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PREVIEW: Vancouver Canucks try to maintain dominance over Ottawa Senators

Mar 15, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (35) warms up prior to the start of the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of when, where and how well they play, the Vancouver Canucks continue to be successful against the Ottawa Senators this season. The visiting Canucks aim for a fifth straight win over the Senators on Wednesday night.

After closing a grim February in which they won only two of 13 games (2-9-2), the Canucks also look to maintain their overall March success. They are 6-2-0 this month, with the most recent win coming Monday in Ottawa.

Though it wasn’t the prettiest of efforts, the 3-2 victory in overtime will do for Vancouver, which has been playing itself into playoff contention.

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Thatcher Demko made a season-high 44 saves, Tanner Pearson snapped a 12-game goal drought and J.T. Miller scored 1:40 into overtime as Vancouver pulled out the win after blowing a 2-0 first-period lead.

“We can’t take them lightly,” said Miller, whose eighth goal of the season gave him points in three straight contests. “We gave them a little too much (Monday).

“Obviously, we’re in the position where we need two points. We’ll learn from our mistakes and just need to be better the next time we play.”

Vancouver has won eight of the last nine against the Senators (including three at home in January) and has outscored them 19-5 while going 4-0-0 in the 2020-21 season series, with five more meetings on the schedule, starting Wednesday night.

Miller has three goals and five points against Ottawa this season, while Demko has stopped 121 of 125 shots in his three starts against the Senators.

Demko is 6-1-0 with a 1.69 goals-against average and .953 save percentage this month. Teammate Braden Holtby, who made 36 saves during a 4-1 home win over Ottawa on Jan. 28, hasn’t started since March 2.

Though the Senators sit last in the North Division — eight points behind Vancouver — and lost for the sixth time in eight games Monday, they are amid a 5-1-1 stretch at home. Josh Norris and Colin White scored to help Ottawa rally towards overtime, but the club was left frustrated that its season-high 46 shots resulted in just two goals.

The Senators also failed on all four power-play chances Monday and are 1-for-18 with the man-advantage against the Canucks this season.

“Sometimes goalies are hot and that’s the way it is,” said Norris, who snapped a five-game point drought. “You’ve got to try and find a way to get goals.

“Unfortunately, we (didn’t) get the extra point, but we’ll take the one and move on.”

White has five goals in his last five home contests.

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Ottawa’s Joey Daccord stopped 25 shots Monday after making 33 saves for his first victory of the season, 4-3 over Toronto on Sunday. Daccord has started three straight games while Matt Murray (7-12-1, 3.84 GAA) deals with an upper-body injury suffered during warmups prior to that contest with the Maple Leafs.

Murray, considered day-to-day, has allowed 11 goals in losing his two starts against Vancouver this season.

The Canucks’ Brock Boeser has a team-leading 29 points, but only one in the last four games. Star defenseman Quinn Hughes (25 points) has registered five assists, plus a goal, against the Senators this season.

–Field Level Media