Thatcher Demko and J.T. Miller lead Canucks to comeback win in overtime over the Rangers

J.T. Miller scored his second goal of the game in overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a wild 3-2 comeback win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks trailed 2-0 heading into the third period after goals from Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin put the Rangers in control.

The stunning third period comeback started with a goal by J.T. Miller, only 1:29 into the final frame. Conor Garland dished out a beautiful cross-ice pass to a cutting Miller for an easy tap-in goal.

Not much longer after Miller’s goal cut the deficit in half, Vasily Podkolzin ripped a shot past Igor Shesterkin to tie the game. Conor Garland dished out another spectacular pass, this time from behind the net, to Podkolzin who dropped to a knee and one-timed a shot short-sided past Shesterkin.

With the game tied at 2 and time winding down in the third, Oliver Ekman-Larsson was sent to the box for hooking while on the penalty kill, giving the Rangers a five-on-three power play for 36 seconds.

The Rangers tried desperately to take the lead on the two-man advantage, but Thatcher Demko denied every chance in a heroic effort to keep the game tied.

In the most hectic sequence of the young season, Panarin skated in towards Demko and lost control of the puck, causing him to pass it over to Chris Kreider. With a wide open net for Kreider to shoot at, Tucker Poolman dove to Demko’s aide, blocking the shot with his left arm.

During all of the chaos in front of the net, Demko lost his stick and blocker, but continued to play with a bare hand. Panarin curled in from the side of the net and ripped a shot on goal that Thatcher saved with an old-school pad-stack. The puck bounced right back to Panarin, who snapped another shot towards the net that Demko saved with a scorpion kick, just getting a piece of the puck with the blade of his skate.

Once the referee finally blew the play dead, the crowd at Rogers Arena gave Demko a thunderous standing ovation.

In overtime, J.T. Miller ended the game with his second goal of the night 2:22 into the extra frame. Miller skated in on a breakaway after Quinn Hughes sent the puck up the ice and was initially stopped by Shesterkin, but stuck with the play, collecting his rebound and tucking the puck in with a backhanded wraparound to give the Canucks the comeback win.

Thatcher Demko ended his miraculous game fending off 23 of the 25 shots that he faced. J.T. Miller led the offensive charge with two goals, while Conor Garland recorded two assists.

Coming into Tuesday night’s game, the Canucks had lost their first three home games of the season. With the win, Vancouver not only avoided a four-game home losing streak, but also a four-game skid in general.

The Canucks continue their seven-game homestand on Friday night as the Nashville Predators visit Vancouver.

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