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Bachman, Canucks hang on to defeat Coyotes

by Jerry Brown

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Vancouver Canucks took a lead into the third period and held on to win this time.

Jared McCann, Alexandre Burrows and rookie Brendan Gaunce scored first-period goals in the Canucks' 4-3 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Friday, one night after they squandered a 3-1 third-period lead in an overtime loss to the Dallas Stars.

"We stayed focused and we learned from last game," McCann said. "It was in our minds going into the game and going into the last period not to let it get away."

Goalie Richard Bachman made 29 saves in his first start for Vancouver (5-2-4), which won for the second time in its past seven games.

McCann scored 1:56 into the game, and Burrows followed at 4:26 to chase Arizona goalie Mike Smith, who allowed two goals on three shots before being replaced by Anders Lindback.

Gaunce, who made his NHL debut Thursday, scored his first goal in the League on a fortuitous bounce to put the Canucks ahead 3-0 at 10:59. Defenseman Christopher Tanev's shot from the point hit Lindback and then Gaunce's skate before sliding into the net.

"It counted, that's all that matters. I was just standing there and lucky it hit off me," said Gaunce, who Vancouver selected with the 26th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. "I felt it hit me, but I didn't know that it went in. [The story of his first goal] might change a little bit a couple of times down the road, but it's good to get any goal and help the team."

Coyotes forwards Max Domi and Steve Downie scored in the second period to cut the Canucks lead to one goal, but Daniel Sedin scored his second goal in the past nine games 64 seconds after Downie's goal to make it 4-2 Vancouver heading to the third.

Tobias Rieder scored his fourth goal with 2:21 remaining in the third and Lindback pulled in favor of the extra attacker to make it 4-3.

It wasn't enough for the Coyotes (5-5-1), who have lost three straight at home.

"It's tough in this league when you trail by three early, you put yourself in a tough spot," said Arizona center Antoine Vermette, who had two assists for his first points of the season. "You can say we battled, but that's not the way you want to start the game."

McCann beat Arizona's Kyle Chipchura to the net for a setup by Adam Cracknell from behind the Arizona net for his fifth goal to open the scoring.

Burrows made it 2-0 on a shot from along the wall that handcuffed Smith and sailed over his blocker. It was his third goal.

Arizona coach Dave Tippett pulled Smith at that point, but Gaunce beat Lindback six-and-a-half minutes later on the third shot against the backup to put Vancouver ahead by three. Smith has allowed 25 goals on 169 shots (.852 save percentage) in his past seven games.

"We give up the first one on really poor coverage and get beat 1-on-1, the second one is just a bad goal, and the third one is a fluke goal," Tippett said. "We give up three goals in the first [six] shots, and it was uphill from there. I like the way we hung in and battled."

The Coyotes pushed back in the second. Domi collected a rebound of Mikkel Boedker shot in the slot with his back to the net and swept a backhand shot by Bachman at 5:50 for his fifth goal. Then at 17:04, Downie took a Tyler Gaudet pass at the top of the left circle and beat Bachman to the short side to make it 3-2.

But Arizona's Zbynek Michalek took down Vancouver forward Derek Dorsett with a hook 41 seconds later, and the Canucks converted on their fourth power-play chance. Former Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata set up Sedin in the left circle, and Sedin picked the far corner over Lindback to restore the Canucks lead to two goals.

"It was big for our team to go into the locker room up 4-2 instead of 3-2. That's a big lift," Sedin said. "We had a good start. We had four lines chipping in. It's fun to play that way. No one is feeling the pressure to produce."

The Canucks have been ahead in all 11 games they've played, but they've had trouble hanging on to third-period leads over the past seven days. Before the 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas on Thursday, Vancouver blew a 2-0 third-period lead against the Detroit Red Wings in a 3-2 overtime loss last Saturday.

Tippett said Sedin's goal was the one that really hurt.

"It was a big point in the game. It's one thing to take that penalty and another one not to be able to kill it," he said. "That gives them an extra cushion. I like the way we pushed, and they were a tired team, but when you give up four ... that's a big road to climb."

For the third straight home game, a late Coyotes rally fell short.

"In the second and third periods, we played really well," Gaudet said. "But we've got to play three periods like that. We took it too lightly thinking that they played [the night before]. We've got to be ready and have a better start than that."

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