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game recap

Ryan Miller, Canucks shut out Coyotes

Makes 22 saves to help Vancouver win fifth straight

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Ryan Miller got his first shutout in more than 15 months to help the Vancouver Canucks to their fifth win in a row, 3-0 against the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Arena on Wednesday.

The Canucks made Miller work for it by taking a late penalty, but he finished it off thanks to a lucky break and two saves in the final two minutes.

Miller was fortunate when Radim Vrbata hit the post on a power play with 2:16 left. Miller then made a glove save off Brendan Perlini and stuffed Christian Dvorak at the top of the crease with 38.1 seconds left to preserve his 37th NHL shutout and first in 70 games dating to Oct. 13, 2015.


WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Canucks highlights


"Got the right side of the post on [Vrbata's] shot," said Miller, who lost a shutout with 3:17 left to Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 28, three starts ago. "He's a good shooter and I was lucky on that one, but overall a great effort by our guys. I thought we controlled the neutral zone pretty well, no odd-man rushes, and that kept us on the right side of the puck, and guys used good neutral zone pressure to create some speed and get some breakaways and capitalized."

Sven Baertschi scored in the first period and Brandon Sutter, on a penalty shot, and Bo Horvat, on a breakaway, scored in the third period for the Canucks (19-18-3).

Vancouver hadn't won five straight since a seven-game winning streak from Dec. 1-14, 2013.

"We're playing with confidence right now," Sutter said. "Sometimes when you win one, lose one it's harder to keep that. Right now we're rolling pretty good."

Video: Miller and Gibson earn Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutouts

Mike Smith made 21 saves for the Coyotes (11-22-5), who have lost eight straight.

"We make it way too easy on the opposing goalie," Smith said. "I don't know how many times we hit him in the middle of the chest. There was no rebounds, nobody in front. We were close but we're not there. If you want to win you have to be there. You can't be off to the side. You can't be a step behind."

Baertschi scored at 9:51 after intercepting a pass from Kevin Connauton atop the right faceoff circle and beating Smith over the glove from the top hash mark. It was Baertschi's fourth goal in three games and seventh in the past 11.

Sutter made it 2-0 at 6:53, and Horvat scored with a backhand deke at 13:43.

"The whole team is playing better defensively and we're taking a lot more pride in it," Horvat said. "We're doing the little things in our zone to help translate to offense."

Video: ARI@VAN: Horvat scores slick goal, grants fan's wish


Goal of the game

Sutter was awarded a penalty shot after he was hooked splitting defensemen Luke Schenn and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Sutter skated in on his forehand with speed and pulled Smith across the crease before lifting a backhand just over his right pad and past his outstretched blocker.

"It's always tough, especially after a shift when you're tired, your nerves get going a little bit, you try to calm down and get something going," Sutter said.

Video: ARI@VAN: Sutter sneaks penalty shot past Smith


Save of the game

Smith made a sprawling right-pad save on Sutter after two passes on a 2-on-1 with Loui Eriksson with 3:35 left in the second period.

Video: ARI@VAN: Smith makes an incredible sprawling save


Unsung performance of the game

Arizona defenseman Alex Goligoski knocked a pass from Daniel Sedin out of the air and over the net 4:10 into the second period to prevent a backdoor scoring chance for Henrik Sedin.


Highlight of the game

Miller followed Dvorak across the top of the crease after he was left alone in front and stuffed his backhand attempt.


They said it

"It was a close game. The third period we tried to open it up, tried to chase them a little bit. We have to generate more chances." -- Coyotes coach Dave Tippett after being held to two goals or fewer for the seventh time during the eight-game losing streak


"I felt like I was in it pretty early in the first period, and then it got quiet when we started to play pretty well there in the second as far as puck control and keeping them in their half. You just have to hang with it." -- Canucks goalie Ryan Miller on facing two shots in the second period


Video: ARI@VAN: Miller makes nice save through screen


Need to know

Goligoski and teammate Luke Schenn each played his 600th NHL game. … Connauton was playing for the second time in 16 games after being recalled Monday from a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League. ... Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun was a healthy scratch.


What's next

Canucks: Host the Calgary Flames on Friday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, SNW, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-A, NHL.TV)


Video: Miller, Canucks cruise to 3-0 win against Coyotes

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