Horvat Leads Canucks to 7-4 Win Over Senators
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Getting some bounces on the power play helped get the Vancouver Canucks back into the NHL playoff picture.
Bo Horvat had two goals and an assist and the Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 7-4 win over the short-handed Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
Tanner Pearson also had two goals for Vancouver (32-32-10). Brock Boeser, Jake Virtanen and Loui Eriksson also scored.
The Canucks matched their longest winning streak of the season with their third straight victory.
Elias Pettersson had two assists. He leads all rookies with 27 goals, 36 assists and 63 points.
The win moved Vancouver four points behind the idle Arizona Coyotes in the race for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Horvat and Boeser scored on the power play. The Canucks have scored five power-play goals in their last five games. That comes after a stretch of four power-play goals in 17 games.
"Those weren't the bounces we were getting earlier," Horvat said. "We were getting those opportunities, they just weren't going in for us.
"Special teams is huge. For us to get a couple of power-play goals in back-to-back games and find the back of the net has been big for us."
Canuck goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 shots.
Ottawa (25-42-6) battle back when Max Veronneau, Brady Tkachuk and Oscar Lindberg scored goals 4:48 apart in the third period. Anthony DuClair scored on the power play with under two minutes left with goaltender Craig Anderson on the bench.
"I really liked the character we showed in the third," said center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who had two assists. "Everyone I'm sure thought we were going to quit. I'm glad nobody quit in here."
Anderson made 33 saves for Ottawa.
The last-place Senators had their two-game winning streak snapped. Ottawa played most of the game a player short after defenseman Cody Ceci left in the first period with an upper-body injury after blocking a shot.
The Canucks' first power-play goal came in the opening period, just 31 seconds after Ceci was called for holding. Horvat redirected a shot by Alex Edler for his 26th of the season.
A boarding penalty by Jean-Gabriel Pageau set up Boeser's goal at 17:00 of the second. He took a pass from Edler and beat Anderson on a low, hard shot.
The second period was just 32 seconds old when Pearson put the Canucks up 2-0. Defenseman Alex Biega lifted a pass high into the Senators' end. Pearson swatted the bouncing puck past Anderson.
Virtanen made it 3-0 at 5:56. He took a little pass from Jay Beagle, skated into the Ottawa zone and scored on a low shot to the glove side.
Pearson made it 5-0 with 57 seconds gone in the third.
Vancouver coach Travis Green said he wasn't worried about Ottawa's late rally.
"They threw some pucks at the net, pucks went in," Green said. "I thought we were still in control of the game.
"I didn't feel like it was one of those games where momentum was swinging, and they were all over us. I thought it was a pretty solid effort from our group."
NOTES: Pettersson received a standing ovation in the first period for breaking the Canucks' record of 60 points in a season by a rookie with an assist in Chicago on Monday night. . Boeser has nine points on a career-high eight-game scoring streak (three goals, six assists). ... The Canucks opened a stretch of seven games at Rogers Arena, their longest homestand of the season. . Vancouver last won three straight games Dec. 6-11, with victories over Nashville, St. Louis and Columbus. . Ottawa's Thomas Chabot, who has missed the last two games with a broken toe, is expected to play Saturday in Edmonton.
Senators: At Calgary Flames on Thursday.
Canucks: Host Calgary Flames on Saturday.