OTTAWA, Ontario (AP)J.T Miller scored and added two assists to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
Luke Schenn, Tyler Motte, Tanner Pearson, Bo Horvat, and Alex Chiasson chipped in for the Canucks, who finished their five-game road trip with a 2-3-0 record. Quinn Hughes had four assists, and Thatcher Demko made 19 saves in net.
”We were due for one of those nights for a long time,” Horvat said. ”I think we’ve been playing a lot of good hockey. For us to have a night like that where a lot of guys get on the scoresheet definitely gives us confidence.
”But at the same time, we can’t get complacent with that too, and get comfortable and think that that’s going to happen every night.”
Adam Gaudette scored in his debut with the Senators after being claimed on waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. Brady Tkachuk also scored for Ottawa, and Filip Gustavsson stopped 29 shots.
Senators coach D.J. Smith admitted earlier this week that the past month has probably been one of the hardest stretches of hockey he’s ever endured as his team not only went 1-10-1 and is in a six-game losing streak but also went through a COVID-19 outbreak.
Drake Batherson, who was one of 10 Ottawa players who tested positive for COVID-19, played his first game since Nov. 14 on Wednesday.
”As a coach, all you can do is push the guys to go harder tomorrow,” Smith said, referencing Ottawa’s game Thursday at Carolina. ”Going in against, you know one of the best teams in the league, and you know what, there’s no better time to steal one and get feeling good about yourself than to go against the hardest working team in the league and put a game together.”
The Canucks took full control in the third period, when Horvat, Chiasson and Miller found the back of the net. Tkachuk replied for the Senators, but that was it.
Tied 1-1 to start the second period, Vancouver forced a turnover deep in the Senators end which led to Motte beating Gustavsson on his glove side. Ottawa had opportunity to tie things back up with a two-man advantage for 60 seconds, but were unable to capitalize.
The Canucks made it 3-1 late in the period as Schenn pushed his way to the net and raised a shot over Gustavsson.
Vancouver opened the scoring at 1:38 as Connor Garland shook off Senators defencsman Victor Mete behind the net and got the puck out to Pearson alone in front after Gaudette failed to hold him up. Gaudette made up for the miscue as he scored a power-play goal midway through the period to tie the game 1-1.
The Canucks have had their own share of struggles of late, with the win in Montreal snapping a four-game losing skid. Coach Travis Green said the back-to-back wins will go a long way on getting things back on track.
”When you go into a room after the game and you win like that, your guys are excited, but I haven’t felt a whole lot of letdown from our team,” said Green. ”I think they know that they’re right there. … We’ve lost so many one-goal games that it’s not like they’ve just been losing and being outplayed. They’ve done a good job keeping their belief and their confidence level high.”
NOTES: Tyler Ennis and Michael DelZotto were a healthy scratch for the Senators, while Brad Hunt and Joho Lammiko did not play for the Canucks.
Canucks: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Senators: At Carolina on Thursday.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports