Arizona Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper (35) stops Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Motte (64) as Arizona’s Nick Schmaltz, back, watches during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Struggling Canucks drop fourth straight, fall 4-2 to Coyotes

Vancouver still holds Western Conference wild-card spot

VANCOUVER — Lawson Crouse broke a tie midway through the third period as the Arizona Coyotes used a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks to tighten the playoff race in the NHL’s Western Conference.

A wild third period saw the teams combine for five goals and two lead changes.

Crouse and Nick Schmaltz scored goals 2:29 apart for Arizona. Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes (33-27-8), who have won two in a row and three times in four games. Oliver Ekman-Larsson added an empty-net goal to go with an assist.

Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson scored goals less than three minutes apart for the Canucks (34-26-6), who lost their fourth consecutive game.

The win moves the Coyotes into a three-way tie with Vancouver and Winnipeg in points (74) for the two wild-card playoff spots in the Western Conference.

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper made 36 saves. Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko, making his fourth start for the injured Jacob Markstrom, stopped 36 shots.

Toffoli tied the game 1-1 at 3:19 on a power play. He took a pass at the side of the net from J.T. Miller and lifted a shot into a tight space over Kuemper’s shoulder for his 23rd goal of the season.

Pearson made it 2-1 when he knocked in the rebound of a Jake Virtanen shot at 6:16.

Schmaltz tied the game for Arizona at 10:10. He tipped a shot that Demko stopped but slipped in the rebound.

Crouse put the Coyotes ahead at 12:29 by tipping in an Ekman-Larsson point shot.

The Coyotes led 1-0 after 40 minutes on the strength of a strange first-period goal.

READ MORE: Slumping Vancouver Canucks missing three key players at practice

With the Coyotes on a power play, Soderberg ran into Canuck defenceman Oscar Fantenberg behind the net. The puck flipped into the air and over Demko’s shoulder into the net at 7:27.

Demko later made a big leg save on a Taylor Hall shot and stopped Phil Kessel on a partial breakaway.

Kuemper had a busy second period, stopping Virtanen on a breakaway, blocking a Toffoli drive from the face-off circle, and stopping a tip on a power play.

There were also some anxious moments when Demko ventured out of his net and was knocked down in a collision with Hall and Canuck defenceman Chris Tanev. Demko looked to be in pain but stayed in the game after the training staff examined his left leg.

NOTES: Canuck rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes dressed despite missing the Wednesday morning skate and skating by himself on Tuesday…. Vancouver defenceman Tyler Myers didn’t dress after missing practice Tuesday but skating Wednesday morning. …Oscar Fantenberg drew into the lineup to replace Myers. … Coyote defenceman Jakob Chychrun is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury but could join the team later on their three-game road trip. … Vancouver has recalled defenceman Guillaume Brisebois and Jalen Chatfield under emergency conditions from their AHL farm team in Utica.

Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanuckshockeyNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

College of the Rockies distributes over 75,000 items of PPE to local healthcare workers

Cranbrook, Kimberley and Gold Creek campuses donated their supplies from health and first aid programs

RCMP outline what callers can expect amid COVID-19

RCMP around B.C. are maintaining their core policing services and working to… Continue reading

More snow expected overnight Tuesday: Mainroad

Get ready for another blast of winter. Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting has… Continue reading

Search and Rescue B.C. urge caution during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Search and Rescue Association and Emergency Management B.C. issued a statement… Continue reading

Cranbrook Bucks add two more players to growing roster

A forward and a goaltender have committed to the newest BCHL franchise for next season

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

B.C. worker advocate group calls for more sick days, protected medical leave

COVID-19 highlights need for changes to workers legislation: Retail Action Network

New rules issued for B.C. construction projects, work camps for COVID-19

Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada, Trans Mountain and Site C carry on

Grand Forks distillery shifts to make sanitizer

How a Grand Forks distillery is stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read