for this game

Naslund, Luongo give Cancuks badly needed triumph

Nov 29, 2006 - 5:49 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Markus Naslund, Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks needed a victory, even one that came in unimpressive fashion.

Naslund scored the only goal and Luongo made 24 saves to lift the Canucks to a 1-0 triumph over the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Canucks, who had gotten outscored, 10-1, in losing their last two games, had their hands full with the worst club in the NHL. Columbus (6-15-2) entered with a league-low 14 points.

"We knew it was going to be a tight game, and we were prepared to win, 1-0, and that's what happened," Naslund said.

The Canucks were smarting after getting trounced by the Nashville Predators, 6-0, on Thursday and 4-1 by the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

"I thought the effort was there tonight, I thought we limited the turnovers and they got some chances on the power play," Naslund said. "We've got to maybe limit the penalties a little more, but overall I felt we played a pretty solid game."

Naslund scored at 8:49 of the second period when he split two defensemen, skated in and backhanded the puck over Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire's glove.

"I didn't really think much about it," Naslund said of his second game-winner of the season. "It was good to get one, just to get things going, and it ended up being the winner."

The tally was the fifth in the last seven games for the Vancouver captain, who has 12 goals this season.

"He came on a breakaway, and you don't need to describe him," Leclaire said. "Everybody knows who he is. He made a good move and came back on me and put it up high. It was a nice goal by a great goal scorer, and that was the game."

Luongo registered his 29th career shutout while Leclaire stopped 32 shots.

"I think the win is nicer (than the shutout)," Luongo said. "The guys played a great game tonight, didn't give them much room out there, and it's the type of game you want to be in every night to be successful."

The league's two lowest-scoring clubs struggled on the power play as the Canucks went 0-for-6 and the Blue Jackets were blanked in eight opportunities.

"We knew they were going to come up hard, and we got a couple penalties and we got a lot of rhythm out of it," Leclaire said. "We got a couple chances and it seemed like we were just trying to protect ourselves, but Roberto played well again tonight and made a couple good stops in the second. He just shut the door, and we couldn't get a bounce past him."

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