Canucks score 4 unanswered goals to down Senators for season-best 4th straight victory

Andrei Kuzmenko scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks extended their win streak with a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

J.T. Miller and Nils Aman each recorded a goal and an assist for the Canucks (28-32-5), while Sheldon Dries also found the back of the net and Dakota Joshua notched a pair of helpers.

The Senators (33-28-4) struggled to get a puck past Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko until midway through the third period, when Claude Giroux and Nick Holden scored two minutes and five seconds apart. Tim Stutzle assisted on both goals.

Demko made 18 saves across the night and Mads Sogaard stopped 25-of-30 shots for Ottawa.

The result stretched Vancouver’s win streak to a season-high four games.

Both sides saw ample special teams play as the Canucks went 1-for-6 on the power play and the Sens went 0-for-3.

WATCH l Kuzmenko scores pair to help Canucks top Senators:

Canucks hand Senators tough loss, capture 4th win in a row

A pair of goals by Andrei Kuzmenko helped Vancouver defeat Ottawa 5-2 Saturday night.

With Sogaard out, Kuzmenko scored into the empty net during Vancouver’s final man advantage of the night with 14.8 seconds left on the clock.

Holden’s blast through traffic 15:44 into the third period sailed over Demko’s glove to make the score 4-2.

Ottawa finally got a puck past Demko 13:39 into the final frame when Thomas Chabot’s shot hit Aman in front of the Vancouver net and deflected to Giroux. The veteran forward quickly popped it in backdoor to make it 4-1 with his 28th goal of the season.

Giroux has seven goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games.

Alex DeBrincat nearly got the Sens on the board in the third when he caught Demko out of position and fired a shot just wide of the empty Vancouver net.

The Canucks picked up the rebound and streaked up the ice.

Joshua left a drop pass for Dries and the depth forward sent a rocket flying past Sogaard from the high slot to give Vancouver a 4-0 lead with his 10th goal of the season 6:50 into the third.

The home side went up 3-0 midway through the second after Joshua crashed the Sens’ net. The puck was knocked off his stick in the blue paint but Aman was there to pick it up and tap a shot in behind Sogaard 10:17 into the period.

The goal was Aman’s fourth of the season.

Vancouver’s penalty kill proved to be potent yet again on Saturday after Anthony Beauvillier was sent to the box for slashing early in the second.

Demko came up big with a stop on Tkachuk in tight and the Canucks turned the ensuing rebound into a two-on-one going the other way.

Guarded by DeBrincat, Miller and Aman sprinted up the ice where Miller sent a pass across the slot to Aman. The Swedish centre dished the puck back to Miller and he tapped it in backdoor to puck Vancouver up 2-0 with his 24th goal of the season 4:24 into the middle frame.

The Canucks have 11 short-handed goals on the season, tied with Carolina and Philadelphia for second most in the NHL. Edmonton leads with 12.

Nine of Vancouver’s short-handed tallies have come in the 19 games the team has played under Rick Tocchet, who took over as head coach on Jan. 22.

Miller’s persistence set up the first goal of the night 15:05 into the game.

The Canucks centre fought to keep the puck on his stick below the goal line before slicing a pass to Kuzmenko at the hash marks. The Russian winger skated in, deftly moving the puck from his forehand to his backhand, and popped a shot in past Sogaard to make it 1-0

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