Canucks jump on Smith early, top Coyotes
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Vancouver Canucks wilted on Thursday night and could have easily gotten off to a slow start Friday night against the rested Arizona Coyotes.
Instead, the Canucks went right at the Coyotes, overwhelming them in the first period and holding on down the stretch.
Rookie Jared McCann scored the first of two quick goals in the opening period, and the Canucks fought back a pair of rallies for a 4-3 win over the Coyotes.
"Whereas last night we didn’t have any luck — well, we had some — tonight they were going in and that made a big difference," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said.
Vancouver blew a two-goal lead in an overtime loss to Dallas on Thursday night and Arizona had two days off to recover from a long road trip.
The Canucks were the team with jump early, though. Alexandre Burrows scored shortly after McCann’s fifth goal, and Brendan Gaunce added his first NHL score.
Arizona rallied in the second period on goals by Max Domi and Steve Downie. Unlike previous games this season, the Canucks pushed back.
Daniel Sedin scored shortly after Downie’s goal, and Richard Bachman made some key saves after Arizona’s Tobias Rieder scored with 2:21 left with goalie Anders Lindback off the ice for an extra attacker.
Bachman stopped 29 shots in his first start after Ryan Miller played the first 10 games of the season and Vancouver had 11 different players with at least a point.
"The way we had four lines rolling, it was fun to play like that," Sedin said.
The Coyotes have been plagued by slow starts this season and this one was no different.
Goalie Mike Smith was pulled after allowing two goals on three shots in the opening 4 1/2 minutes, and Arizona was never able to climb back from the three-goal hole in the first period.
"It’s tough in this league trailing three early on like that," Coyotes center Antoine Vermette said. "We battled back, but obviously we want to start better."
The Canucks opened the season 3-0-1, but were looking for a spark after losing five of their previous six games, including 4-3 in overtime to Dallas on Thursday night after blowing a 3-1 lead.
They appeared to catch the Coyotes at just the right time.
One of the surprises of the early NHL season, Arizona was coming off a 6-0 loss to Boston and had key players nursing injuries. One of those was leading scorer Martin Hanzal, who missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.
The Canucks wasted no time jumping on the Coyotes.
McCann scored 1:56 into the game with a slick semi-drag move, taking a pass from Adam Cracknell out front and sliding across the top of the crease before beating Smith to the stick side.
Burrow scored less than 3 minutes later with a shot from near the left boards that Smith shrugged at instead of sliding over, allowing just enough room for the puck to squeeze in.
The Coyotes pulled Smith after he allowed two goals on three shots.
"He hasn’t played as well as we would have liked this last little bit," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Hopefully the week off and some good practices will help."
He was replaced by Lindback, and he gave up a goal on the second shot he faced. This one wasn’t really his fault, though; a shot by Christopher Tanev bounced off Gaunce’s leg and in to put Vancouver up 3-0.
The Canucks haven’t been good at closing out games; four of their six losses have come after blowing third-period leads.
Arizona scored its first when Domi swiped in a backhander for his fifth goal, and Downie beat Bachman to the glove side after crossing the blue line and stepping into a shot for his first goal with Arizona.
The momentum didn’t last long.
Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek was called for hooking 41 seconds after Downie’s goal, and Sedin scored 23 seconds into the power play.
Arizona mounted another rally, but came up short after Rieder’s goal.
Notes: Coyotes C Antoine Vermette returned after missing three games with an upper-body injury. … Former Coyotes player Radim Vrbata had an assist on Sedin’s goal. … Nicklas Grossman had an assist on Downie’s goal for his first point with Arizona.
- Adam Cracknell
- Alexandre Burrows
- Anders Lindback
- Antoine Vermette
- Arizona Coyotes
- Brendan Gaunce
- Christopher Tanev
- Daniel Sedin
- FOX Sports Arizona
- FOX Sports Arizona - Coyotes
- Jared McCann
- Martin Hanzal
- Max Domi
- Radim Vrbata
- Richard Bachman
- Ryan Miller
- Steve Downie
- Tobias Rieder
- Vancouver Canucks
- Zbynek Michalek