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game recap

Canucks' Miller foils Coyotes again

Goalie 6-0-0 in Arizona, 9-1-0 overall against team

by Jerry Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

Miller robs Doan on the doorstep

VAN@ARI: Miller stones Doan early in the 1st

2/10/16: Ryan Miller makes a great arm save on Shane Doan's one-timer on the doorstep in the opening minutes of the game

  • 00:10 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. - When Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller thinks about Arizona, it immediately brings back fond memories that don't have anything to do with hockey.

"I met my wife in Scottsdale," he said. "I do enjoy coming back here; it was a fun time in our lives."

But for the Arizona Coyotes, the mere thought of Miller continues to conjure up nightmares.

Miller haunted the Coyotes again with 33 saves and remained undefeated at Gila River Arena in helping the Canucks hold on for a 2-1 win against the Coyotes on Tuesday.

Jake Virtanen and Jannik Hansen scored goals and Miller made them stand up with several big saves. He also got help from Vancouver defenseman Alex Biega, who stopped Kyle Chipchura's backhand bid at the goal line with 3:43 left to keep the Canucks (22-20-12) in front. 

"The puck went right to [Chipchura] and the only chance I really had at it was being the goalie," Biega said. "Fortunately he didn't bear down on that one and go upstairs. It was just instinct."

Miller is 6-0 in Arizona and 9-1 overall against the Coyotes.

Video: VAN@ARI: Miller denies Richardson with the glove

"You just have to find a way to keep [the puck] out and it takes everybody sometimes," he said. "It was a really heads-up play (by Biega). I got up and gave him a nice little hug. He knows how I feel."
 
Vancouver moved within two points of the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators in the race for the two Western Conference wild-card spots into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
 
Playing the second game of a back-to-back without forwards Brandon Sutter (fractured jaw) and defenseman Alexander Edler (fractured fibia), the Canucks found a way to follow a 3-1 win against Colorado to sweep the road trip with many of the players' mothers in the stands.
 
"Oh, we're never going to hear the end of this for sure," Biega said. "They said that if we win tonight and sweep both games, they're going to think about doing another mom's trip next year. I guess they're our good luck charms."

Martin Hanzal scored on the power play for the Coyotes (24-23-6), who have lost five straight games (0-4-1) and slipped to 11th place in the West. Arizona had a goal wiped out by a challenge and had several other great chances, but couldn't beat Miller.
 
"You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself and think you should've won," Coyotes forward Max Domi said. "But at the end of the day, if you only score one goal it isn't going to cut it. We did some good things tonight, but at this time of the year just doing some things isn't really good enough."

Louis Domingue made 24 saves for the Coyotes.

Video: VAN@ARI: Biega saves a goal at the line late in 3rd

"They are tight games right now and you can't afford mistakes," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "We are letting points slip away. We know exactly what we have to do and the points we have to gain. It hasn't been very fruitful lately."

The Canucks were outshot 13-6 in the first period but scored the only goal on a give-and-go from two forwards. 

Virtanen pushed the puck up to Jared McCann, who raced into the Arizona zone, stopped suddenly and sent a return pass to Virtanen at the left circle. Virtanen's one-timer hit the near post and deflected past Domingue at 7:16. It was Virtanen's first goal since Jan. 11. 

"Yeah we were short, but I thought our young guys were good today," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "McCann came in and played well and Virtanen had a good game."

The Coyotes kept the pressure on and appeared to tie the game at 14:53 when Klas Dahlbeck's shot from the high point eluded Miller's glove. But Desjardins requested a coaches' challenge and it was determined that Hanzal was offside, negating the goal. 

Hanzal had another chance early in the second period and didn't waste it. 

With Biega in the box for slashing, Anthony Duclair and Domi set up Hanzal with two quick diagonal passes and Hanzal was able to push the puck off the near post and in at 2:38. 
 
The Coyotes continued to control play until Vancouver applied heavy pressure during an extended shift, and a little good fortune put the Canucks back in front. 

Hansen's shot from the left circle deflected first off Arizona defenseman Connor Murphy, changed direction and hit defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson before trickling by Domingue at 15:13. 

Hansen's 16th goal tied his career-high set in 2011-12. 

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