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Canucks top Wings in battle of conference leaders

Mar 24, 2011 - 4:38 AM
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Roberto Luongo turned aside 39 shots for his 34th win to help the Vancouver Canucks take a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in a battle of the top two teams in the Western Conference.

Vancouver, which had a seven-game winning streak stopped by Phoenix on Friday, already has the Northwest Division wrapped up and the win on Wednesday moved the team closer to clinching the top spot in the Western Conference.

With 105 points, the Canucks hold a 10-point lead over the Red Wings for No. 1 in the conference as both teams have eight games to play. Also, Vancouver holds an eight-point lead on Philadelphia for the President's Trophy, but the Flyers do have two games in hand on the Canucks.

Detroit holds a seven-point lead over Nashville and Chicago for first place in the Central Division and a one-point lead over San Jose for second in the conference.

Daniel Sedin scored twice while his brother Henrik had two assists as the two now occupy the top-two spots on the points list in the NHL with 95 and 88, respectively. Daniel has 40 goals and 55 assists while Henrik has 18 goals and a league-leading 70 assists.

"When you have confidence and shoot the puck good things happen," said Daniel Sedin. "It was a good road win against a good team here tonight."

Jimmy Howard made 31 stops while Jiri Hudler scored the lone goal for the Red Wings, who have dropped their past three games.

It was a scoreless game in the second period when Vancouver took the lead as Sedin brought the puck around the right side from behind the Detroit net and his pass attempt hit off a Wing and trickled in at the 6:31 mark.

Luongo, who had stopped 11 shots in the first frame, made 12 in the second to keep Detroit off the board.

A power play saw Vancouver take a 2-0 lead just before the halfway mark of the third as a series of shots saw Howard lose his stick and, just after the goaltender made a kick save, Henrik threw the puck over to the right circle where his brother blasted it home.

Detroit got one back on a power-play of its own as Nicklas Lidstrom's shot from the right point saw Hudler tuck home the rebound with 8:22 to play.

However, the Red Wings were unable to get the equalizer despite pulling Howard with 1 1/2 minutes to play for the extra attacker.

Game Notes

Detroit hosts Toronto Saturday...Vancouver continues its four-game road trip in Atlanta on Friday...Each team won twice in the season series...Both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play.