Canucks
Wild
2 - 1 Final
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Schneider posts first win as Canucks edge Wild

Dec 6, 2008 - 5:16 AM
By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The Vancouver Canucks turned the tables on the Minnesota Wild in order to get Cory Schneider his first career victory.

Schneider made 16 saves en route to his initial NHL win as the Canucks used a stifling defensive effort to skate to a 2-1 triumph over the Wild on Friday.

"It's a great feeling. It's kind of like a monkey off your back," Schneider said. "It's more important to get the two points in the standings because it's a four-point swing with a team in your division."

Defenseman Kevin Bieksa scored a power-play goal and Jason Jaffray netted the game-winner early in the second period for the Canucks, who halted a four-game losing streak.

"I thought we played hard at both ends of the rink," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "We were definitely better defensively tonight, and when we did make mistakes, our goaltender came up with the really big saves."

Appearing in his fourth career game, Schneider turned aside three shots in the first period, six in the second and seven in the third as Vancouver posted its first win on its seven-game road trip (1-3-0).

"We've had a tough start to this road trip, but a positive thing would be a four-pointer against Minnesota," said Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell, a former member of the Wild. "We're trying to take the positives out of it, and we have. Hopefully, we can continue and save this road trip on the second half."

Mikko Koivu scored the lone goal for the Wild, who had won three of four but fell to 4-5-0 during a stretch in which they played eight of nine at home.

"There was nothing going on tonight," Minnesota's Eric Belanger said. "They didn't give us much. In the first period and a half, we were chasing the puck everywhere on the ice. You can't get your legs going or your hands going. Your mind is not there and you start thinking about it too much."

Jaffray's goal, his first of the season and third career, came 3:25 after Minnesota forged a 1-1 tie in the opening seconds of the middle period. The 27-year-old unleashed a hard wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that sailed past goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who got a piece of the puck before it entered the net.

"A fourth-line goal, a lot of the time, is the difference," Jaffray said. "It's not expected of either team to create offense, but when it does, it seems to make the difference. It wasn't pretty tonight. Mine wasn't exactly the hardest, most accurate shot, but I'll take them any way they come."

Koivu scored his team-leading 10th goal just 27 seconds into the session, gathering a rebound in the right circle and firing it into a vacant net to extend his points streak to seven games. Schneider had made the initial save on defenseman Nick Schultz, who got off a shot from all alone in the slot.

It was one of few scoring opportunities for the Wild, who fell to 0-3-0 against the Canucks this season. Vancouver - which suffered a 6-5 loss at Detroit on Thursday - dominated play early, outshooting the Wild, 14-3, in the first period.

"The first period was not a good period for us," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "First of all, we only got (three) shots. They had probably eight or nine chances to score. We can't show up against a good team, a team that is intense, and not be prepared for the job on the ice and match their intensity."

But despite the pressure, Backstrom kept Minnesota in the game.

On a first-period power play, Bieksa scored just three seconds before Derek Boogaard's boarding penalty ended, firing a slap shot from above the left circle past Backstrom, who was screened by Daniel Sedin.

In an emotion-filled contest that became testy in the third period, the 6-2 Schneider stood tall. The 26th overall pick in the 2004 draft made his second career start as the Canucks are trying to fill the void created by captain Roberto Luongo's groin injury.

"It's exciting to help without a key player like that," Schneider said. "I think that's a sign of a good team when there's depth, there's guys that can overcome injuries. Although we've struggled recently, hopefully this will help us get on the right track."

Schneider entered with an 0-2-0 record and 3.24 goals-against average since being recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on November 22.

Minnesota lost the services of Owen Nolan early, as the right wing suffered a lower body injury less than four minutes into the game and did not return.

"It was intense right from the start," Vigneault said. "It was a physical game, and I think it permitted us to really get involved and execute well throughout the game."

Backstrom made 29 saves for the Wild.






  • 5
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Canucks 2, Wild 1  FinalDec 6 2:09 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1 0 2
    MINNESOTA 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) KEVIN BIEKSA 5 (HENRIK SEDIN, DANIEL SEDIN) 13:55
    2ND PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 10 (NICK SCHULTZ, ANTTI MIETTINEN) 0:27
    VAN - JASON JAFFARY 1 (JANNIK HANSEN, DARCY HORDICHUK) 3:52
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONV

    Dec 5 10:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1 2
    MINNESOTA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) KEVIN BIEKSA 5 (HENRIK SEDIN, DANIEL SEDIN) 13:55
    2ND PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 10 (NICK SCHULTZ, ANTTI MIETTINEN) 0:27
    VAN - JASON JAFFARY 1 (JANNIK HANSEN, DARCY HORDICHUK) 3:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 5 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    MINNESOTA 1
    2ND PRD: VAN - JASON JAFFARY 1 (JANNIK HANSEN, DARCY HORDICHUK) 3:52

    Canucks 2, Wild 1  2nd - 16:08Dec 5 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 1
    MINNESOTA 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 10 (NICK SCHULTZ, ANTTI MIETTINEN) 0:27

    Canucks 1, Wild 1  2nd - 19:33Dec 5 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) KEVIN BIEKSA 5 (HENRIK SEDIN, DANIEL SEDIN) 13:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VAN 14 14
    MIN 3 3
    GOALIES: VAN - CORY SCHNEID

    Dec 5 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) KEVIN BIEKSA 5 (HENRIK SEDIN, DANIEL SEDIN) 13:55

    Canucks 1, Wild 0  1st - 6:05Dec 5 8:35 PM