Canucks' comeback falls short in 3-2 loss to Coyotes

 

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks #91 Jared McCann during a break in play against the Edmonton Oilers  in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers arena, Vancouver December 26 2015.
 
 

Vancouver Canucks #91 Jared McCann during a break in play against the Edmonton Oilers in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers arena, Vancouver December 26 2015.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG

More on This Story

 

Bo Horvat scored a goal and Willie Desjardins won a coach’s challenge. So there was that Monday for the Vancouver Canucks.

But this depleted and changing team, which has such a hard time winning with the National Hockey League’s 26th-ranked offence, has almost no chance to win when it plays as badly defensively as it did in its 3-2 loss against the Arizona Coyotes.

Desjardins’ first successful challenge of the season overturned an apparent Coyotes’ goal at 4:35 of the third period and when Daniel Sedin, still bleeding from a first-period puck to the teeth, scored on the restart, there was suddenly a two-goal swing in Vancouver’s favour.

A three-goal deficit became one. But the damage done in the defensive zone on the three Coyote goals that counted was too much to overcome for a Vancouver team that has scored seven times in five games and been shut out five times in five weeks.

“We got fortunate that there was an offside because if that’s a 4-1 game, the game’s over,” Canuck winger Jannik Hansen said of Michael Stone’s overturned goal. “We still found a way to make it tight, but that’s not good enough. We have to win these games.”

“We’re battling injuries, battling bounces, seems like we’ve been on the road all season,” Horvat said after his first goal in 28 games lifted the Canucks into a tie for all of 18 seconds in the middle period. “The margin for error is so thin; we just have to be better. We’ve got to be tighter defensively.”

Ageless warrior Shane Doan scored twice for the Coyotes – and could have had five goals – and rookie Laurent Dauphin had the other.

On Doan’s first goal, he stood unchecked between three Canucks and deflected in Connor Murphy’s point shot several seconds after Radim Vrbata yielded possession of the puck.

Dauphin scored into an unguarded net to break a 1-1 tie at 14:00 of the second period – just 19 seconds after Horvat’s opportunistic goal on a power play – when Canuck Yannick Weber was caught up ice, fell on the backcheck, and teammate Chris Higgins did a fly-by past Dauphin.

Then Doan scored the 383rd goal of his NHL career, and possibly his easiest, by nudging the puck over the goal-line after a series of Canuck mistakes left Coyote Tobias Rieder alone with the puck in front of goalie Jacob Markstrom. Rieder beat Markstrom with a 13-move deke, but his shot hit the inside of the post and stalled on the goal-line for Doan, who skated away from Canuck Derek Dorsett for the gimme. The play began when Canuck Adam Cracknell failed to clear the puck shorthanded, which preceded much curious prodding and poking at the bouncing puck by Vancouver players.

Markstrom may have been bleeding from his eyes from what he was saw when Stone’s point shot tumbled in off the webbing of the goalie’s catching glove before Desjardins’ challenge led to a review that determined Coyote Max Domi had gone offside long before the goal.

“Their last two (goals) were our fault, plain and simple,” Hansen said. “On the penalty kill (before Doan scored), we had the puck and couldn’t clear it and you end up getting hurt that way. The other one, I see it as three-on-three and one guys blows a tire and it’s a back-door tap-in. Little individual slipups cost us the game today.”

Maybe not so little.

“There’s a few things we can do better,” defenceman Chris Tanev said. “First goal was a bit of a broken play. We can definitely defend better in the home plate area. It’s defence first – that’s how we’re going to win games. We’re not going to score five or six goals a game, so we can’t give up more than one or two in a game. Everyone has to think defence first.”

They might also think about the Coyotes, with the worst defensive record in the NHL, leaving with both points in a key Pacific Division game and winning it with a rookie goalie, Louis Domingue, playing the eighth game of his career.

The way the Canucks are configured, some teams right now are untouchable. The Los Angeles Kings, for example, simply overmatched and overwhelmed the Canucks when Vancouver lost 5-0 at home a week ago. The Coyotes are not one of those teams. But give anyone three goals, and it’s hard for the Canucks to win.

imacintyre@vancouversun.com

THE SKINNY

Arizona captain Shane Doan scored twice as the Coyotes prevailed in a key Pacific Division matchup. The Canucks tied the game 1-1 at 13:41 of the second when Bo Horvat knocked in his own rebound to snap a 27-game slump. But just 19 seconds later, Arizona rookie Laurent Dauphin scored his first NHL goal to put the Coyotes back in front. Daniel Sedin, with his 17th of the season, scored Vancouver’s other goal.

BY THE NUMBERS

The 39-year-old Doan now has nine goals in his last seven games. . .The Canucks once again lost the faceoff battle, going 32-36. But rookie Jared McCann, who has struggled in the circle, went 7-4. . .The Canucks remain just one point out of a playoff spot, but are only two points out of the Western Conference basement. . .Arizona goalie Louis Domingue earned the second assist on his team’s second goal.

POWER SURGE

Horvat’s goal was the Canucks’ first power-play marker since Dec. 9 when Alex Edler scored one against the New York Rangers. The Canucks had gone nine games without a power-play goal and were 0-for-20 in that stretch. Vancouver entered the game with the NHL’s 28th-ranked power play at just 16 per cent. Despite the goal, Horvat was -2 on the night and is now a team-worst -19 on the season.

COMET SIGHTING

Winger Alex Grenier was recalled from Utica on Monday, but did not play against the Coyotes. Grenier is one of six players on the current Canucks roster who started the year with the AHL’s Comets. The others are defencemen Alex Biega and Andrey Pedan, forwards Linden Vey and Ronalds Kenins, and goalie Joe Cannata. “Obviously, some of these guys are my best buddies,” Biega said. “It’s fun seeing the Utica Comets come up and contribute in different ways.”

WHO’S NEXT

Game 5 of the Canucks’ seven-game homestand goes Wednesday night when the Carolina Hurricanes visit Rogers Arena. Former Canuck Eddie Lack is expected to start in goal for the Hurricanes, who lost 1-0 in overtime in Edmonton on Monday night. After a rough start to the season, Lack has settled in with the Hurricanes. He has won four of his last six starts and has not lost in regulation in his last six outings.

bziemer@vancouversun.com

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks #91 Jared McCann during a break in play against the Edmonton Oilers  in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers arena, Vancouver December 26 2015.
 

Vancouver Canucks #91 Jared McCann during a break in play against the Edmonton Oilers in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers arena, Vancouver December 26 2015.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG

 
Vancouver Canucks #91 Jared McCann during a break in play against the Edmonton Oilers  in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers arena, Vancouver December 26 2015.
Vancouver Canucks winger Alexandre Grenier (65) fights for control of the puck with Calgary Flames left wing Emile Poirier (28) during first period pre-season NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. The Vancouver Canucks have recalled right-wing Grenier from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) as Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) looks on during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks #53 Bo Horvat during a break in play against the Edmonton Oilers  in the first period of a regular season NHL hockey game at Rogers arena, Vancouver December 26 2015.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Derek Dorsett (15) fight for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Matt Bartkowski (44) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes left wing Anthony Duclair (10) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev (8) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes center Max Domi (16) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes center Max Domi (16) clips Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during second period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Jannik Hansen (36) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Biega (55) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes center Max Domi (16) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber (6) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes center Max Domi (16) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Derek Dorsett (15) fight for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) looks on as Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin’s shot goes past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Klas Dahlbeck (34) tries to clear Vancouver Canucks right wing Derek Dorsett (15) from in front of Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) during second period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin (22) skates off the ice after taking a shot to the face during first period NHL action against the Arizona Coyotes in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Jared McCann #91 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on from the bench during their NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena December 26, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Matt Bartkowski (44) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes left wing Anthony Duclair (10) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) puts a shot past Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue (35) as Arizona Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone (26) looks on during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Nicklas Grossmann (2) trie to clear Vancouver Canucks left wing Alex Burrows (14) from in front of the Coyotes net during second period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) celebrates his goal with teammates Daniel Sedin (22) and Radim Vrbata (17) during second period NHL action against the Arizona Coyotes in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Derek Dorsett (15) goes into the boards with Arizona Coyotes defenseman Stefan Elliott (45) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (53) fights for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy (5) during second period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Adam Cracknell (24) goes into the boards with Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes center Laurent Dauphin (76) celebrates his goal with Tobias Rieder (8) and Connor Murphy (5) during second period NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes center Brad Richardson (12) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks left wing Chris Higgins (20) and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Derek Dorsett (15) fight for control of the puck with Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Derek Dorsett (15) looks on as Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) puts a shot past Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks with his teammates during third period NHL action in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (25) stops a shot from Arizona Coyotes center Laurent Dauphin (76) as Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Biega (55) looks on during first period NHL action Vancouver, B.C. Monday, Jan. 4, 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