by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent
VANCOUVER — Goaltender Jacob Markstrom didn’t have to look far to find extra motivation for the final month of the Vancouver Canucks’ disappointing season.
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 9: Tobias Rieder #8 of the Arizona Coyotes scores a goal on Jacob Markstrom #25 of the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena March 9, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia,Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/ISN)
Markstom made 32 saves, and Markus Granlund scored on a rebound off a 2-on-1 rush 1:42 into overtime to give the Canucks a 3-2, come-from-behind win against the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Arena on Wednesday.
“You come into the room and you notice everyone is happy, everyone is smiling, and that’s the way you want it to be when you come in after a game, especially at home,” said Markstrom, who made a save against Max Domi on a breakaway early in overtime. “And the fans are happy; you want to play for them too. There’s a lot of pride going on right now.”
Trailing 2-0 midway through the game, Radim Vrbata and Luca Sbisa scored for Vancouver to tie it before the end of the second period.
Then Granlund won it in overtime with his first goal in seven games since being acquired from the Calgary Flames on Feb. 22.Arizona goalie Louis Domingue stopped Jake Virtanen’s shot with his left pad, but the rebound went straight out to Granlund, who scored his fifth of the season.
“It’s big for us and for the fans,” Granlund said. “It’s a good win here on home ice.”
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 9: Shane Doan #19 of the Arizona Coyotes attempts to screen Jacob Markstrom #25 as he’s checked by Yannick Weber #6 of the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena March 9,2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/ISN)
The Canucks (26-28-12) rebounded from a 5-1 loss at the Los Angeles Kings on Monday to win for the second time in six games and the first time in four at home.
“I thought we battled back, especially when we went down 2-0,” Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said. “It’s a good feeling. You know we really wanted to win at home.”
Tobias Rieder and Kevin Connauton scored, Alex Tanguay had two assists, and Domingue made 28 saves for the Coyotes (28-32-7), who have one win in their past 10 games and have lost nine straight on the road. Despite squandering the two-goal lead, coach Dave Tippett said he was pleased with the Coyotes’ effort after a slow first period.
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 9: Max Domi #16 of the Arizona Coyotes fights off a check by Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks during their NHL game at Rogers Arena March 9, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.(Photo by Derek Cain/ISN)
“They got two goals off two chances. One was a redirect in front, and the other one just a poor read on our defending,” Tippett said. “We only gave up two chances in the second period. Don’t make the mistakes, that’s about it. We played well.”Domingue, starting for the 21st time in the past 23 games, had to be good early in Arizona’s first game this season without top defenseman and leading scorer Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The Canucks outshot the Coyotes 15-10 in the first period, which included three Vancouver power plays, but Domingue made a glove save on Linden Vey from the slot on one power play and went across the crease to deny Vrbata on a 3-on-2 rush with 3:30 left in the period.
“Just trying to get out of the first even or better, and we accomplished that,” Domingue said. “Whether I made some big saves or not, the result is we had a chance to get a lead early in the second, and we did. I thought we managed the game pretty well.”
Rieder opened the scoring on Arizona’s first power play 2:57 into the second period, taking a pass from Tanguay at the left hash marks and getting a shot past the block attempt of defenseman Sbisa before Markstrom could get across his crease.
Connauton doubled the lead 7:41 into the second after Vancouver failed to clear the zone. Tanguay, who has five points in three games since coming to Arizona in a Feb. 29 trade with the Colorado Avalanche for Mikkel Boedker, worked the puck down to Anthony Duclair behind the net, and he passed back up to Connauton at the right faceoff dot for a shot over the glove of Markstrom, who was screened.
“He has a knack of making good plays,” Tippett said of Tanguay.Tanguay was more worried about the plays that let Vancouver back into the game.
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 9: Vancouver Canucks celebrate an overtime win over the Arizona Coyotes after their NHL game at Rogers Arena March 9, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/ISN)
Vrbata scored on a breakaway with 8:05 left in the second, splitting the defense before beating Domingue with a deke to the backhand and shot over the right pad. And Sbisa tied it 2-2 with a one-timer from between the top of the faceoff circles with 2:22 left in the period. It was his first goal in 30 games dating to Oct. 27.
“Up two in the second period, we felt great about ourselves, and then all of a sudden, a couple times we get lost in our own zone and create opportunities for them and let them back into the game,” Tanguay said. “It’s frustrating. When you are up 2-0 on the road, you have to make sure you play solid, you don’t get lost, you play the position.”
Desjardins said Markstrom will continue to alternate starts with veteran goalie Ryan Miller.
“I feel good, especially at practice,” Markstrom said. “I’m just trying to get better every day for when I get called upon to play. I just want to give these guys a chance to win. I thought the guys played great in front of me with rebounds and stuff.”