Arizona Coyotes left wing Taylor Hall (91) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Christopher Tanev (8) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Thursday, January 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Shotgun Jake: Virtanen nets key goal as Canucks beat Coyotes 3-1

NHL’s Pacific Division race tightens up

VANCOUVER — Jake Virtanen scored midway through the second period to reach a career-high 26 points in a season as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 Thursday night.

Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson, into an empty net, also scored for the Canucks (26-18-4) who won for the 10th time in 13 games.

Elias Pettersson had a pair of assists for the Canucks. While Pearson’s goal was the 100th of his career.

Christian Dvorak scored for the Coyotes (26-19-5) who are 1-3-1 over their last five games.

The win made an already tight Pacific Division even closer. Arizona and Calgary are tied with 57 points. Vegas and Vancouver are next with 56, while Edmonton is one behind them.

Canuck goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who made his 16th start in 18 games, stopped 34 shots. He made a big right-pad save on Jason Demers late in the third period to preserve the win.

Adin Hill, making his third straight start, made 22 saves for Arizona.

Virtanen scored the only goal of the second period. He took a pass from J.T. Miller and swooped behind the Arizona net before backhanding a shot that hit Hill’s left skate and bounced into the net. It was his 14th goal of the season, one less than his career high set last year.

The teams were tied after the first period.

A defensive miscue set up the Coyote’s opening goal at 7:59. When Vancouver defenceman Tyler Myers failed to clear a bouncing puck, Taylor Hall found Dvorak in front of the net. He scored his 12th of the season with a low shot to the far side.

Vancouver made it 1-1 on a power play at 15:01. Rookie defenceman Quinn Hughes boomed a shot from the blue line that Hill stopped only to have Horvat knock in the rebound. Horvat has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in the last eight games.

RELATED: Hellebuyck makes 41 saves as Jets blank Canucks 4-0

NOTES: After Thursday the Canucks play 18 of their remaining 34 games at Rogers Arena. Vancouver is 15-5-3 at home and 11-13-1 on the road. … Brandon Sutter returned to the Vancouver lineup after missing four weeks with what he says was a back problem. … The Canucks were outscored 22-14 while going 2-3-0 in their recent five-game road trip. … Arizona goaltender Antti Raanta (lower body) practiced Thursday and could play against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanucksNHL

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

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Greens, Liberals, NDP field Fraser-Nicola candidates ahead of October election

Incumbent Jackie Tegart has two opposing candidates after snap election called Monday

Work has started on 20 units of seniors’ housing in Clinton

Much-delayed project has been in the works for almost a decade

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read