VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Dakota Joshua broke a tie with 58 seconds left in the second period and the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night for their sixth victory in seven games.

Thatcher Demko stopped 20 shots and Elias Pettersson also scored to help the Canucks improve to 30-11-4, good for a one-point lead over East-leading Boston. Teddy Blueger, J.T. Miller, Quinn Hughes and Nils Hoglander had assists.

“You’re not going to have your best every night and that’s what makes these wins important,” Joshua said. “You’ve got to find a way and that resiliency throughout the year to find your way to the top.”

Travis Dermott scored his first goal of the season for the Coyotes, and Connor Ingram made 24 saves.

“I think you can see a lot of good things from our team,” Dermott said. “So it’s tough, not coming out with the two points, but with how we’ve been kind of battling to figure out our identity here lately, I think we can take so many positives from that game.”

Arizona dropped to 21-19-3.

“We played hard. We played solid,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny. “They’re a really good team. They’re fast, they’re good and in the first period my feeling after the period is that’s the best team we played.

“They were fast, hard on pucks, they play well in their structure and we got better during the game, every shift I think our guys worked extremely hard, we had good puck pressure, we defend really hard. I think we played a rock solid 5-on-5.”

Joshua put Vancouver ahead by burying his own rebound past Ingram for his 12th goal of the season.

“It’s a good win for us,” Hughes said. “I think we came out ready to go in the first period, and in the second we were a bit fatigued both physically and mentally. We’ll take the two points and move on.”

Pettersson scored with 3:11 left in the first hammering home a one-timer off a feed from Quinn Hughes. Dermott and the Coyotes responded two minutes later.


Coyotes: Host Nashville on Saturday.

Canucks: Host Toronto on Saturday. ---


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