azcentral
National Hockey League
Vancouver 4, Arizona 1
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Referees: Kevin Pollock, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen: Brandon Gawryletz, Matt MacPherson
Attendance: 11256

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi paid tribute to his former Portland Winterhawks teammate Craig Cunningham by putting "Cunny" on his stick tape for Wednesday's game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.

The greater tribute for his ailing friend came when Baertschi hit the ice. The Vancouver left winger had a goal and two assists and linemate Bo Horvat had the same stat line as the Canucks won just their second road game of the season with a 4-1 victory over Arizona.

"I wanted to play for him tonight and it worked out really well," said Baertschi, who looked at his stick after his goal. "It's been such mixed feelings because you want to help but you can't. His family is with him and I know that he's going to get through this because he's a fighter."

Right wingers Alex Burrows and Louis Eriksson also scored for Vancouver, which improved to 2-6-1 on the road. Goalie Ryan Miller made 35 saves to improve 10-1 lifetime against the Coyotes and lower his career 1.58 goals-against average against Arizona.

Rookie center Christian Dvorak scored the lone goal for Arizona, which got nine saves from Louis Domingue in relief of Mike Smith. Arizona is dead last in the NHL standings with a 6-10-2 record and 14 points.

"There were parts of that game where we liked the way we played," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Unfortunately, some of the mistakes and blunders were the ones that had the biggest effect on the game."

Cunningham, a forward for the Coyotes' AHL affiliate in Tucson, collapsed on the ice before a game on Saturday against the Manitoba Moose at Tucson Convention Center. Tucson.com reported that Cunningham appeared to convulse after hitting the ice. Medics attended to Cunningham and cut away his jersey as he was lying on his back. They performed chest compressions before moving him off the ice and into an ambulance. He has been listed in critical but stable condition for the past three days.

"That's the toughest part is you just don't know what's happening," Baertschi said. "I try to read stuff online and figure out exactly what it going on. All you can do is pray for him and hope for the best."

Vancouver jumped out in front on just its second shot of the game when Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson got a little too fancy.

As Ekman-Larsson collected the puck while skating behind his own net, he tried a blind, back pass that Horvat intercepted at the right circle. Horvat found left winger Sven Baertschi all alone at the far post for an easy tap-in and a 1-0 lead at 3:08 of the first period.

Arizona tied it just 58 seconds into the second period when rookie center Christian Dvorak redirected defenseman Anthony DeAngelo's shot past goalie Ryan Miller with right winger Anthony Duclair setting a perfect screen.

The tie was short-lived. Vancouver center Markus Granlund found right winger Loui Eriksson on the doorstep, and Eriksson's flubbed shot skidded between goalie Mike Smith's pads for a 2-1 lead at the 3:18 mark.

Vancouver widened the lead just 17 seconds later when Horvat got behind DeAngelo on the rush, took a feed from Burrows and pushed a knuckleball between Smith's arm and body for a 3-1 lead.

Burrows ended Smith's night when he scored from the far boards on a shot that slipped under the goalie's leg for a 4-1 lead at 6:49.

"We were fortunate to get out of that second period because they had some pretty good chances," Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said. "And then for a change, the chances went in for us."

Smith stopped just 13 of 17 shots before Louis Domingue replaced him. Smith stopped 65 of the 69 shots he saw in the previous two games since returning from a left leg injury.

"I was awful," Smith said. "I was sleeping right from the first goal."

NOTES: Coyotes rookie LW Lawson Crouse, who missed Saturday's game against San Jose because of an upper-body injury, returned to the lineup. ... Craig Cunningham, a forward for the Coyotes' AHL affiliate in Tucson, remains in critical but stable condition in a hospital after collapsing before the team's game on Saturday against the Manitoba Moose. "We're just praying that everything moves the right direction," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. ... Canucks LW Joseph LaBate made his NHL debut after being recalled from Utica of the AHL on Tuesday. ... The Canucks placed RW Derek Dorsett on injured reserve.
Top Game Performances
 
Vancouver   Arizona
Sven Baertschi 3 Points Christian Dvorak 1
Sven Baertschi 1 Goals Christian Dvorak 1
Sven Baertschi 2 Assists Anthony DeAngelo 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Ryan Miller .972 Save Percentage Louis Domingue 1.000
Ryan Miller 35 Saves Mike Smith 13
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Vancouver 27 4 0-2 2-2 4 35
Arizona 36 1 0-2 2-2 4 27
Upcoming Games
  • Arizona will play their next game at home against Edmonton. The Coyotes have a W/L % of .286 after a win and .364 after a loss.
  • Vancouver will play their next game on the road against Dallas. The Canucks have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .333 after a loss.