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