Baertschi leads Canucks in win over Wild
VANCOUVER – Sven Baertschi scored with 2:35 left in regulation Tuesday as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4.
Brandon Sutter and Ben Hutton, with a goal and an assist each, and Loui Eriksson and Bo Horvat also scored for Vancouver (10-11-2), while Ryan Miller made 38 stops. Henrik Sedin and Troy Stecher each chipped in with two assists for the Canucks, who won two in a row for the first time since picking up four consecutive wins to start the season.
Erik Haula tied the game with under six minutes to go in the third for Minnesota (11-8-3) before Baertschi’s winner. Jason Pominville, with two, and Jason Zucker, with a goal and an assist, also scored for the Wild. Haula added an assist for a two-point outing.
Darcy Kuemper got the start with No. 1 goalie Devan Dubnyk given the night off and finished with 30 saves.
Baertschi, who has struggled to rediscover his scoring touch that emerged towards the end of last season and returned to the lineup after missing two games with a foot injury, tipped Stecher’s point shot for his third goal of the season to cap a crazy final period that saw the teams combine for five goals.
Tied 2-2 through two periods, Eriksson gave Vancouver its first lead 1:09 into the third with his sixth when he finished off a scramble after the Wild failed to clear the puck from their zone.
Horvat then tipped his team-leading eighth past Kuemper at 2:08 to give the Canucks a two-goal edge.
But the Wild struck right back when Zucker blocked Erik Gudbranson’s point shot and moved in alone on Miller before beating the Vancouver goalie with a nice backhand deke at 3:20 for his third of the year.
Kuemper then made a great stop on Eriksson off a feed from Markus Granlund just over a minute later to keep the Wild within one.
Haula rewarded his goalie by scoring his third on a tip from a Ryan Suter point shot with 5:49 left in regulation.
Trailing 2-0 midway through the second with just 10 shots on the night, the Canucks came to life on back-to-back power plays to draw level. Sutter tipped a Stecher blast from the point at 9:23 for his sixth before Hutton pinched down from the point on another man advantage just 1:59 later to roof a loose puck at the side of the net for his third.
Hutton’s goal marked just the second time this season Vancouver’s power play had connected twice in the same game, and the first since Oct. 22.
Already without Christopher Tanev, who has been out with a lower-body injury since early November, the Canucks were missing the other half of their top defence pairing after it was revealed Monday that Alexander Edler required surgery on a broken finger suffered in Saturday’s shootout victory in Colorado.
With the youngest defence in the NHL as a result of Edler’s injury, the Canucks knew they would have to play a simple, error-free game, but were instead exposed early in the first. Luca Sbisa, one of the veteran members of the current corps at age 26, misplayed a puck at the Vancouver blue line to allow Nino Niederreiter to swoop in on Miller before Pominville was buried the rebound for his fourth into an open net at 5:07.
The Canucks thought they had tied the game with 5:18 left in the period when Henrik Sedin scored what looked to be his sixth, but the call on the ice was overturned after Minnesota challenged that Sutter had interfered with Kuemper.
Pominville then made it 2-0 with his second of the game and fifth of the season on a shot off the rush at 3:24 of the second that beat Miller under the blocker.
Notes: Edler is expected to be out four to six weeks. … The Canucks continue a three-game homestand Thursday against Anaheim. … The Wild play the third game of a five-game road trip Friday in Calgary.
© 2016 The Canadian Press