Canucks open road trip with win over struggling Senators
OTTAWA — The Vancouver Canucks got a bit of a reprieve Tuesday night, while the downward slide for the Ottawa Senators continued.
Bo Horvat scored twice as the Canucks came back twice from a goal down for 6-4 win over the Senators in a battle of struggling NHL clubs.
Connor Garland had two assists in the win as the Canucks opened a five-game road trip with just their fourth win in 13 games.
“It wasn’t maybe the prettiest win, but we’ve had a lot of good games where we haven’t won this year. We owe a lot of thanks to our goaltender (Spencer Martin) tonight, for sure, especially in the first couple of periods, keeping us in it,” Horvat said.
“We’re just trying to be mentally tough. It’s been a mental grind for a lot of this year and a lot of mental lapses by us. I thought we stayed mentally strong tonight.”
Horvat scored from the top of the crease 1:16 into the third period to break a 2-2 tie and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored on the power play at 8:18 to give the Canucks a 4-2 lead. The goal was originally credit to Brock Boeser.
Tim Stutzle got a power-play goal at 14:03 to pull the Senators to within a goal at 4-3, but Jack Studnicka capitalized on an Ottawa turnover in their own end to give the Canucks a 5-3 lead at 14:59.
Claude Giroux scored to make the score 5-4 with another power-play goal for the Senators, this one at 17:09. Elias Pettersson ended the late madness with an empty-net goal at 19:15.
Ilya Mikheyev also scored for the Canucks (4-6-3), while Martin made 37 saves for the win.
The Senators (4-8-0), who have now lost six straight, got their other goals from Drake Batherson and Travis Hamonic along with a 22-save performance from Cam Talbot.
“We have to work for our breaks, work for our chances and bear down. That’s all we can do,” Hamonic said.
“We’re scoring some goals, we just have to buckle down on our opportunities, not just offensively but defensively as well when we get the chance to make the right play.”
The Senators put in a dominating performance in the second period that included a 19-8 advantage in shots, but it was the Canucks who scored the lone goal of the period.
Mikheyev tied the game 2-2 at 13:50 of the second as he took a pass from Quinn Hughes and beat Talbot in tight.
“We just didn’t get the job done. We looked very confident in the second period. We looked very confident in the first period, but then when you get into the third period we just didn’t make the plays we needed to make. We turned pucks over and we gave them two goals,” Senators coach DJ Smith said.
“We probably could have scored four or five in the second and we didn’t. We have to stick to it if you want to get out of this.”
The beginning and the end of the first period were hectic as the Senators scored in the opening minute while both teams netted a goal in the period’s final minute.
After Alex DeBrincat beat out an icing call he got the puck behind the net and found Batherson alone for the game’s first goal just 50 seconds in.
“I’ve been in those situations a ton of times before. I didn’t get here laying down. Just kind of kept it going with some confidence,” Brown said about not letting the quick goal get to him.
The teams went scoreless for much of the period after that until Horvat tied the game for the Canucks at 19:07. The tie was short-lived as Hamonic beat Martin with a point shot just 16 seconds later.
The game Tuesdaywas the first of two between the clubs this season. They will meet again in Vancouver on March 11. … The Senators recalled defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker from the Belleville Senators Monday and he made his season debut Tuesday. … Nils Hoglander, Kyle Burroughs and Riley Stillman were scratches for the Canucks. Nick Holden, Dylan Gambrell and Magnus Hellberg were the scratches for the Senators.
Following the completion of their three-game home swing, the Senators will hit the road for a pair of games Thursday and Saturday against the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers, respectively.
The Canucks, meanwhile, will play the second game of their five-game road trip in Montreal against the Canadiens on Wednesday night before taking on the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.