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Canucks use second-period spurt to beat Capitals

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- It's no surprise that Daniel and Henrik Sedin sparked the Vancouver Canucks comeback on Sunday, but it was the second line that quickly finished off the Washington Capitals.

Henrik Sedin, Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa scored goals 1:47 apart late in the second period and the Canucks beat the road-weary Capitals 4-2 at Rogers Arena.

"You've got to support the Sedins," said Bonino, who also set up Sbisa's goal. "They score every game, and with secondary scoring if we can all contribute and get three or four goals a night like we have been, usually we're going to win games."

Radim Vrbata scored into an empty net with 1:01 left, Ryan Miller made 20 saves and second-line left wing Chris Higgins had two assists as the Canucks opened a three-game homestand by bouncing back from a 7-3 road loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Henrik Sedin tied the game 1-1 by banking a power-play goal into the net off goalie Justin Peters from below the goal line with six minutes left in the second period. Higgins made a nice chip pass to set up Bonino on a 2-on-1 and he put Vancouver ahead with a wrist shot past Peters' glove 1:22 later. Higgins and Bonino combined to set up Sbisa's first goal with the Canucks 25 seconds after that.

"It's been good all year," Daniel Sedin said of the power play that led to Henrik's goal. "It's a big first goal to get back in the game. From there I thought we took over. [Bonino's] line had a few good shifts and we were up 3-1."

Marcus Johansson and Liam O'Brien scored for the Capitals, who were coming off a 3-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday and went 1-2-0 on a three-game trip through Western Canada.

Washington was undone by the quick goals.

"That's the difference, that five-minute span," said Peters, who made 30 saves in his third start of the season.

It was the first time in eight games under new coach Barry Trotz that the Capitals surrendered more than 30 shots.

"That was probably our poorest game in terms of puck management and puck protection," Trotz said. "We turned over way too pucks, gave up way too many odd-man rushes just by puck management."

The Capitals kept opponents under 30 shots for seven straight games to start the season, their longest such streak in four years, but Vancouver fired 14 shots in the first period, pressuring the tired Capitals early.

Trotz credited the Canucks for that pressure and for "clogging up the middle," but didn't like how his team responded.

"Instead of taking it to the next level, be it with soft chips or puck possession, we tried to force it through bodies and they were transitioning the other way," Trotz said. "You can't play that loose."

They got away with it in the first 10 minutes because of their goalie.

Peters got a bit of a break when Vrbata, playing his 800th NHL game, lost the puck while making a strong deke to his backhand after a John Carlson turnover in the slot 30 seconds in. Peters also sprawled to rob Linden Vey, who was in all alone on a 2-on-1 down low after another bad turnover in its own end midway through the period.

"Petey played unbelievable tonight," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "If wasn't for him it would probably be 5-0 after 10 minutes."

Instead, Washington came out with more jump to start the second, outshooting the Canucks 8-1 and taking the lead at 5:28 when Johansson one-timed a cross-ice pass from Andre Burakovsky behind Miller.

Peters kept the Capitals ahead with a couple of great saves, sliding left to right to rob Kevin Bieksa and Zack Kassian on consecutive shifts, but had little chance when Sedin finally got the Canucks even.

Peters robbed Daniel Sedin in tight but the rebound was fired just wide by Vrbata, stranding the goalie as Henrik Sedin collected it at the side of the net and banked it into the net off him before he could recover. Bonino beat him with a shot just inside the top corner and Sbisa's one-timer through traffic found the same spot, over the glove.

"I just tried to battle and fight for the guys and they got a little momentum there in the second period and I really wanted to have that third goal and nip it in the bud and settle it down," Peters said. "I saw (Sbisa's shot) off the stick but I have to do a better job finding it all the way in. These guys are battling hard, playing on back-to-back nights, it's my job to stop that puck. I've got to have that one."

It was a big goal for Sbisa, who was minus-5 in Colorado on Friday.

"That was a rough night," he said. "I didn't have the best sleep after that. I'm not gonna lie, I was thinking a lot about that game and I knew it was a big for me and the team. I'm glad it went pretty good."

O'Brien, a 20-year-old playing his eighth game after earning an NHL contract as an undrafted rookie camp invitee, made it 3-2 with a nifty one-touch deflection from the slot over Miller's blocker.

"It was a great feeling to score my first goal, but it would have been even better if we would have got the win tonight," O'Brien said.

But Miller, who stopped Eric Fehr on a breakaway on the first shift of the second period, kept the Canucks ahead with three good shorthanded saves midway through the third period.

Miller made blocker and glove saves off Carlson and got a blocker on Ovechkin's power-play one-timer from the right circle with 9:30 left.

"They've got some weapons out there," Miller said.

Ovechkin, a four-time winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer, was held without a point for a fourth straight game and finished with two shots on net.

"Some of us was moving well but some of us was not ready," said Ovechkin "Maybe tired, maybe just was mentally not ready, but we have to figure out what to do be ready mentally for back-to-backs."

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