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Three goals in 2 periods, Galchenyuk’s crafty moves lift Coyotes to big OT win

Vancouver Canucks' Jay Beagle, left, checks Arizona Coyotes' Derek Stepan during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

If the Arizona Coyotes pull off the improbable and make the playoffs, wins like Thursday’s over the Vancouver Canucks will be highlighted as the biggest.

Down 1-0 with less than 12 minutes remaining, the Coyotes scored two goals in the third period, and even after giving up the equalizer and going to overtime, they didn’t lose their composure and won the game there 3-2 to pick up two huge points in the Western Conference’s wild card race.

Darcy Kuemper had yet another strong performance, saving 30 of the Canucks’ 32 shot attempts.

The opportunistic hockey picked up in the third period, where the Coyotes earned only their second power play of the game facing a 1-0 deficit.

Jakob Chychrun’s back-and-forth with Alex Galchenyuk at the point saw Chychrun rifle a one-timer through traffic and past Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom to tie the game at one goal apiece.

The next goal would come from the style of play that head coach Rick Tocchet wants to see out of his squad.

A dump-and-chase from the Coyotes had Derek Stepan win the race behind Vancouver’s net. His hit of the puck was deflected, but Josh Archibald acted fast by catching it, placing it down and firing it behind him in front of the net. Somehow, that landed on the stick of Lawson Crouse, who buried his shot far-side to beat Markstrom and give Arizona a 2-1 lead.

The Canucks scored just over a minute later and we went to overtime where Galchnyuk’s filthy moves won the game.

He dangled past his initial defender, and after giving off the impression he was taking the puck all the way around, Galchenyuk quickly dug back and mashed the puck and his stick off the right post to score the game-winning goal.

With the win, Arizona moved one point ahead of the Canucks with 61 and in a three-way tie with Chicago and Colorado to be one point back of the Minnesota Wild, who sit at the second and final wild card spot with 62 points.

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