for this game

Luongo, Canucks fly past Blackhawks

Nov 26, 2007 - 7:12 AM
By Daniel Fung PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) - Brendan Morrison gave the Vancouver Canucks an early lead and Roberto Luongo made it stick.

Morrison scored a power-play goal in the first period and Luongo made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season, a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

The Canucks set an early physical tone against a road-weary Blackhawks team that lost in a shootout to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

"I thought we came out real strong," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. "We definitely had a very good first period. Obviously I think overall we played a solid game. If we could have gotten that second one, I think we probably would have taken the wind out of their sail."

Ryan Kesler drew a loud cheer from the sell-out crowd of 18,630 less than a minute into the game when he deposited the NHL's leading rookie scorer, Patrick Kane, into his own bench with a thunderous hit.

Despite the early chippiness, it would be a delay-of-game penalty that cost the Blackhawks early on. Former Canuck Brent Sopel cleared the puck over the glass just 2:48 into the opening frame and the Canucks needed just 20 seconds to capitalize.

Markus Naslund sent the puck back to Sami Salo at the right point who fired a tape-to-tape one-time pass onto the stick of Morrison to the right of Chicago goaltender Patrick Lalime.

Morrison made no mistake, depositing the puck into a wide open net for his seventh of the season.

"At first I wanted to take the one-timer but I just saw from the corner of my eye that their goalie was fairly out," said Sami Salo, who played in just his second game back after missing eight consecutive games with a broken nose. "I knew that Brendan [Morrison] was going to go to the side of the net. I tried to do a fake shot and it caught their goalie fooled a little bit.

"It was an outstanding play by (Salo)," said Morrison of his seventh goal of the season. "He completely faked everybody out. Lalime had to come out to challenge and I had all the time in the world on the back door."

Vancouver had a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0 while shorthanded when Alex Burrows stripped the puck from a Blackhawk defenseman at his own blue line and proceeded to move in on a two-on-one with Ryan Kesler. Burrows held onto the puck before sending a shot into the pads of Lalime who turned it aside.

"It could have gone either way," said Lalime, who made 27 saves in the losing effort. "It was just a battle. It was like a playoff game a close game until the end."

The Blackhawks did not manage to generate much in the way of offensive chances in the first period, being outshot by the Canucks 11-6 . It took them almost eight minutes into the period before they registered their first shot on Luongo.

Rough play was the main theme of the opening period, which saw 20 penalty minutes assessed between the two teams including fighting majors to Vancouver's Jeff Cowan and Chicago's Jim Vandermeer.

"I'm not surprised," said Blackhawks coach Denis Savard of his team answering the physical challenge from the Canucks. "There's a lot of character in (our) room. We've got some of those kids that we brought this year that we drafted last year and the year before, and the kids we brought from the minor league system that are here. It's what they're all about. A lot of them have been champions at their level and any level that they've played and they know what it takes to win."

Neither team was able to score in the second period in a more competitive period that saw the Canucks outshoot the Blackhawks 10-9. The Canucks had several opportunities to double their lead in the period, their best coming right as a penalty to Daniel Sedin expired.

Sedin picked up a loose puck coming out of the penalty box and moved in on a two-on-one with Jeff Cowan, electing to shoot instead of pass. Lalime managed to get a piece of the glove side shot, steering it behind the net before pouncing on the rebound off the in-boards.

Chicago's best chance to equalize came with Sergei Samsonov leading a 3-on-2 rush into the Canuck zone. Samsonov led the rush down into the Vancouver zone before firing a cross-ice pass to a trailing Dustin Byfuglien whose shot was turned aside by a sprawling Luongo.

"They have some skill there," said Luongo of the Blackhawks," It's a very different team than we've seen in the past. They work hard every night. We can't let up against them. That's why it took a solid sixty minutes and it came down to the wire."

"He's pretty good that's for sure," commented Blackhawks' rookie Patrick Kane on the Canucks' netminder. "He made some great saves on our power play especially at the end. I guess that's why he's a top goaltender in the league."

The Canucks appeared to take a 2-0 lead at the 6:17 mark of the final period on a power play. Byron Ritchie poked a loose puck into the net after it snuck through the pads of Patrick Lalime, but the goal was disallowed by the referees, who claimed to have blown the play dead.

"(The referee) said the goaltender had control of the puck and that we pushed it in, which when you see the replay it's not the case," said Vigneault. "We could have had that second goal a little bit earlier, but we found a way to get it done."

Taylor Pyatt left the ice just over three minutes into the third period after taking a puck to the face from an errant clearing attempt by Sami Salo. He would return to the game shortly after.

Daniel Sedin capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 32 seconds to play.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) BRENDAN MORRISON 7 (SAMI SALO, MARKUS NASLUND)
    3:08
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: VAN - (EN) DANIEL SEDIN 9 (UNASSISTED) 19:28
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: CHI - 0 OF 4, VAN - 1 OF 9.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3

    Nov 26 12:26 AM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    VANCOUVER 2
    3RD PRD: VAN - (EN) DANIEL SEDIN 9 (UNASSISTED) 19:28

    Blackhawks vs. CanucksNov 26 12:25 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) BRENDAN MORRISON 7 (SAMI SALO, MARKUS NASLUND)
    3:08
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 6 9 15
    VAN 11 10 21
    GOALIES: C

    Nov 25 11:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) BRENDAN MORRISON 7 (SAMI SALO, MARKUS NASLUND)
    3:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 6 6
    VAN 11 11
    GOALIES: CHI - PATRICK L

    Nov 25 10:45 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    VANCOUVER 1
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) BRENDAN MORRISON 7 (SAMI SALO, MARKUS NASLUND)
    3:08

    Blackhawks vs. CanucksNov 25 10:14 PM