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

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery’s spirits that would have become whisky or gin is now being denatured to make hand sanitizer

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Living with faith

Bea Buhler is a pillar of strength at the Alliance Church

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

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

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Summerland skeletons carry COVID-19 messages

Heather Pescada’s skeletons, normally displayed at Halloween, are appearing on Facebook and Instagram

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Most Read