Sven Baertschi scored two goals to help the Vancouver Canucks defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
Baertschi’s power-play goal at 11:46 of the third period, his 13th of the season, broke a 2-2 tie. Baertschi was in front of the net when he beat Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard.
The Canucks (23-20-6) moved one point ahead of the Calgary Flames into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.
“It was good to get that one,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. “I thought it was going to be a tough game, and it was. They’ve got lots of speed up front. They came back (from 2-0), they didn’t quit, and it was big for us to get that power-play goal.”
Baertschi also scored two goals against Pickard in a 3-2 win on Jan. 2.
“I had a little chat with Calvin Pickard out there,” Baertschi said. “He wasn’t too happy with China jerseys of mine scoring against him again. We know each other from junior and it’s always fun playing against him. Somehow it works. I’ve found the right spots out there and been able to capitalize on the chances I get.”
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Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog jersey was serving a slashing penalty when Baertschi scored the winning goal, his second against Colorado this season.
“It was a dumb play on my part and it ends up costing us,” Landeskog said. “We stayed out of the box the whole time until then.”
Colorado tied the game 2-2 on Matt Nieto’s goal at 6:18 of the third period. Nieto scored from the right circle with a shot past goalie Jacob Markstrom’s right arm for his cheap jerseys and second of the season.
Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, who will start, is one win from the 450th NHL victory of his career. He’ll also try and stop former teammate Henrik Sedin from getting his 1,000th point. “It will be a fun challenge, but at the end of the day we’re worried about winning,” Luongo said. “I’d gladly trade one point of his for two of ours.” Florida has one win in four games (1-2-1) after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. The Panthers trail the Toronto Maple Leafs by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference despite playing four more games than Toronto. The Panthers, who are missing top-six forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles), Aleksander Barkov (upper body) and Nick Bjugstad (lower body), will juggle their top two lines. Jared McCann will play his first game against the Canucks since they traded him to Florida in the offseason. He will center a line with Jaromir Jagr jersey and Jonathan Marchessault. Vincent Trocheck, who has nine goals and 16 points in his past 12 games, moves out of that spot onto a line with Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith. “We are scratching for every point we can get,” coach Tom Rowe said. “I thought we played a really good game in Edmonton and we got to keep going in that direction.”
Well, that was obviously too good to pass up, because Horvat scored his 12th goal of the season with a little more than six minutes left in the game.
“I noticed at the end of the first or second period,” Horvat said. “I wasn’t sure exactly what it said, something about a dog. I read it a little closer after, and hopefully he gets that wiener dog after that one.”
We’ve seen something like this before with a young fan being promised a puppy last season if Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan scored a goal, which he did.
But having a name already picked out took this request up a notch.
So, Hotdog Horvat it is (with the obligatory hashtag #HotdogHorvat). The world can’t wait to meet the little pup.
“Hopefully he sends a tweet my way and I can get a hold of him and make sure he gets him that dog, because that doesn’t happen very often when you make a sign like that and the player you want to score scores,” Horvat said, “so I was happy to do that for the kid.”