Bieksa's second goal of the game, at 2:15 of overtime, gave the
Vancouver Canucks a 5-4 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
"It was a strange kind of game," Bieksa said. "We had some good
shifts, had some bad shifts. But at the end of the game, we scored
five goals. We've had trouble putting the puck in the back of the
"We got five, obviously four against, and some strange goals going
both ways. But at the end of the day, we need the two points, and we
need to (keep) ahead of these guys in the standings. We'll take (the
The Canucks (27-17-9) posted their third win in four games, while
the Coyotes (24-18-10) suffered their third loss in four contests.
Vancouver moved a point ahead of the idle Minnesota Wild, with both
teams holding the wild-card playoff positions in the Western
In overtime, Bieksa put in his own rebound after he moved into the
slot to take a pass from center Brad Richardson.
"We needed the two points," said Bieksa, who was also on the ice for
two goals against and finished even on the night. "And, obviously,
close games in the third period, we've been on the wrong end of it
lately, so it was a nice win."
The Coyotes outshot the Canucks 33-25, but Phoenix goaltender Mike
Smith smashed his stick on the net in frustration after finishing
with 20 saves in comparison to Canadian Olympic teammate Roberto
Luongo's 29 in the Vancouver net.
Bieksa wasn't overly pleased with his team's effort, either. The
Canucks continued to struggle on their power play, even while
enjoying a four-on-three advantage in overtime.
Phoenix converted one of five power plays and also got a
short-handed marker. Vancouver was blanked on four man-advantage
Bieksa's winning goal came 26 seconds after the expiration of a
cross-checking penalty to Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris, taken at
19:49 of the third period.
Vancouver has only two power-play goals on 34 opportunities in its
past nine games.
"I don't think we did as good a job tonight as we did the last game
(against Nashville) as far as getting some traction on our power
play," said acting Vancouver coach Mike Sullivan, who posted his
first win in place of suspended bench boss John Tortorella.
Right winger Jannik Hansen, left winger Chris Higgins and center Zac
Dalpe had the other Vancouver goals.
"It was a strange game on both sides," Sullivan said. "The nature
with which the goals were being scored, it was bizarre. I think
there might have been one goal that was actually shot at the net. It
seemed like everything was a deflection — off a stick, off a skate,
Center Antoine Vermette led the Coyotes with three goals, while
right winger Shane Doan also scored for the visitors.
"Overall, we did enough good things to win," Vermette said.
[to top of second column]
After Bieksa and Hansen staked Vancouver to a 2-1 first-period lead,
Vermette got credit for the Coyotes' second goal, a short-handed
tally just past the midway point of the second. Canucks center Ryan
Kesler's clearing attempt from right in front of his team's net
caromed off Vermette's stick, creating a 2-2 tie.
Higgins, on a deflection, and Dalpe, on a tuck-in from the side of
the net, scored just over a minute later to give the Canucks a 4-2
lead. Vermette completed his hat trick on a power play with 55
seconds left in the middle period, setting the stage for a more
wide-open third period.
At least Vermette's third goal, which came on a rebound, was
"justifiable," said Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. He contended
that Vermette's hat trick was "free."
"It was definitely a weird (game)," Luongo said. "It was one of
those games where it felt like the puck was bouncing in from
everywhere. The good thing is we got the win. When we get games like
that and we still get the win, those are always positive, and a
bonus for me especially."
Despite his frustration with allowing Bieksa's overtime winner,
Smith was later able to put the loss in perspective.
"Anytime you can come on the road and get points, it's important,"
Smith said. "We'd like to be on the other side of this, but we came
back twice and showed some resiliency and did some good things."
Even after helping the Coyotes come back, Doan was much less
"We're just an average team right now," he said. "We have to be
better than that. We played a decent game and should have found a
way to have two points, but we didn't — and there's no moral
victories in professional sports."
NOTES: Early in the second period, Phoenix had a goal disallowed by
a video review that confirmed a referee's call. ... Vancouver C Mike
Santorelli remained out with an undisclosed injury. ... Canucks D
Andrew Alberts was sidelined for his 10th consecutive contest with a
head injury. ... Canucks C Henrik Sedin missed his third consecutive
game with an undisclosed injury after playing the previous 679 in a
row. ... Vancouver coach John Tortorella served the third of his
six-game suspension for storming the Calgary Flames dressing room
area between periods Jan. 18. ... Five Coyotes — G Mike Smith
(Canada), C Martin Hanzal, D Zbynek Michalek (both Czech Republic),
D Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Sweden) and D Lauri Korpikoski (Finland) —
will represent their countries in the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter
Olympics. ... The Canucks dressed seven defensemen as Yannick Weber
drew into the lineup after sitting out last Thursday's loss to
Nashville. As a result, RW David Booth was scratched for the fourth
time in the past 10 games.
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