“Means lots”: Pettersson was touched Canucks fans chanted his name

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It’s been a long playoffs for Elias Pettersson but tonight he had an extra jump in his step.

The roaring support of 18,000 fans may have contributed that as Canucks supporters came to the aide of their star forward.

Fans rallied to show support for the struggling superstar by chanting “Let’s go Petey.” Their voices could be heard throughout Rogers Arena multiple times as they cheered on Pettersson.

“It means lots,” said Pettersson about the chanting after the game. “Always encouraging to have the fans behind you, I always have them here, but just to hear them chant my name makes me want to work even harder for them.”

Pettersson responded to the encouragement with perhaps his best game of the playoffs. He was noticeable throughout the night and picked up an assist on the game-winning goal.

“I think the fans are unreal, them yelling his name, that was pretty cool,” said Rick Tocchet. “That’s great fans.”

“I thought he felt really good today like, I said this morning at the skate, I could just feel the energy. He felt really good. I’m proud of him, it was a good game for him, really good game.”

“Millsy’s goal, [Pettersson] going to the net, that’s a big play for us.”

When Pettersson was on the ice at five-on-five, the Canucks had 16 shot attempts for compared to just eight against, the best ratio on the team.

The 25-year-old was on a new line with Nils Höglander and Elias Lindholm. Tocchet explained earlier that he felt a duty to give the struggling Pettersson a chance with some higher-end skilled players.

“I think that’s my job, like I’ve got to help the kid out too,” said the coach this morning. “It’s not all up to him. I’ve got to get him going with linemates or different approaches.”

The often quiet Pettersson has seemed down in certain situations as of late, including at a recent awkward press conference. That was completely changed tonight as he was keeping it light-hearted during his postgame media appearance.

The team hopes tonight is a springboard for Pettersson’s play.

“I thought it was great,” said veteran Tyler Myers about the crowd’s chanting. “There’s so much outside noise, big Canadian market, it’s expected. The way he responded tonight, for him to feel that, I think it’s going to be great for him going forward.”

“I thought he played great and and it’s just something for him to build off.”

The Canucks are now just one game away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals. Game 6 of this second round series will take place on Saturday night in Edmonton. Puck drop is at 5 pm PT.