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Chicago at Vancouver

Canucks stay hot; Luongo shuts out Blackhawks

CBSSports.com wire reports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- This time a shutout was enough to make a winner out of Roberto Luongo, but not by much.

Brendan Morrison scored an early power-play goal and Luongo did the rest, making 27 saves to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-0 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

Daniel Sedin finally ended any suspense an empty-net goal with 31.7 seconds left as Vancouver improved to 7-1-2 in the past 10 games.

It was Luongo's second shutout of the season, but he took no joy from the first one because it came in 1-0 shootout loss to Edmonton 10 days earlier.

"The win is what's most important," Luongo said of his 34th career shutout. "It was a really tight game. It took a solid 60 minutes tonight and even then it came down to the wire."

Luongo made his best save off Dustin Byfuglien on a 3-on-1 rush eight minutes into the second period, sliding across his crease to get his right pad on the quick shot. He preserved the shutout and the victory with a point-blank save off a Jonathan Toews power-play chance with 3:47 left.

"I got some good wood on it in close but it wasn't good enough," Toews said.

Morrison's early goal was good enough against a team that lost in a shootout in Edmonton the night before and was playing for the third time in four nights. With former Canuck Brent Sopel off for clearing the puck over the glass, Chicago goalie Patrick Lalime committed to Sami Salo's point shot. But the Canucks defenseman sent a perfect slap pass to an open Morrison at the right side of the crease instead, leaving Morrison with a wide-open net.

"That was a pretty easy one," Morrison said. "They have to respect Sami's shot and he made a great pass. Sami's friendship dues are in the mail."

After losing for the first time in more than three weeks Friday in St. Louis, the Canucks came out flying early. But Lalime, one of several Blackhawks battling a flu bug, was exceptionally sharp in his first start in five games, keeping Chicago in the game with a handful of highlight saves. He finished with 26 saves as Chicago failed to record at least a point for the first time in five games, and only the third time in the last 12 games (7-3-2).

"Both goalies were good," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "Pat made some great saves for us and so did Luongo. He's a great goalie, we know that."

It didn't help that the Blackhawks were also missing leading goal scorer Patrick Sharp, who returned to Chicago after missing Saturday's game with the flu. Tuomo Ruutu played in Vancouver despite missing Saturday's game with it.

Chicago also lost defenseman James Wisniewski seven minutes into the game when he was knocked face first into the glass by the shoulder of winger Matt Cooke, who wasn't penalized on the play. Wisniewski did not return, but Savard said it was only a deep cut, he was held out as a precaution, and he would be back soon.

It was one of many incidents in a game that started with Ryan Kesler knocking Chicago rookie sensation Patrick Kane into his own bench only 32 seconds in, setting tone for a physical game that featured plenty of action after the whistles and a couple of lively fights.

"I'm really proud of our guys, the fact we're going to battle and teams that want to battle with us, we'll be right there with them," said Savard, whose team wrapped up a six-game road trip 2-2-2. "We were challenged early and we responded."

Vancouver saw another apparent power-play goal waved off 6:17 into the third period because the referee blew the play dead with the puck still loose behind Lalime, but it probably wouldn't have counted anyway; a diving Cooke appeared to shove both the goalie and the puck into the net with his stick.

Luongo stopped Adam Burish whacking away three times alone in front, then saw his mask knocked off by the Chicago forward as he was being tackled to the ice by three Canucks, touching off another melee as Byron Ritchie fought Burish.

"We'll kill those penalties off every day," Luongo said.

Notes

  • Canucks D Matias Ohlund returned from a four-game suspension for a slash that broke a bone in the leg of Minnesota's Mikko Koivu.
  • D Lukas Krajicek also returned after missing one game with a sore foot.
  • D Luc Bourdon was sent back to the AHL.
  • The Blackhawks wrapped up a six-game road trip (2-2-2) while a circus occupied the United Center in Chicago.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Roberto Luongo denies Chicago's Petri Kontiola en route to his first shutout victory of the season.  (AP)
Roberto Luongo denies Chicago's Petri Kontiola en route to his first shutout victory of the season. (AP)

Scoreboard
Chicago (12-9-2)0000
Vancouver  (12-9-2) «1012
Three Stars
R. Luongo
VAN


Saves: 27
Save Pct.: 1.000
P. Lalime
CHI


Saves: 27
Save Pct.: .964
S. Salo
VAN


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:08Power Play - Brendan Morrison (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Sami Salo, Markus Naslund
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
19:28Daniel Sedin (9), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:48Sopel, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
09:12Cowan, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
10:20Lang, 2 min, Hooking
13:12Vandermeer, 2 min, Roughing
17:47Vandermeer, 5 min, Fighting
17:47Cowan, 5 min, Fighting
18:10Dowell, 2 min, Boarding
2ND PERIOD
04:34Sedin, 2 min, Interference
06:42Lapointe, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
06:42Cowan, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
13:58Sopel, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
16:04Burish, 5 min, Fighting
16:04Burish, 2 min, Slashing
16:04Burrows, 2 min, Roughing
16:04Cowan, 2 min, Roughing
16:04Ritchie, 5 min, Fighting
17:02Toews, 2 min, High-Sticking
3RD PERIOD
04:35Vandermeer, 2 min, High-Sticking
08:15Seabrook, 2 min, Slashing
11:06Keith, 2 min, Holding
14:24Mitchell, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
Chicago691227
Vancouver1110829
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Patrick Lalime59:35271
Roberto Luongo59:45270
Game Information
Attendance - 18630
Referees - Dennis LaRue, Dan O'Halloran
Linesmen - Brian Murphy, Thor Nelson
 
Other Games
LA 2 Final
Ana 3
Cal 0 Final
StL 3
Dal 3 Final
NYR 2