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Canucks give Ed Jovanovski rude welcome back, pounding Coyotes 5-2

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Defenceman Kevin Bieksa scored once and added an assist for the Canucks, who have scored 12 goals in their last three games. That follows a streak where Vancouver managed just five goals in six games.

Brendan Morrison, Jan Bulis, Ryan Kesler and Mattias Ohlund, on a power play, also scored for Vancouver. Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin had a pair of assists as the Canucks clawed back to .500 with a 15-15-1 record.

Bulis' goal was his third in three games after not scoring for 13. He also hit the post late in the third period.

Ohlund's power-play goal was Vancouver's seventh in three games.

The Canucks' previous high for goals this season was when they blanked Chicago 5-0 back on Oct. 25.

Oleg Saprykin and Dave Scatchard scored for Phoenix, who lost their second consecutive game and dropped to 11-18-1 on the season.

It wasn't the game Jovanovski had in mind for his first match back in Vancouver since the former Canuck defenceman left the West Coast for the desert after signing a US$32.5-million, five-year contract with Phoenix in July.

Jovanovski, who had one assist, received a mixed welcome from the fans. There was polite applause and a smattering of boos.

It's been a rough road trip for the Coyotes, who lost 4-0 in San Jose Monday. Saprykin's goal broke a scoring drought of 93 minutes, 10 seconds, stretching back to the 7:46 mark of the third period in a 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas Saturday night.

Starting goalie Mikael Tellqvist was chased to the bench after the Canucks scored four unanswered goals in the first period. Curtis Joseph played the second period, giving up one goal, then Tellqvist returned for the third.

Roberto Luongo went the distance for Vancouver, stopping 28 shots to improve his record to 15-13-1.

Morrison, who has a goal and four assists in three games, scored Vancouver's first goal. He banged a Matt Cooke rebound past Tellqvist.

Bieksa, who had no goals in 39 games last year with Vancouver, scored his sixth of the season in the first period. He took a pass from Ryan Kesler and fired a laser into the top corner of the net.

Bieksa returned the favour to Kesler in the second period. He blasted a shot that Kesler tipped past Joseph for his fourth goal of the season.

Saprykin scored in the second period when he was left alone during a scramble in front of the Canuck net.

Scatchard scored on a third-period breakaway, with Jovanovski getting the assist.

Notes: American League MVP Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., received a standing ovation when he dropped the puck at the pre-game ceremonial face-off ... Injured defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick (heel) and forward Josh Green (broken toe) are expected to return to the Canucks lineup later this week. ...Vancouver hasn't won consecutive games since a three-game win streak from Nov. 17 to Nov. 22. ...The Canuck homestand continues with games against Calgary Thursday and Minnesota Saturday.

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