Jannik Hansen’s job is pretty simple once Henrik and Daniel Sedin start buzzing – find an opening and wait for something special.
Hansen scored twice and Bo Horvat got his 10th goal of the season, helping the Vancouver Canucks beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Horvat scored an empty-netter after Sven Baertschi got a goal in the third period for Vancouver, and Jacob Markstrom had 31 saves. Henrik Sedin added two assists.
Blake Wheeler scored and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 20 shots for the Jets. In a scheduling quirk, Winnipeg will remain in Vancouver and play the Canucks again on Thursday night.
Hansen put Vancouver up 2-1 3:19 into the third period with his fifth of the season. The veteran wing took a pass from Daniel Sedin at the blue line and delayed for a moment before ripping a shot past Hellebuyck with Henrik Sedin screening in front.
Hansen returned to the lineup on Dec. 11 after missing 16 games with broken ribs and was reunited with the superstar twins on the Canucks’ top line last week. He has three goals in his last two games.
”Whenever they get the puck you let them do their thing,” Hansen said. ”Somehow, some way, the puck always tends to find you.
”It’s what they do. It shouldn’t surprise anybody.”
Baertschi stretched the lead to 3-1 just 3:21 later when he blocked Dustin Byfuglien’s point shot and moved in alone on Hellebuyck, finishing a slick backhand move for his seventh.
Markstrom made a great save on rookie phenom Patrik Laine from the faceoff dot in the last seconds of a Vancouver penalty with under five minutes to go.
Horvat scored his 10th into an empty net with 2:14 left in regulation.
Trailing 1-0 after a first period where the visitors carried the play, Vancouver got even after a great shift from Hansen and the Sedins. The Canucks cycled the puck in the Winnipeg zone for nearly 40 seconds before Henrik Sedin’s weak pass in front found its way to Hansen, who beat Hellebuyck with a quick shot at 9:18.
Winnipeg, now 5-11-2 on the road this season, opened the scoring with 5:52 left in the first period when the Jets’ 25th-ranked power play connected off the rush. Wheeler took a pass from Byfuglien and blew past defenseman Alex Biega before cutting in on Markstrom to score his 10th.
”A lot of the stuff we’d like to handle better,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. ”That was probably how we got into the trouble. … We were looking to create things when we didn’t need to.”
NOTES: Winnipeg forward Nic Petan returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. … Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev, who turned 27 on Tuesday, and brother Brandon Tanev, a forward for the Jets, played against each other in the NHL for the first time.
The teams square off again in Vancouver on Thursday night.