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Daniel Sedin powers Canucks past Capitals

by Adam Vingan / NHL.com

WASHINGTON -- The Vancouver Canucks have been very good at bouncing back from losses this season.

They have lost two in a row once, in their fourth and fifth games. Preparing for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday after a loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins promised a stronger performance from the Canucks.

As they have done after all but one loss this season, the Canucks rebounded, defeating the Capitals 4-3 at Verizon Center.

"Tonight you could see we adjusted from the Red Wings game (a 5-3 loss)," said Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller, who made 22 saves. "It was nice to see. The boys played well."

Daniel Sedin scored two power-play goals, including the game-winner midway through the third period.

"That's what good teams do," he said. "In this league, you start losing a few, all of a sudden you've lost four or five, and that's tough to get back from. I think we're a group that realizes that, and we're usually strong when we come off a loss."

Sedin's second goal was the 114th in his career with the man advantage, tying him with Markus Naslund for the most in Canucks history.

"We haven't been great lately at the power play, and tonight that was the key for us, to get the power play going," he said.

Henrik Sedin assisted on both of his twin brother's goals.

Derek Dorsett and Radim Vrbata each scored a goal for Vancouver (17-7-1).

The Canucks were 3-for-4 with the man advantage after having gone 3-for-27 on the power play in their previous 10 games.

"We needed a game like this," Desjardins said. "That power play's been pretty good all year. We've had chances, it just hasn't gone in. It was a great day for it to get on track."

John Carlson scored twice for Washington (10-10-4), his first career multi-goal game. Brooks Laich scored his first goal of the season, and Braden Holtby stopped 28 shots.

The Capitals have lost four of five (1-3-1).

Washington plodded through a slow start, struggling to control the puck in the first period. It cost the Capitals with 2:02 left when Dorsett scored his third goal. After Canucks forward Jannik Hansen foiled Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen's breakout attempt, Bo Horvat set up Dorsett for a tap-in.

"If you're playing really well and you're winning games, it seems you get away with a lot," Niskanen said. "Right now, we have to work for every little thing to go right for us. Hasn't happened over 60 minutes for us in the last little while. Keep working and keep believing in the right things. I've said that before. It sounds cheesy, but that's all you can really do, is look at your mistakes, try to get better and keep pushing forward."

Washington tied the game early in the second period, taking advantage of a Vancouver defensive-zone turnover. Nicklas Backstrom carried the puck toward the left half-wall, finding Carlson in a soft area near the high slot. The defenseman's quick wrist shot squirted through Miller's right arm and into the net at 2:45.

Later in the period, the Canucks scored two power-play goals within 2:46 to take a 3-1 lead. Daniel Sedin scored off a one-touch centering pass from Henrik Sedin at 10:01 after Vrbata followed his own rebound to initiate the sequence. Vrbata scored his 11th goal at 12:47, pouncing on a bouncing puck in front of the crease with Capitals forward Jay Beagle in the penalty box for hooking.

"For us to be successful, we need good special teams, and of course on the power play we needed to find a way to score some power-play goals and help the team," Vrbata said. "We switched some things around and it paid off today."

Carlson's second goal of the game, his fourth of the season, at 14:43 cut into the Canucks lead. His long-range slap shot got past a heavily screened Miller.

In the third period, Laich slipped by Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa as he cut to the net during 4-on-4 play, then roofed a wrist shot over Miller at 4:39.

Daniel Sedin, once again set up by a deft pass from his twin brother while on the power play, gave Vancouver a 4-3 lead exactly five minutes later with his sixth goal.

In their past four games, the Capitals have allowed eight power-play goals in 13 shorthanded situations.

"We get scored on too much, plain and simple," Carlson said. "We're not getting a lot of bang-bang goals backdoor when they sort of pick us apart, so to speak. When you don't do the job, it doesn't matter if that's the only shot they get in two minutes and they score on it. It's one of those things right now where we need to find some confidence in it."

The Capitals visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. The Canucks continue their seven-game Eastern Conference road trip that day against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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