GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ryan Miller stopped 34 shots to end a five-game losing streak and extend his dominance over Arizona, lifting the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 victory over the Coyotes on Wednesday night.
Jake Virtanen scored in the first period and Jannik Hansen had his 16th of the season on a double carom off two Coyotes players in the second. Miller made some big saves in the third period and got some help from defenceman Alex Biega, who saved a goal after a shot by Kyle Chipchura trickled past his sprawled-out goalie.
Miller improved to 9-1 against Arizona, including 6-0 in Glendale.
Martin Hanzal scored a power-play goal and Louis Domingue stopped 24 shots for the Coyotes. They have lost five straight and nine of 11.
The game was a big one for two teams scrapping to stay in the Western Conference race.
The Canucks moved into a tie with the sliding Coyotes for 10th in the conference (54 points) with their 3-1 win over Colorado on Tuesday night. Jacob Markstrom started for Vancouver in that game, but Miller was back between the pipes, hoping to end a five-game winless streak (0-3-2).
The Coyotes went back to their starting goalie — at least while Mike Smith is injured — against the Canucks, sending out Domingue after Anders Lindback allowed five goals in a loss to Anaheim.
Domingue had not been sharp after a stellar start to his rookie season, allowing 15 goals in three straight starts.
Vancouver got one past him early in Wednesday’s game, with Virtanen scoring on a one-timer on a feed from Jared McCann after he pulled up and let the defence slide by.
The Coyotes appeared to tie it late in the period, when Dahlbeck beat Miller off his glove from just inside the blue line. Vancouver challenged the call, saying the Coyotes were offside when they entered the zone, and the officials wiped away the goal after a review.
Arizona did tie it on a power play early in the second period, when Hanzal took a crossing pass from Max Domi after a cross by Anthony Duclair.
The Canucks took the lead back late in the period with a double-Coyote carom. Hansen got the goal on a shot from the left circle that glanced off Arizona’s Connor Murphy, then defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson into the goal.
Miler stopped some tough chances in third period, getting help from the post on one shot and Biega’s big save to seal the victory.
Notes: Canucks D Alex Edler (foot) and C Brandon Sutter (jaw) returned to Vancouver after being injured against the Avalanche Tuesday night. D Yannick Weber and C Alex Friesen, called up as reinforcements after the injuries, were healthy scratches against the Coyotes. … Coyotes C Boyd Gordon missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. … The Coyotes will start a jersey exchange program with Friday’s game against Calgary, allowing adults to exchange a jersey of any active NHL team for a replica Coyotes jersey for each child under 14.