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Canucks' Joshua on winning goal: I'll never forget it


Sunday's dramatic Game 1 win over the visiting Nashville Predators was memorable to say the least for the Pacific Division champion Vancouver Canucks

The game marked the first time the Canucks played a home playoff game in front of fans since 2015 after missing the postseason in seven of the eight previous seasons. They made a run to the second round in 2020 during the COVID year inside the Edmonton bubble. 

Rogers Arena erupted in the third period when the Canucks took a 3-2 lead after netting back-to-back goals in just 12 seconds, the fastest two goals in Canucks playoff history. 

Pius Suter tied Game 1 at 8:59 of the third period before Dakota Joshua scored the game winner at 9:11.

“It’s a special moment. I’ll never forget it,” Joshua told “And it makes you want to keep doing it.”

The 27-year-old winger added an empty-net goal and also recorded an assist in the 4-2 victory.

“The building was crazy,” Joshua continued. “You think you know what to expect until you get out there and you don't. The fans were behind us all night and it was nice to pull through for them.”

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said Suter's tying goal was key in settling everybody down. 

“We score that second goal to tie, and it looked like everybody breathed a little bit, even the fans, like okay, we have that goal, but I have to credit that next shift,” said Tocchet. "We didn't rest on it. We got the puck in deep and obviously got the [third] goal there. So, that's the sort of stuff, in playoff hockey you build on momentum, you get the crowd going, you try to build that momentum."

Predators head coach Andrew Brunette said he thought his team handled the emotion of the building for most of the night, but started to get sloppy in the final period. 

““It probably wasn't my favorite game we played. We were a little sloppy with the puck, but I thought we handled the emotion, we handled the crowd, we handled the heavy forecheck, we handled the physicality," explained Brunette. I thought we were starting to take over the game and we fall asleep on a shift in the offensive zone, lose assignments, don't block a shot and it's 2-2.”

The Preds were one of the hottest teams in the NHL over the second half of the season, at one point winning 16 of 18 games from Feb. 17 to March 26. They owned a 32-4-1 record when leading after 40 minutes coming into Sunday's Game 1. 

“It's uncharacteristic for us the last 40 games or so,” said Brunette. “It was a little bit of a theme early in the year where the shift after a goal is so important and we just didn't execute. There was a breakdown and a breakdown on the goal before, too, so a little disappointing. We haven't done that in a long time.”

Game 2 goes Tuesday in Vancouver.