1) Thursday's game was very much what you'd expect from the visiting Arizona Coyotes. Aside from a seven minute stretch of uninterrupted play early in the third period, there wasn't much flow and there weren't many scoring chances. Ultimately, the Canucks were a patient bunch and wound up beating the Coyotes at their own game. And in the process, they moved within a point of both Arizona and Calgary for the Pacific Division lead with a game in hand on the Flames and two on the Coyotes. It wasn't a great night on the entertainment scale, but it was a win the Canucks needed and the two points they added to their total look just as good as any of their other 26 victories this season.
2) On Tuesday in Winnipeg, the Canucks had 41 shots and couldn't buy a goal. Thursday against Arizona, they just 25 shots but were on the right side of the bounces. Bo Horvat banged home a rebound of a Quinn Hughes point shot on the power play that clanged off the post behind Yotes third-stringer Adin Hill and Jake Virtanen banked a wrap-around attempt off Hill's skate as he slid across the crease. The Canucks did all of those same things against Connor Hellebuyck two nights earlier and weren't rewarded for their efforts. On Thursday, they had some puck luck on their side and it made all the difference in the outcome.
3) While Arizona had 11 shots on goal in the third period, according to Natural Stat Trick the Coyotes didn't have a single high-danger scoring chance in the final 20 minutes. I'm not sure I agree with that as defenseman Jason Demers had a clean look in the slot from 25 feet out per NHL.com with just over nine minutes remaining and was denied by Jacob Markstrom who had another strong night making his 16th start in the last 18 games. That was probably Markstrom's best save of the final period because he wasn't really tested after that. The Canucks were sound defensively in front of their netminder keeping the Coyotes to the perimeter and they didn't allow Arizona to set up with the extra attacker before Tanner Pearson sealed the win with an empty netter.
4) It may sound strange, but the Canucks had to shake the curse of the Coyotes. After the Canucks were swept by the Yotes last season, they wanted no part of -- and simply could not afford -- history repeating itself this time around. The surest way to prevent another season sweep was to take care of business in the first of the four head to head meetings and that's what the Canucks did on Thursday. Now they won't be subjected to questions about their inability to defeat the Desert Dogs. The Canucks were able to flip the script and now have something to build on as the season series progresses. They will see Arizona three more times -- twice in March and then in Game 81 on April 2nd in Glendale.
5) The Canucks have quietly become one of the top teams in the NHL on home ice. With Thursday's win, they are now 15-5-3 at Rogers Arena good for 33 points in 23 games. That 71.7% points percentage ranks them fifth in the league behind St. Louis, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Canucks have rattled off seven straight wins on home ice and are 10-2 in their last 12 games on home ice. The strong home ice presence is important because the Canucks have more home games remaining on their schedule than almost every other team in the NHL. Minnesota has played 21 home games while Los Angeles and Edmonton have played 22. That's the entire list of teams that have played fewer games at home than the Canucks. They have a chance to use home ice to their advantage down the stretch compared to a team like Las Vegas that has already played 27 home games to lead the league in that category.