Vancouver Canucks gut out an overtime win over Toronto Maple Leafs

Canucks 3 Maple Leafs 2 (OT)

VANCOUVER — Alex Edler scored 3:11 into overtime as the Vancouver Canucks rallied past the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Vancouver was down 2-0 heading into the third period but battled back to force the extra time. It was the first time this season that Toronto has lost when leading after two periods.

Loui Eriksson and Josh Leivo scored for the Canucks (28-30-9) in regulation, and Adam Gaudette had a pair of assists.

Morgan Rielly and Ron Hainsey both had goals for the Leafs (41-21-5).

Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves and Frederik Anderston stopped 29 for Toronto.

The Leafs went into the contest having scored at least five goals in five of their last six games, all wins.

The victory snaps a three-game losing skid for the Canucks, who are fighting to keep their dim playoff hopes alive.

Toronto’s first of the night was a short-handed goal midway through the second period after Patrick Marleau was called for hooking.

Canucks centre Markus Granlund turned over the puck high in Leafs territory, resulting in a two-on-one for Mitch Marner and Hainsey.

Marner stayed patient as he streaked into the Canucks zone, waiting for the perfect opportunity to slide the puck underneath the out-stretched stick of Vancouver defenceman Troy Stecher.

Hainsey took the pass on his tape and popped it behind Markstrom. Just 34 seconds later, Rielly added to Toronto’s lead.

Defenceman Derrick Pouliout couldn’t clear the puck from behind the Vancouver net and John Tavares picked it off.

He slid it up to Rielly at the face-off dot and sent a snapshot flying through Markstrom’s five-hole.

The Canucks roared back early in the third, starting with a goal from Eriksson 1:21 into the period. It was the left-winger’s 10th goal of the season and his first point in 15 games.

Two minutes later, the Leafs were called for having too many men on the ice, sending the Canucks to their third power play of the night.

Nikolay Goldobin fed Leivo a cross-ice pass and the former Leaf put the puck past Andersen to tie the score at two.

Vancouver has struggled with the man advantage recently, capitalizing on just 7.5 per cent of chances in their last 19 games.

The Canucks are now off to Edmonton, where they’ll face the Oilers on Thursday. The Leafs will visit the Oilers on Saturday

NOTES: Vancouver defenceman Ben Hutton missed the game after injuring his foot by blocking a shot against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday. Canucks centre Ryan Spooner was out of the lineup with a groin injury. … Luke Schenn got his first point in a Canucks jersey, assisting on Eriksson’s goal. … Toronto’s Patrick Marleau has now played a full season’s worth of games — 82 — against the Canucks over his career.

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