EDMONTON, Alberta — Christopher Tanev’s slap shot just 11 seconds into overtime gave the Vancouver Canucks a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night to win the best-of-five Western Conference qualifying round series in four games.
Tanev’s snipe from just in front of the blue line zipped through traffic and beat Stalock stick side to give the Canucks their first postseason series win since 2013. This is the first time in five years that Vancouver has reached the playoffs.
Bo Horvat, left alone in front as he crashed the net, scored for Vancouver off a feed from Tanner Pearson with 5:46 left in regulation — the third tying goal of the game for the Canucks.
Pearson, Brandon Sutter and Quinn Hughes also scored as Vancouver kept attacking a Wild defense missing stalwart Ryan Suter and wore down goalie Alex Stalock to erase leads of 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3.
Luke Kunin, Eric Staal, Joel Eriksson Ek and Nico Sturm had the goals for the Wild, who squandered their two-goal advantage over a 3:05 span midway through the second period.
Sturm’s first NHL goal gave the Wild the lead back with 52 seconds left before the second intermission, and the 25-year-old left wing’s slick short-side shot that sneaked between Markstrom and the post nearly held up as the winner.
Sturm, who has played in only eight regular season games in the NHL and was a healthy scratch for Games 1 and 2, replaced Ryan Donato on the fourth line for Game 3.
Assigned to the early slot in Edmonton on Thursday, the two teams were back in the late-night window they’d been in for the first two games. The puck didn’t drop until 9:01 p.m., about 8 1/2 hours later than for Game 3.
The Canucks advance to the first round and will face either Dallas or St. Louis in a best-of-seven series next week. Calgary, Arizona and Chicago have also qualified. Colorado and Vegas will each be one of the top two seeds.