Holtby solid as Vancouver Canucks edge Ottawa Senators 4-2

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VANCOUVER — Tanner Pearson scored the game winner Saturday as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Ottawa Senators 4-2.

Nate Schmidt, Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller also scored for the Canucks (19-19-3), and Bo Horvat notched a pair of assists.

Evgenii Dadanov had a goal and an assist for the Sens (17-24-6), and Colin White also scored.

It was a busy night in net for Ottawa. Matt Murray stopped 12-of-13 shots before leaving with an injury midway through the second period. Marcus Hogberg had 18 saves in relief.

Braden Holtby put up another solid performance for Vancouver, stopping 26-of-28 shots, including a penalty attempt.

Saturday's result snapped a three-game win streak for Ottawa, who remain at the bottom of the all-Canadian North Division, three points behind the Canucks.

Miller sealed the score at 4-2 Saturday, firing a shot into the empty net from the top of the crease with 54 seconds left on the clock.

Pearson had already put away the game winner 13:45 into the third. Horvat streaked into the Sens' end and slipped a pass to Pearson at the top of the slot. Pearson took a few strides, then ripped a shot over Hogberg's stick.

It was the left-winger's ninth goal of the season.

Dadanov had evened the score at 2-2 less than two minutes earlier, netting his 13th goal of the year with an unassisted blast that sailed over Holtby's glove and in.

The Canucks netminder was tested midway through the second when defenceman Tyler Myers was called for slashing Alex Formenton on a breakaway.

The Sens left-winger was awarded a penalty shot but Holtby calmly tracked Formenton as he weaved in and turned the wrist shot away with his right pad.

Ottawa made a change in net 4:27 into the middle frame Saturday after Murray and Vancouver's Jake Virtanen got tangled up in the crease.

The goalie got his stick caught in the legs of the Vancouver right-winger and hauled him down, prompting a tripping call. Murray also appeared to suffer an injury on the play and shook his leg before heading to the locker room.

Sens coach D.J. Smith said earlier on Saturday that Anton Forsberg would start in net against the Canucks, with Murray acting as backup. But Forsberg suffered a lower-body injury in warmups and did not take the ice.

Vancouver was quick to capitalize on Murray's tripping penalty.

Quinn Hughes sliced a crisp pass to Boeser and he rifled it in from the right faceoff dot, beating Hogberg stick side to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead 4:46 into the second period.

Boeser leads the Canucks in scoring this season with 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists).

Vancouver was 1 for 4 with the man advantage Saturday. The Canucks got two minutes of five-on-three hockey in the third after Artem Zub and Erik Brannstrom were called for a high stick and cross-checking, respectively. The home side recorded just one shot on goal during the ensuing power play.

Ottawa failed to capitalize on five power plays, including a four-minute double minor Virtanen picked up midway through the second for a high stick that left Sens rookie Tim Stutzle with a bloody nose.

The first period ended in a 1-1 draw after White put the Sens on the board 8:32 into the game.

Connor Brown's shot from near the blue line hit traffic in front of the crease, where White and Virtanen battled for the puck. It hit Virtanen's skate and sailed in past Holtby, but White was credited with his ninth goal of the year.

The Canucks opened the scoring early, forcing a turnover deep in Ottawa territory and getting the puck up to Schmidt. The defenceman unleashed a long blast from the point and scored his fourth of the year 1:43 into the first.

Vancouver's Jayce Hawryluk needed some minor medical attention in the first period after dropping the gloves with Brannstrom. The Ottawa defenceman had taken issue with Hawryluk squashing him along the end boards and the Canucks forward was quick to step up to the challenge. Each was handed a five-minute major for fighting and Hawryluk winced while he held a bag of ice to his hand in the penalty box.

The two sides will meet again in Ottawa on Monday.

NOTES: Defenceman Alex Edler returned to the Canucks' lineup after serving a two-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit on Toronto's Zach Hyman. ... Vancouver's Zack MacEwen and Tyler Motte played their first games since March 24.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2021.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press