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Pettersson, Joshua lead Canucks past Coyotes for sixth win in seven games

Vancouver Canucks Celebrate Vancouver Canucks Celebrate - The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Dakota Joshua scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season as the Vancouver Canucks found a way past a determined Arizona Coyotes team.

The goal, Joshua's 12th of the season, came with assists from Nils Hoglander and Teddy Blueger.

“You’re not going to have your best every night and that’s what makes these wins important," said Joshua. "You’ve got to find a way and that resiliency throughout the year to find your way to the top.”

Joshua has set a new career-best for goals after recording 11 for Vancouver last season.

Elias Pettersson had the opening goal for the Canucks (30-11-4). J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes also recorded assists in the win.

"It’s a good win for us," said Hughes. "I think we came out ready to go in the first period, and in the second we were a bit fatigued both physically and mentally. We’ll take the two points and move on."

Hughes was full of praise for the Joshua, Blueger and Conor Garland line after the game.

“Honestly I can't say enough about that line, they’ve powered us through a lot of games," Hughes said. "If we’re going to be a successful team in the next little while, we’re going to need them to keep going."

Vancouver is at home for the next four games before the NHL All-Star break. It's the first time in franchise history that the team has had five players chosen as all-stars.

"We’ve got four more games before the break and we want to finish strong," said Pettersson.

Travis Dermott scored the only goal for the Coyotes (21-19-3).

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet praised his team's determination and maturity in closing out the win.

“Guys are trying to make the playoffs," he said. "We're going to run into desperate teams and we have to play the same way."

Thatcher Demko stopped 20 of 21 shots for Vancouver while Connor Ingram made 24 saves for Arizona.

Pettersson scored with 3:11 left in the opening frame, hammering home a one-timer off a feed from Quinn Hughes.

But the Coyotes responded two minutes later with Dermott scoring his first goal of the season past Demko.

"I think you can see a lot of good things from our team," Dermott said. "So it's tough, not coming out with the two points, but with how we've been kind of battling to figure out our identity here lately, I think we can take so many positives from that game."

The Canucks outshot the Coyotes 14-4 in the first but went over 15 minutes before recording a shot in the second period.

Joshua eventually put Vancouver up 2-1 at 19:02 of the frame by burying his own rebound past Ingram.

The Canucks had another slow start on offence in the third period, going eight minutes before recording a shot on goal, but managed to hang on to their lead.

Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny said he saw positives with his team's performance, but they need to be ready when facing skilled opponents.

"We played hard, we played solid. They're a really good team. They're fast, they're good and in the first period my feeling after the period is that's the best team we played," he said. "They were fast, hard on pucks, they play well in their structure and we got better during the game, every shift I think our guys worked extremely hard, we had good puck pressure, we defend really hard. I think we played a rock solid five-on-five."


Vancouver hosts Toronto on Saturday.

Arizona hosts the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2024.