Granlund's OT winner gives Canucks 3-2 comeback win over Coyotes

 

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks right wing Emerson Etem (26) celebrates teammate Luca Sbisa’s goal past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
 
 

Vancouver Canucks right wing Emerson Etem (26) celebrates teammate Luca Sbisa’s goal past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD, THE CANADIAN PRESS

More on This Story

 

In the final day before the Nikita Tryamkin era begins, the Vancouver Canucks decided to play a hockey game anyway.

Tied for hopelessly-out-of-the-playoff-race, the Canucks beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday when Markus Granlund buried the rebound from Jake Virtanen’s shot at 2:42.

It was the calm before the Tryamkin storm. The 6-8 defenceman might be the greatest third-round draft pick since Mark Messier. Or he might not be ready for the National Hockey League, refuse to play in the minors and return to Russia next fall and never be seen in North America again until he retires and moves to Miami.

Tryamkin skates today in Vancouver and practises Friday with the Canucks, who are giving him a head start to make next year’s team by allowing him to audition at the end of this season.

Alas, it’s probably too late in the year for Tryamkin to seriously challenge for the Norris Trophy. Next year, Canuck Nation, next year.

In the meantime, the Canucks trying to keep their jobs battled back from a two-goal deficit against a team tied with them near the bottom of the Western Conference.

The Canucks had three power plays and a pile of scoring chances in the first period. But they finished them like a team that is tied for 27th in National Hockey League scoring with 2.35 goals per game, which actually sounds pretty good some nights.

Linden Vey, currently occupying the first-line centre spot, heeled his shot on an early 2-on-1 shortly before he was robbed from the hash marks by Arizona goalie Louis Domingue’s catching glove.

Granlund and Jared McCann misfired on power-play shots when the back side of the net was open, while Bo Horvat and Radim Vrbata at least forced Domingue to make saves on their point-blank scoring chances.

The Canucks don’t score enough to be missing all those prime chances.

When the Coyotes finally got their first power play, it took only 42 seconds for Tobias Rieder to snap the puck past goalie Jacob Markstrom from the hash marks to open scoring at 2:57 of the second period.

The goal was followed by another at 7:41 when one-time Canuck prospect Kevin Connauton found space behind Derek Dorsett, waited for Markstrom to fall to his knees in prayer and picked the top right corner from a sharpish angle.

On scoring chances, the game could have been about 4-1 for Vancouver at that point. Instead, it was 2-0 for Arizona. At least the many Canuck draftists were happy, though not the more important fan segment — those who actually purchase tickets and want to see the home team win once in a while.

There was finally something for them to cheer about at 11:55 of the second when Vrbata, playing his first game back in Vancouver after dodging last week’s trade deadline, split the Coyotes’ defence and scored on a backhand deke after a nice breakaway pass by Yannick Weber.

It was Vrbata’s second goal in as many home games, going back to the Feb. 21 game in which he injured his groin. It also gave him two goals in his last 16 games at Rogers Arena, which partly explains why the Canucks never received a firm trade offer for him.

The goal, like Tryamkin, provided hope. And at 17:38 the Canucks were level. Luca Sbisa — yes, Luca Sbisa — blasted a point shot that dipped and skipped through Domingue’s pads to make it 2-2.

imacintyre@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/imacvansun

THE SKINNY

The Canucks spotted the Coyotes a 2-0 lead, but rebounded to beat Arizona for the third time this season. Tobias Rieder and Kevin Connauton scored early in the second period, but Radim Vrbata and Luca Sbisa answered before the period was over. Markus Granlund scored the winner at 1:42 of overtime. The goal was Granlund’s first in seven games as a Canuck and came when he knocked home a rebound off a Jake Virtanen shot.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Canucks are the worst faceoff team in the NHL and did not help their stats Wednesday night. They were 20-51 in the circle. Markus Granlund was 1-12. Bo Horvat lost his first 10 faceoffs and finished 7-17. . . The Canucks were outshot 34-31. Radim Vrbata had a team-high four shots. . .Dan Hamhuis logged a team-high 23:07 of ice time. Alex Burrows played a team-low 9:26.

HOME COOKING

The win snapped a three-game home losing streak for the Canucks. The Coyotes have now lost 10 straight on the road. . .Arizona played without leading scorer, defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who suffered an upper-body injury Monday night in a game against the Colorado Avalanche. . .Canuck rookie Jared McCann scored his fifth goal of the season in an Oct. 30 game in Arizona. He has had only two goals in the 47 games he has played since then.

THIS AND THAT

General manager Jim Benning confirmed Wednesday what many have suspected. Benning said defenceman Alex Edler, out since Feb. 9 with a broken leg, won’t return this season. . . The Canucks for Kids Fund announced a $1-million donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation on Wednesday. The money will be used to create a Canucks-themed playroom in the new Teck Acute Care Centre opening in 2017 at BC Children’s Hospital.

WHO’S NEXT

The Canucks are scheduled to practise today and Friday in preparation for Saturday night’s visit by the Nashville Predators. That will be the second of three meetings this season with the Predators. Nashville beat the Canucks 2-1 at Rogers Arena on Jan. 26. James Neal scored the winner with 4:44 left in the third period. Brandon Sutter scored for the Canucks. The two teams conclude their season series March 24 in Nashville.

bziemer@postmedia.com

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks right wing Emerson Etem (26) celebrates teammate Luca Sbisa’s goal past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
 

Vancouver Canucks right wing Emerson Etem (26) celebrates teammate Luca Sbisa’s goal past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
Vancouver Canucks right wing Emerson Etem (26) celebrates teammate Luca Sbisa’s goal past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes center Brad Richardson (12) celebrates his goal against Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) with his teammates during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Linden Vey (7) tries to clear Arizona Coyotes center Tobias Rieder (8) from getting a shot on Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes left wing Viktor Tikhonov (9) puts Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa (5) into the boards during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Klas Dahlbeck (34) tries to clear Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) from behind Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Klas Dahlbeck (34) puts Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) to the ice during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Klas Dahlbeck (34) tries to clear Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) from behind Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber (6) goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) and Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) look toward the puck during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Jake Virtanen (18) goes into the net behind Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes center Brad Richardson (12) celebrates his goal against Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) with his teammates during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette (50) looks on as Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis (2) and Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber (6) take out Arizona Coyotes left wing Alex Tanguay (40) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Biega (55) tries to clear Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) from in front of Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy (5) tries to clear Vancouver Canucks center Brendan Gaunce (50) from in front of Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (27) tries to stop Arizona Coyotes left wing Anthony Duclair (10) from getting a shot on Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice