Elias Lindholm nets two goals in Vancouver Canucks debut


RALEIGH, N.C. — Playing for a new team in a familiar building worked out just fine for Vancouver’s Elias Lindholm on Tuesday night.

Lindholm scored two power-play goals in similar fashion in his debut with the Canucks and J.T. Miller provided the winning goal in a 3-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

“It’s crazy how it all worked out,” Lindholm said. “It’s pretty special. Obviously, I’m happy to be here and help the team.”

Lindholm, a veteran center who began his career with the Hurricanes, had one goal in each of the first two periods as the Canucks returned from the All-Star break and increased their points streak to 12 games.

Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser each had two assists. Thatcher Demko made 22 saves, including 12 in the third period.

Jordan Martinook and Sebastian Aho scored for Carolina, which had a three-game winning streak snapped. Pyotr Kochetkov, playing for the Hurricanes for the first time since Jan. 11, stopped 16 shots.

Miller scored his 22nd goal of the season four minutes into the third period for the game’s lone even-strength goal.

“Bounces didn’t go our way,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It was a frustrating game. They were good. They did what they wanted to do, and then I thought we did what we wanted to do in the third. We weren’t able to capitalize.”

Vancouver acquired Lindholm last week from the Calgary Flames. He played five NHL seasons with the Hurricanes, who drafted him in 2013.

Aside from the goals, Canucks coach Rick Tocchet appreciated other aspects of Lindholm’s performance, including a late-game blocked shot.

“When you go through the tape, you’ll see hockey IQ plays,” Tocchet said.

Lindholm’s only previous two-goal game this season came in early December against the Canucks.

He said he was most nervous about his role on Vancouver’s penalty-killing unit, though he looked sharp stationed in front of the net on power plays.

“There was a lot of new information and a lot of stuff in my head,” Lindholm said.

Lindholm and Hughes developed a connection in their first game together. The first goal came with 2:37 left in the opening period. He redirected Hughes’ blast.

“He’s there and he’s a really skilled player,” Hughes said. “He has a great hockey sense.”

Lindholm’s second goal came with a tip-in from Hughes’ delivery. That gave Lindholm 11 goals this season.

Martinook’s short-handed goal came early in the first period. But by the game’s midway mark, the Hurricanes had only seven shots on goal despite averaging more than 33 per game.

“That’s hard to do against Carolina,” Tocchet said of limiting the scoring chances.

Just 62 seconds after Lindholm’s second goal, Aho converted on Carolina’s second power play of the game for his team-leading 18th goal.

Hughes leads NHL defenseman in points with 64.

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