Bieksa's OT goal lifts Canucks past Coyotes

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 27, 2014 at 12:17 am •  Published: January 27, 2014

"When a power play struggles it can take on a life of its own," said Sullivan, who is running the Canucks' bench in place of the suspended John Tortorella.

Down 2-1 in the second, the Coyotes tied it while short-handed against the Canucks' feeble power play. Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler tried to slap the puck off Vermette's stick in front of Luongo, only to see it carom into the net to tie the score at 9:07. The goal was Vermette's second of the night and 17th of the season.

The Canucks had just 10 shots in total when Higgins restored Vancouver's lead at even strength by deflecting a shot from the point past Smith for his 14th of the season, and second in two games with 3:01 remaining.

Dalpe then followed up his own rebound off the rush to score his third and stretch the Canucks' lead to 4-2 just 42 seconds later.

That two-goal lead was short-lived as Vermette completed his second hat trick of the season — and third of his career — with 54.5 seconds remaining in the period as the Coyotes broke through against the Canucks' stingy penalty kill, which came in ranked second overall.

Vermette now has six goals in his last six games, and three short-handed goals in his last four.

"Free hat trick right there," Luongo said with a laugh. "At least he buried the last one to make it at least somewhat justifiable. It was just one of those nights where it felt like the puck was finding ways in."

The Canucks, still without injured forwards Henrik Sedin and Mike Santorelli because of upper-body injuries, beat Smith twice in a 44-second span midway through first period.

Bieksa opened the scoring at 10:31 on a shot through traffic to pick up his first goal in nine games.

Hansen then doubled the Canucks' lead at 11:15, ripping a shot through the goalie's legs on a 3-on-2 rush for his ninth of the season and first point in nine games.

Phoenix cut the lead in half just 18 seconds later thanks when Luongo inadvertently directed a loose puck off the stick of Vermette into his own net.

NOTES: Henrik Sedin missed his third straight game, while Santorelli sat out for the fourth consecutive game. ... Canucks F David Booth sat out as a healthy scratch with Vancouver electing to dress seven defenseman. Yannick Weber took some shifts as a forward, but played primarily on the first power-play unit.