vancouver right wing Nikolay Goldobin struggled to hang on to the puck in front of the net, but found a way to dish it to Granlund, who popped it in past Grubauer.
The teams combined for seven goals in the second period, with Dries starting the flurry 1:38 in as he redirected a shot from Kerfoot into the net to tie the score 1-1.
Boeser got his second of the night at 5:18 on that nifty pass from Pettersson to put Vancouver back ahead. Just 50 seconds, Cole tied it as he wound up from the blue line and put a shot in the top right corner of the net.
Eriksson put Vancouver ahead 3-2 at 8:47, settling a bouncing puck and popping it past Grubauer for his first. MacKinnon tied things up again less than two minutes later, scoring off a give-and-go with Rantanen.
Kerfoot gave Colorado its first lead with 7:24 left in the middle period, splitting the Vancouver defense and firing a wrist shot past Markstrom.
Pettersson tied it 4-4 as he scooped up a rebound at the top of the crease and poked it in with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the period.
Boeser got the Canucks on the board just 58 seconds into the game after Pettersson slid him a long pass across the ice. The right wing got the puck on his tape and flipped a shot past Grubauer.
NOTES: Four players tallied their first goals of the season on Friday. Zadorov and Cole for the Avs, and Eriksson and Pouliot for the Canucks. … Pettersson now has nine goals and six assists in nine games. He’s the 16th player in the league to score nine or more goals through the first nine games of his career, and just the sixth to complete the feat outside of the league’s inaugural season.
Avalanche: Host Nashville on Wednesday night.
Canucks: Visit Detroit on Tuesday night to open a six-game trip.
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