ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes drop eighth straight as offense lags in loss to Canucks

Jan 4, 2017, 10:59 PM | Updated: 11:06 pm
Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter (20) scores on Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) durin...

Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter (20) scores on Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) during a penalty shot during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Ryan Miller made 22 saves for his 37th career shutout as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 Wednesday night.

Brandon Sutter, Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi scored for the Canucks, who have won five straight for their longest win streak of the season. The victory moved them above .500 for the first time since October.

Vancouver got its first shutout of the season and Miller his first in 70 games.

Mike Smith stopped 21 shots for the struggling Coyotes, who have lost eight straight and remain last in the Pacific Division.

A defensive gaffe from the Coyotes midway in the first led to Vancouver opening the scoring. Defenseman Kevin Connauton coughed up the puck right on to Baertschi’s stick in Arizona’s zone and the Canucks’ forward wristed it past Smith. It was Baertschi’s 11th goal of the season and seventh in the past 11 games.

A scoreless second period didn’t see many chances. At eight minutes in Canucks winger Loui Eriksson streaked down the wing with speed and space, but he couldn’t beat Smith. Eriksson had another chance late in the period while on a 2-on-1 with Sutter, but again Smith made the stop. The Coyotes, meanwhile, managed two shots on goal in the second.

Sutter made it 2-0 at 6:53 of the third on a successful penalty shot after getting hooked by Luke Schenn. Sutter made a nice deke before lifting a backhand over Smith’s goalie pads.

Horvat added a goal with 6:17 left when also went backhand on a breakaway against Smith.

Miller preserved the shutout with a couple of impressive saves during an Arizona power play in the final minutes.

NOTES: The Canucks claimed F Reid Boucher off waivers from New Jersey on Wednesday. It’s his second team this week. The Devils waived him Tuesday after claiming him Monday from Nashville. Boucher has one goal and two assists in 12 games this season between New Jersey and the Preds.

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