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Luongo impenetrable again as Canucks edge Coyotes

Nov 7, 2008 - 8:00 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Ilya Bryzgalov nearly was flawless for the Phoenix Coyotes. Luckily for the Vancouver Canucks, Roberto Luongo was perfect.

Luongo made 28 saves in posting his second consecutive shutout and defenseman Kevin Bieksa scored the lone goal as the Canucks on Thursday skated to a 1-0 triumph over the Coyotes.

Luongo turned aside nine shots in each of the first two periods and 10 in the third en route to his league-leading fourth shutout of the season and 42nd career. The captain also blanked Nashville on Tuesday.

"The guys have been doing a great job, and it helps me a lot," Luongo said. "If we can help each other out on the ice like that, we get results."

"He's been playing great," Vancouver's Ryan Kesler said. "He has really been playing like our captain, and he's really playing like the best goaltender in the league. It's a testament to how good he is and how good he can be."

Luongo's performance even drew praise from the Coyotes.

"I'm his greatest fan," Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. "As a player, you think he's unbelievable. But at the same time, we didn't overly test him tonight. He made 28 saves, that's great. But if you're going to beat him, you're going to get a lot of better opportunities than we got. Obviously, we had a couple of good ones and he came up with big saves."

"We tried, we tried hard," Bryzgalov said. "There were some times where Luongo played well and their defensemen cleared the puck from the slot. Maybe we didn't create enough, I don't know."

It was the 15th shutout as a member of the Canucks for Luongo, moving him past Dan Cloutier for second place on the franchise list. Kirk McLean is Vancouver's all-time leader with 20 blankings.

"It's a number of things," Luongo said of the reasons for his scoreless streak of 141 minutes, 8 seconds. "I feel good and the guys have been playing well in front of me. We're getting some good bounces our way."

Bieksa gave Luongo all the support he needed midway through the first period, receiving a cross-slot pass from the left faceoff circle by Kesler and firing the puck past Bryzgalov at 11:56 for his third goal of the season.

"I didn't really have to do a whole lot," Bieksa said. "I jumped up on the play and (there was) great board work by (Darcy) Hordichuk there. He wants the credit for that, so I'll give it to him. Then Kesler and Burrows made a great play and I had an empty net, so I'll take those."

"I thought his game tonight was solid, except for the first blocked shot that led to their breakaway," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said of Bieksa. "Besides that, his overall game defensively is very physical, and offensively, he's making the right decisions."

Alex Burrows also picked up an assist on the play for Vancouver, which improved to 2-1-0 on its six-game homestand.

"I think we could have gotten a few more (goals), but Bryzgalov was on top of his game, too," Burrows said. "He made some nice saves."

"We had some good moments and some good opportunities to put the game away, but we met a solid goaltender, just like they met a solid goaltender," Vigneault said. "Their goaltender played well, and when we needed ours to make the right saves for us, he did. It was a hard-fought game by both teams."

Bryzgalov made 31 saves for the Coyotes, who had won two of three.

"Our goaltender was solid," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "He had a really good game."

"Bryz matched (Luongo's) effort," Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski added. "He was our best player tonight, for sure."

Winners of three of their previous four games, the Canucks nearly fell behind while on a power play early in the first period. But after blocking a shot by Bieksa, Garth Murray was denied by Luongo on a partial breakaway as the blue-liner harassed him from behind.

Mason Raymond hit the goalpost during the same man advantage, keeping the game scoreless. He had a glorious chance to give Vancouver a 2-0 bulge 5 1/2 minutes into the second period but was robbed from point-blank range by Bryzgalov, who snagged his shot from alone on the right side with his glove.

"It just reached my pad and glove, and he put it right in my glove," Bryzgalov said.

"(Bryzgalov) played unreal," Doan said. "He made a couple of huge saves to give us every chance."

Phoenix did not register its first shot of the middle period until Doan unleashed a wrister during a power play with 6:08 to go.

"It was pretty tight tonight," Bieksa said. "We didn't give up a whole lot of chances, and (Luongo) made the saves he had to. We kept it on the outside, for the most part, and limited their chances."

Vancouver failed miserably on the power play, going scoreless on seven opportunities.

"I think our power play could have put this game out of reach," Vigneault said. "It had some good chances, it had some tap-in possibilities that we just couldn't finish for whatever reason."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - KEVIN BIEKSA 3 (ALEXANDRE BURROWS, RYAN KESLER) 11:56
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: PHO - 0 OF 3, VAN - 0 OF 7.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO 9

    Nov 7 12:37 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - KEVIN BIEKSA 3 (ALEXANDRE BURROWS, RYAN KESLER) 11:56
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO 9 9 18
    VAN 7 14 21
    GOALIES: PHO -

    Nov 6 11:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - KEVIN BIEKSA 3 (ALEXANDRE BURROWS, RYAN KESLER) 11:56
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO 9 9
    VAN 7 7
    GOALIES: PHO - ILJA BRYZGALO

    Nov 6 10:42 PM
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Coyotes 0, Canucks 1  1st - 6:23Nov 6 10:35 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    VANCOUVER 1
    1ST PRD: VAN - KEVIN BIEKSA 3 (ALEXANDRE BURROWS, RYAN KESLER) 11:56

    Coyotes 0, Canucks 1  1st - 8:04Nov 6 10:27 PM
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    Shanos Added 5 roots

    Coyotes vs. CanucksNov 6 2:48 PM