Canucks seek consistent home success as Canadiens pay a visit

The Vancouver Canucks will try to win back-to-back home games for the first time this season when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

Vancouver picked up just its fourth home win in 11 games (4-6-1) when they rallied for a 3-2 overtime victory against Arizona on Saturday. That snapped a three-game home losing streak that included back-to-back 5-1 losses to Washington and Florida earlier in the week.

Bo Horvat scored two goals, including the game-winner on a power play with 51 seconds remaining in overtime, and Brock Boeser scored the tying goal at the 11:48 mark of the third period.

“When you lose a couple in a row, you need your captain to step up and do the job,” Vancouver coach Bruce Boudreau said of Horvat. “And he stepped up and did the job.”

The goals were the 18th and 19th of the season for Horvat.

Arizona had controlled most of the first two periods of action and took a 2-1 lead in the second period on a power-play goal by Jakob Chychrun. The Canucks tied it on Boeser’s wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle midway through the third period.

Boeser, who has scored just four goals this season, had been informed earlier on Saturday that he would be a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie season in 2017-18. However, he got a call several hours before the game that Dakota Joshua, who was to replace him in the lineup, sustained a minor injury and would miss the game. It was also reported that Boeser’s agent has been given permission to seek a trade.

“It was a lot of emotions,” Boeser said. “Obviously, it’s a really (lousy) feeling and you don’t want to be in that position. When I got the call, I knew I needed to make a difference, and I can’t ever put myself in that position again.”

Boudreau liked what he saw from Boeser on Saturday, though.

“I thought he was good,” Boudreau said. “He played mad, which I’m sure he was. This is what he’s used to doing. His shot was great. I was hoping he’d score in overtime. That would have been a pretty cool thing. But I thought he played a good game tonight.”

Montreal enters off a 5-3 loss at Edmonton on Saturday. The Canadiens, who have dropped two of their last three games, allowed three power-play goals in a span of 8:11 in the second period to fall behind 3-1, but they battled back to tie it later in the period on power-play goals by Evgenii Dadonov and Arber Xhekaj.

But Edmonton regained the lead for good with just five seconds left in the period on a deflating goal by Darnell Nurse. Connor McDavid, who had two goals and two assists, then picked up a big insurance score in the third period for the Oilers.

“It’s tough to give up those goals at the end of a period like that, especially (after) the kind of push we had the second half of that period,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “It was a tough one.”

Still, St. Louis was happy with his team’s comeback after falling behind by two goals midway through the second period on the road.

“We don’t give up,” St. Louis said. “We fight. Just fell a little short tonight.”

This is the second meeting between the two teams. The Canadiens won the first one 5-2 on Nov. 19 in Montreal, with Kirby Dach leading the way with two goals and Nick Suzuki adding a goal and an assist.

–Field Level Media