Wild
Canucks
0 - 2 Final
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Luongo perfect again as Canucks blank Wild

Nov 9, 2008 - 7:33 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Like the two teams before them, the Minnesota Wild had no solution for Roberto Luongo.

Luongo made 29 saves for his third consecutive shutout as the Vancouver Canucks topped the Wild, 2-0, on Saturday.

The team captain, Luongo turned aside seven shots in the first period, 12 in the second and 10 in the third en route to his league-leading fifth shutout of the season and 43rd career. The two-time All-Star, who posted a franchise-record scoreless streak of 210 minutes, 34 seconds last season, has kept opponents off the scoreboard for 201:08 during his current run of perfection.

"It's nice to have, but we played a big game tonight," Luongo said. "I think it was an important game for us, and we got two points battling. No matter how we got it, we got two points, and (the shutout) was just an added bonus."

"I thought we could have scored, easy, four goals, and we didn't," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He's proven himself to be one of the best goalies, so what can you do?"

Luongo also blanked Nashville on Tuesday and Phoenix two days later.

"He's playing great," Vancouver's Ryan Kesler said. "You can't say enough about him. They had some extremely good passes cross-ice, and Louie was there all night."

"He's definitely found his groove," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's playing with a lot of confidence, and the guys in front of him are also doing a lot of good things out there - blocking shots, blocking lanes when they need to. Obviously, it's a combination of a few things that he's on a roll right now."

Defenseman Sami Salo scored a power-play goal and Daniel Sedin also tallied for Vancouver, which has won five of its last seven.

Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves for the Wild, who have lost two of three contests.

"Our goalie was good, too," Lemaire said. "Let's put it this way - I thought it was an exciting game. Every time we play them, it's that type of game. It's exciting. It's a good game to watch."

With Minnesota rookie Colton Gillies in the penalty box for boarding, Salo gave Luongo all the support he needed. Fellow defenseman Kevin Bieksa - who notched a pair of assists - sent a cross-ice pass to Salo at the left point, and the Finn one-timed it inside the left goalpost with 6:24 remaining in the first period for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.

"I didn't see it," Backstrom said. "I lost it on the way."

"My goal was kind of lucky," Salo said. "(Steve) Bernier gave a good screen and just kind of screened him too much so that he couldn't see the shot. It was obviously huge that we could get the first goal."

Bieksa knew it was only a matter of time before Salo broke his drought.

"He's been shooting the puck a lot," Bieksa said. "He's been shooting it well. He's been having bad puck luck that everyone gets every once in a while. It hasn't been going in for him. Everyone has been encouraging him to keep shooting, and it seems like he's been getting hot there."

Luongo took over from there, stopping Andrew Brunette on a breakaway late in the second period.

"I was trying to cut back," Brunette said. "I tried to get it through the five-hole. I'd like to have that back."

With just 17 seconds remaining in the session, the 29-year-old turned aside Pierre-Marc Bouchard's one-timer.

"I thought at the start of the second period, we kind of started taking over the game a little bit," Brunette said. "We just weren't able to get one by him. He's playing with a lot of confidence right now. We threw a lot of pucks at him, but he made a lot of good saves."

"Roberto is on top of his game, and obviously, teams that are coming in here are paying attention to his game right now," Vigneault said. "They're probably talking about it, and sometimes when you overthink against a goaltender, it can be challenging."

Sedin created some breathing room with 2:40 to go in the third. After receiving a long pass from brother Henrik, the Swede got a step on defenseman Martin Skoula for a breakaway and flicked the puck over a sprawled Backstrom for his fifth goal of the season and a 2-0 cushion.

Luongo's biggest stop in the third period also came against Bouchard, as the netminder got his pad on the center's slap shot with two minutes remaining to preserve the shutout.

"I guess they were throwing everything out at the net, and a couple times, I was in desperation play," Luongo said. "Luckily, the guy wasn't able to get (the puck) up and I got a pad on it."

With the win, Vancouver improved to 3-1-0 on its six-game homestand.

"Going into the season, we knew this stretch was going to be big, especially early on," Kesler said. "You want to establish yourself at home and set in stone that it's going to be tough to play us in here."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) SAMI SALO 1 (KEVIN BIEKSA, HENRIK SEDIN) 13:36
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: VAN - DANIEL SEDIN 5 (HENRIK SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 17:20
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: MIN - 0 OF 3, VAN - 1 OF 5.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2

    Nov 9 12:28 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    VANCOUVER 2
    3RD PRD: VAN - DANIEL SEDIN 5 (HENRIK SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 17:20

    Wild 0, Canucks 2  3rd - 2:40Nov 9 12:23 AM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Wild 0, Canucks 1  3rd - 19:55Nov 9 12:02 AM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Wild 0, Canucks 1  3rd - 19:55Nov 9 12:01 AM


  • ------------------------------
    Minnesota
    0 0 --0
    Vancouver 1 0 --1
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Minnesota 7 12 --19
    Vancouver 12 12 --24
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Minnesota, Niklas Backstrom (24 shots, 23 saves). Vancouver,
    Roberto Luongo (19 shots, 19 saves). Referees: Chris

    Nov 8 11:40 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    VANCOUVER 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) SAMI SALO 1 (KEVIN BIEKSA, HENRIK SEDIN) 13:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 7 7
    VAN 12 12
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTRO

    Nov 8 10:45 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    VANCOUVER 1
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) SAMI SALO 1 (KEVIN BIEKSA, HENRIK SEDIN) 13:36

    Wild 0, Canucks 1  1st - 6:24Nov 8 10:37 PM