VANCOUVER — Some young talents stepped up for the Arizona Coyotes Thursday night, helping the team to a 4-2 pre-season win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Rookies Lane Pederson and Barrett Hayton had goals for Arizona, while Victor Soderstrom and Carl Soderberg also found the back of the net.
Micheal Ferland and Zack MacEwen scored for the Canucks.
Coyotes netminder Adin Hill had 17 saves and Jacob Markstrom stopped 31-of-34 shots for Vancouver.
Arizona had ample opportunity to widen its lead with the man advantage but failed to score on any of its five power-play opportunities.
The loss marks Vancouver’s final exhibition game of the year.
The Canucks split their six full-team pre-season games evenly, chalking up three wins and three losses. They also settled for one of each in a pair of split-squad games with the Calgary Flames.
On Thursday, the Canucks struck first and struck early after Ferland came out of a battle along the boards with the puck.
Ferland Finds the Net
Hill got a piece of the forward’s first shot but couldn’t control the rebound and Ferland put a snapshot into the back of the net 1:20 into the game.
It was the 27 year old’s first tally in a Canucks jersey. The free agent signed a four-year, US$13-million deal with Vancouver in July.
Pederson put away the equalizer for the Coyotes midway through the first period, scoring a short-handed goal after his teammate Michael Chaput was called for boarding.
Hudson Fasching picked off a bad Canucks pass in the neutral zone and fired a hard shot at Markstrom. The Vancouver goalie made the stop but couldn’t control the rebound and Pederson was there to fire it in.
Pederson, a 22-year-old centre from Saskatoon, played the last two seasons with the Coyotes American Hockey League affiliate, the Tuscon Roadrunners.
A nice play between MacEwen and Gaudette put the Canucks up again before the end of the first period.
Under pressure, Gaudette took the puck in behind the Coyotes net before making a back-handed pass to MacEwen at the top of the crease. The 23-year-old forward sent a stunning one-timer past Hill for his first goal of the pre-season.
Despite the early lead, the Canucks struggled to generate chances, registering just 11 shots through the first two periods.
Coyotes Strike Quickly
Arizona, meanwhile, found its offence in the second frame, scoring a pair of goals in just 24 seconds to go up on the scoreboard.
Soderstrom struck first, sending a long snapshot into traffic in front of the net and getting through Markstrom’s legs.
Hayton followed with another strike moments later, once again beating the Vancouver netminder down low.
Hayton, 19, has spent the past three seasons playing for the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
The Coyotes had a prime chance to score once again late the third period when Nick Schmaltz attempted to send in a rebound from close range, but Markstrom came up with a mind-bending glove save.
Soderberg added an empty-net goal with less than 30 seconds to go to cement the score.
The Canucks will kick off regular season play on the road against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. Arizona will head to Anaheim to battle the Ducks in one last exhibition game on Saturday.
NOTES: Alex Edler led the Canucks in pre-season points with one goal and six assists. Elias Pettersson (three goals, three assists) and Gaudette (four goals, two assists) were close behind. … The Coyotes were without a number of their big-name players on Thursday, including Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phil Kessel and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2019.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press