Jubilation in Canucks nation as Vancouver takes stranglehold on playoff series

There is a sense of jubilation in Canucks nation following the team’s improbable comeback win in Nashville on Sunday, leaving Vancouver one game away from moving on to the second round of the NHL playoffs.

Watch parties in Port Coquitlam and Delta and living rooms and bars across B.C. erupted in cheers Sunday as the team scored twice in the dying minutes to erase a 3-1 Predators lead,  then go on to win the game just a minute into overtime.

“I think it’s a great way of making community,” Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said at his community’s hosted event.

“You look around and people are meeting others they haven’t met before and it’s more than just watching a game and the Canucks. It’s about building the fabric of our community. Events like this are a great way of doing that.”

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Click to play video: 'Canucks fans celebrate game two win of playoffs'

Canucks fans celebrate game two win of playoffs

The Canucks struck first in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, with Brock Boeser scoring off a faceoff set play. Nashville carried the game from there, building up a two-goal lead and leaving the Canucks offence looking powerless.

That all changed with just over two minutes left in the game.

With third-string backup Arturs Silovs, filling in for backup Casey DeSmith, out of the net for an extra attacker, Boeser scored twice more, collecting a hat trick and sending the game to overtime. Elias Lindholm, a January trade acquisition from Calgary, drove the dagger in barely a minute into the extra frame.

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“I wasn’t too nervous; I was fine, actually. I was just doing my things, relying on the things I worked on and that’s it,” Silovs said after the game.

“I couldn’t be happier for the guy, man. I mean. to just be thrown in and play against the predators in the playoffs, right?” forward JT Miller said of Silovs’ performance.

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“Like that’s a super hard thing to do and he looks so calm, he really is, and he made some timely saves to keep it at bay when they really were pushing.”

Click to play video: 'Thousands of fans pack Vancouver Canucks’ Game 3 viewing party'

Thousands of fans pack Vancouver Canucks’ Game 3 viewing party

The Canucks flew back to Vancouver Sunday night, and are now gearing up for a Tuesday game that could see them eliminate Nashville in front of a home crowd at Rogers Arena.

Head coach Rick Tocchet said Monday he wants to see his players move more quickly and be more decisive with the puck.

“I think offensively it’s in our heads right now because they are pressuring us,” he said.

“And for whatever reason we have some guys, it’s freezing guys, instead of go after it. There is a storm there, go after the storm.”

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“We’ve just got to make sure we are ready. We know they are going to play their most desperate game, and we have to get it into our minds that we have to too,” added Defenceman Tyler Myers.

“It will be the hardest one. Every playoff series I have played it gets harder and harder as it goes.”

Myers acknowledged the team “stole one” in Nashville, adding there were “definitely some things to work out,” but praised his teammates’ resilience to come back from what appeared to be a certain loss.

Gritty forward Connor Garland, who fed Lindholm the pass on the game-winning goal, was also candid about Sunday’s lacklustre offence.

“We didn’t really counterattack, we didn’t really get a lot going,” he said.

“We had a nice goal early, but after that didn’t really have a lot of good chances.”

Click to play video: 'Sights and sounds of the Canucks Game 3 viewing party at Rogers Arena'

Sights and sounds of the Canucks Game 3 viewing party at Rogers Arena

Garland also spoke to the intense pressure the Predators have been putting on Canucks captain and star defenceman Quinn Hughes.

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Nashville has targeted the diminutive D-man with hits, including a two-on-one sandwich collision that left the captain grimacing on the bench and saw him miss a few shifts.

“I know it doesn’t affect him, mentally or physically. He’s a tough kid, plays hard, is undersized, and he’s hard to get a hold of,” Garland said.

“So they get a hold of him, that’s hard to do, and you’re usually not getting a full piece of him. I think he likes it, he enjoys this environment, and he’s our best player.”

Sunday’s comeback has left the Canucks with a 3-1 stranglehold on the series and the chance to end Nashville’s post-season dreams.

Game 5 kicks off at 7 p.m., Tuesday.

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