Second Period: Breaking It Open
The Canucks were dealt with an unfortunate blow to start the middle frame in the form of an injury to Horvat. The 30 plus goal scorer hobbled off the ice and into the dressing room after taking a shot right above the skate. He did not return and was later announced with a lower-body injury. Post game, Boudreau remained hopeful about the situation.
Much like the opening period, the first couple of minutes of play felt like it was in cruise control. Nevertheless, an Arizona too many men call got the ball rolling from there.
Elias Pettersson notched his 60th point of the season with a slap shot rocked home from his spot on the left side. Picking up the secondary assist on the play, Quinn Hughes continued to get one step closer to chasing the Canucks record for most points and assists by a defenceman in a season at the ripe age of 22.
Down by three, Coyote forward Nick Ritchie was inches away from getting his team within two after his shot rang off the corner of the post and crossbar. The Canucks would hem Arizona in the following shift, but a cross-checking penalty on Hughes, ultimately allowed the away team to get themselves on the board.
Fortunately, it would be the only goal Arizona would pocket, and on the ensuing Canucks powerplay, Vasily Podkolzin hopped off the bench and muscled his way to the front of the net to tuck the puck in and restore the three-goal lead.
Vancouver wasn’t done there. Just 14 seconds later, Garland beat the Coyote goaltender cleanly over the glove.
Vancouver would tally their fourth goal of the frame with less than a minute to spare after Podkolzin finished a one-timer feed by Miller after some sloppy puck play by the Coyotes in their own zone.
On the back of a four-point performance thus far by Miller, the team was primed to close out the final 20 in the driver’s seat.