Garland gets revenge on former team as Canucks down Coyotes

It wasn’t always exciting but the Vancouver Canucks took care of business against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night. The visitors emerged with a 2-1 victory after Conor Garland got a late game-winner against his former team.

The visiting team dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen for this game. Pius Suter was out of the lineup while Mark Friedman played.

The Canucks bounced back after a big loss yesterday to secure the two points up for grabs tonight. They now have a seven point lead on the Pacific Division.

“We had a good talk with the group last night, we weren’t happy with ourselves,” said Garland after the win.

Quinn Hughes got the scoring started with a power play goal midway through the second period. It was his third goal over the last two games as he continues to add to his career-high total.

Shortly after the Canucks took the lead, they were gifted another power play. The most notable play in those two minutes was not another goal, but a fight. J.T. Miller came to the defence of teammate Elias Pettersson after the Swedish superstar was on the receiving end of a big hit.

The Canucks entered the third period with a lead but were unable to hold on. Hughes took two penalties and Dylan Guenther — yes, the same one picked with the selection traded by the Canucks in the infamous deal — took full advantage, scoring on the second Coyotes power play.

This game looked like it was headed for overtime until Garland broke the deadlock with just under two minutes left. He scored from a tight angle after a dominant Hughes shift where the defenceman created several dangerous chances.

The winger was named first star as a reward for his efforts.

“We played really well today and we deserved to win that game so it’s nice to come out on top,” said the American forward postgame.

Garland is not the only one with ties to the Coyotes organization as head coach Rick Tocchet also coached in the desert before coming to Vancouver. The two are now pushing the Canucks towards their first playoff appearance since 2020.

“Big goal from Gars there. I mean he loves this building, he loves coming here,” said the head coach.

This game pushed Hughes past Mattias Ohlund for the second most points by a defenceman in Canucks history. He also broke his own record for assists in a season by a defenceman with 70, becoming only the fourth US-born D-man to do so.

“I think Huggy played really well tonight. He was moving his feet all night. He controlled a lot of the play and obviously great play on the Garland goal,” said Tocchet. “He’s trying to take some responsibility when things don’t go well and I thought he really managed the game well too. When the play wasn’t there, he moved the game along.”

Arturs Silovs picked up the win to remain undefeated on the season. He had 21 saves and has allowed just three goals across his two starts this year.

“Looks like a veteran in there, very solid, looks big in net,” said Tocchet about the young goalie. “Really like the poise in the kid.”

The Canucks are now 1-1 on this road trip after losing to the Vegas Golden Knights yesterday. They have one more game left as they’ll face off against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.