for this game

Wellwood, Luongo stymie Predators

Nov 5, 2008 - 7:34 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- After falling out of favor early in the season, Kyle Wellwood has proven to be quite a find for the Vancouver Canucks.

Wellwood scored a pair of goals and captain Roberto Luongo made 24 saves Tuesday as the Canucks rolled to a 4-0 triumph over the Nashville Predators.

Mason Raymond and Daniel Sedin also tallied and Henrik Sedin notched two assists to reach 300 for his career for the Canucks, who extended their winning streak against the Predators to four games in snapping a two-game home slide.

"I didn't know that," Henrik Sedin said of his accomplishment. "I don't think it's an unbelievable milestone, but it's fun."

Luongo turned aside 11 shots in the first period, nine in the second and four in the third en route to his third shutout of the season and 41st career. He also was helped by the Canucks' penalty-killing unit, which successfully extinguished all six of the Predators' power plays.

"I think the whole unit on the ice was doing a great job," Luongo said. "We were talking about it the last couple of days, making sure we keep the puck on the outside and no seam passes and stuff like that. For me, it's easier on my reads and easier plays as far as making saves."

"We've got to get more pucks on net and crash the net a lot better than we did tonight," Predators captain Jason Arnott said. "When you're playing against a guy like Luongo, you've got to take his eyesight away, and we didn't do a very good job of that tonight."

Dan Ellis made 35 saves for Nashville, which fell to 0-3-1 in its last four road games. Tuesday's contest was the opener of a season-high six-game road trip for the Predators.

"That's not the way we wanted to start our road trip," Ellis said. "But you have to accept what's happened and you've got to make a difference now. ... You've got to learn the things that you need to from this game and make the corrections you need to start getting on the winning track."

Claimed off waivers from Toronto in June, Wellwood appeared in just one of Vancouver's first five games this campaign before a brief demotion to the American Hockey League. The 25-year-old cleared waivers and was recalled from Manitoba three days after being sent down, and he has been a force with which to be reckoned ever since.

"Obviously, we were hoping to get good performances from him knowing that Pavol (Demitra) was going to be out for a month," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "He was given another opportunity and he's made the most of it. He's played extremely offensively and he's been reliable defensively. That second goal of his tonight was real pretty hands - a goal-scorer's hands, obviously.

"He's made the most of this second opportunity. All the NHL teams had a grab at him going down and coming up, and nobody did. I don't know if that was a wakeup call for him or not, but all I know is, he's really grabbed this opportunity and he's helping us win games."

Entering Tuesday with four goals in six games since returning to the Canucks, Wellwood gave Luongo all the support he needed midway through the second period.

With Vancouver on a power play, Wellwood gained possession of the puck in the right corner and skated to the net before unleashing a backhander that was stopped by Ellis. But the goaltender was unable to control the puck in the crease, and Wellwood managed to bang it in on his backhand at 9:10 for a 1-0 lead.

"I knew I started to feel good and started getting a little more confidence," Wellwood said. "I was expecting to get more assists - I'm more of a passer. But with Hank and Danny and those guys going to the net, it's easier to get side-of-the-net goals and things like that."

"He's having fun out there," Daniel Sedin said. "He sees the ice so well. When he gets the chance, you know he's going to put it in."

Raymond doubled the advantage at 5:36 of the third with another power-play goal.

Defenseman Kevin Bieksa fired the puck toward the net from the right point, and Steve Bernier's attempt pinballed off both of Ellis' skates before slowly creeping toward the goal line. The netminder swept the puck out of the crease but right to Raymond, who fired it into the net from the right faceoff circle for his fifth goal of the season.

"We're not doing well on that. Our penalty kill has got to be way better, especially on the road," Arnott said. "Teams get energized on home ice and move it around really well. In the past year, our PK played real well for us. We've got to get back to doing the simple things and just stay focused."

Wellwood reclaimed the Canucks' goal-scoring lead just 59 seconds later, grabbing a loose puck in the right circle following a faceoff and taking a clear path to the net before beating Ellis high to the glove side for his sixth tally and a 3-0 bulge.

"He made a good move on me," Ellis said. "He got in tight and faked forehand, back to the forehand and got it upstairs. There's no reason why he should be wide-open and be able to come in and do whatever he wants. It's just sloppy play (on our part)."

"There's a lot of personal goals that you have," said Wellwood, who was criticized by Vigneault during training camp for his poor conditioning. "Playing in the NHL is the main one, and that's my focus. I'm going to keep competing for a job here."

At that point, Nashville coach Barry Trotz knew his team was done.

"What really killed us was the second power-play goal and that quick third goal," said Trotz, who became the 31st coach in NHL history to reach the 750-game plateau. "That was basically the game, set and match for us. ... That took the rest of the steam out of us."

Daniel Sedin capped the scoring with 5:03 remaining, netting his second goal in four contests following a seven-game drought.

"I'm getting chances," he said. "I kept working at it. I got a lucky rebound today, so I'll take that."






  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Predators 0, Canucks 4  FinalNov 5 12:49 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0 0 0
    VANCOUVER 0 1 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: VAN - (PP) KYLE WELLWOOD 5 (DANIEL SEDIN, HENRIK SEDIN) 9:10
    3RD PRD: VAN - (PP) MASON RAYMOND 5 (STEVE BERNIER, KEVIN BIEKSA)
    5:36
    VAN - KYLE WELLWOOD 6 (TAYLOR PYATT) 6:35
    VAN - DANIEL SEDIN 4 (HENRIK

    Nov 5 12:32 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    VANCOUVER 4
    3RD PRD: VAN - DANIEL SEDIN 4 (HENRIK SEDIN, WILLIE MITCHELL) 14:57

    Predators 0, Canucks 4  3rd - 5:03Nov 5 12:22 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    VANCOUVER 3
    3RD PRD: VAN - KYLE WELLWOOD 6 (TAYLOR PYATT) 6:35

    Predators 0, Canucks 3  3rd - 13:25Nov 5 12:09 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    VANCOUVER 2
    3RD PRD: VAN - (PP) MASON RAYMOND 5 (STEVE BERNIER, KEVIN BIEKSA) 5:36

    Predators 0, Canucks 2  3rd - 14:24Nov 5 12:05 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0 0
    VANCOUVER 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: VAN - (PP) KYLE WELLWOOD 5 (DANIEL SEDIN, HENRIK SEDIN) 9:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 11 9 20
    VAN 11 15 26
    GOALIES: NAS

    Nov 4 11:39 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    VANCOUVER 1
    2ND PRD: VAN - (PP) KYLE WELLWOOD 5 (DANIEL SEDIN, HENRIK SEDIN) 9:10

    Predators 0, Canucks 1  2nd - 10:50Nov 4 11:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    VANCOUVER 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 11 11
    VAN 11 11
    GOALIES: NAS - DAN ELLIS
    VAN - ROBERTO LUONGO

    Nov 4 10:47 PM