Vancouver Canucks Chase Mike Smith, Cruise Past Arizona Coyotes

The Vancouver Canucks bounced back from their weekend heartbreaker with a 4-1 win on the road against the Arizona Coyotes.

The Vancouver Canucks have found at least one team they can beat consistently.

Last week, Vancouver overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime against the Arizona Coyotes. Ben Hutton won that game in overtime, on a sweet penalty shot move.

Just six days later, the Canucks took a trip to Glendale for a rematch against the Coyotes.

After trading goals with the ‘Yotes, the boys in blue exploded for three quick goals in the second period. They buried a total of four on a shaky Mike Smith, and cruised to a second straight win against Arizona.

Final Score:

VancouverCanucks

4

ArizonaCoyotes

1

Recap:

For the second game in a row, the Canucks opened the scoring in the first period:

Sven Baertschi took 14 games to score his first goal of the year. Six games later, he finally has his second.

Unfortunately for Baertschi, he is repeating history. He started at a snail’s pace in the first two months of last season, and is setting a similar pace so far this year.

However, it looks like he is turning things around. With Bo Horvat catching fire the last few games, we may be talking about more goals from number 47 in the not-too-distant future.

After the Canucks broke the ice, the first period opened up. Arizona finished the period with 17 shots to just 11 for Vancouver. Ryan Miller stood tall and maintained his team’s lead.

But the Coyotes came out firing once again to start the second period. With the Canucks back on their heels, Christian Dvorak took advantage to tie the game:

The Floodgates Open

Remember when the puck just wouldn’t go in for the Canucks? When no matter how many quality chances they generated, they just couldn’t buy a goal?

The good luck finally happened in the second period of this game. Boy, oh boy, did it happen.

First, Markus Granlund found Eriksson in front:

Then, just 17 seconds later, Horvat scored off a nice dish from Alexandre Burrows:

Three minutes later Burrows got on the board himself. He threw the puck on net from what seemed like an impossible angle. Smith whiffed on the shot, and the Canucks were gifted a 4-1 lead.

That goal would be the end of Smith’s night, as Louis Domingue replaced him.

On Saturday, the Canucks took a three-goal lead into the third period, only to see the Chicago Blackhawks storm back to tie.

Tonight, they built themselves another three-goal lead for the third. This time, there would be no comeback. The Canucks successfully clamped down on the game, and both teams combined for only 13 shots in the final frame.

Miller did have to make one highlight-reel save. Tobias Rieder walked around the Canucks defense and got a breakaway shot, but Miller turned the backhand chance aside.

Otherwise, it was a boring period, but the outcome makes it all worth it.

Do you Bo-lieve?

In addition to lacking talent depth, this year’s Canucks team has also lacked puck luck. For long periods, they could not seem to get both a good goaltending performance and catch some breaks offensively.

Tonight they got both. Miller was outstanding, and Baertschi-Horvat-Burrows line combined for eight points. For once, Vancouver won a game without a single point from the Sedin line.

Two months into his third season, Bo Horvat leads the Canucks in goals and is tied with Daniel Sedin for the lead in points.

Is Horvat a first-line center in the making? Not too long ago that would have seemed like a long shot. But Horvat continues to defy our expectations. His offensive ceiling keeps rising — he is currently on pace for 28 goals.

Many have already named him the future captain once Henrik Sedin retires. He may be that, and so much more. For now, we’re just along for the ride.

So is Sven Baertschi. Let the good times roll.

Make it two wins against the Arizona Coyotes on the season. Maybe the Vancouver Canucks should just spend the winter here.

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