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Phoenix at Vancouver

Coyotes hit Luongo with four goals to spoil return to Canucks net

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Joakim Lindstrom and the Phoenix Coyotes gave star goalie Roberto Luongo a rude welcome back to the Vancouver Canucks' lineup.

Lindstrom scored on the first shot 1:05 in, and added his second on a power play later in the first period, sparking the Coyotes' 4-1 victory Thursday night.

"He's one of the best goalies in the world, if not the best, but if you are gone for that amount of time, it's always hard to come back," Lindstrom said. "So, our game plan was to put pucks to the net and go to the net."

The Coyotes executed that plan to perfection. Lindstrom's second goal came while setting a screen, Keith Yandle scored on a long shot through traffic, and Peter Mueller added another power-play goal by driving hard to the net unchecked.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves to help Phoenix win for the third time in four games, but only the second in a month on the road. With the victory, Phoenix moved into a tie with Vancouver and Anaheim for fifth in the Western Conference.

"It was real important for us," said Coyotes captain Shane Doan, whose two assists matched the number of goals taken away by two great saves by Luongo.

"We had a great record last year on the road -- I think we were fourth in the league -- so we know we are capable of doing it. Our road record has slipped and we have to find a way to be better, and we will."

Luongo, back in goal after missing eight weeks because of a groin injury, made 27 saves. Vancouver is 2-5-2 in its past nine, and has lost six straight at home (0-5-1) to match a franchise record set during its inaugural 1970-71 season.

"His first game back we knew we had to get pucks on him," said Yandle, who also had an assist. "And he was battling a groin injury so just tried to get him to move all night and just get as many pucks on him as we could."

Luongo was beaten on the first shot, sliding across awkwardly as Lindstrom's unchecked shot from inside the right circle found its way through his legs.

"It was a rough start," said Luongo, who missed 24 games. "Obviously, I wasn't feeling that comfortable at the start of the game but I think halfway through the second period I started feeling at little bit more comfortable."

By then it was already 4-0. Daniel Sedin ended Bryzgalov's shutout bid with 8:58 left on a shot that bounced in off a Coyotes defenseman's leg.

With the Coyotes on a power play, Stephen Reinprecht won an offensive-zone draw back to Yandle and his point shot hit Lindstrom, who was unchecked on top of the crease to Luongo's left. The loose puck bounced back into the middle, and with Luongo's momentum carrying him to the left, Lindstrom easily tapped it in.

It was the first two-goal game of Lindstrom's career, and only a good blocker save kept it from turning it into a hat trick before the period ended.

"That was an unbelievable save. He really showed why he was one of the best goalies in the world," said Lindstrom, who has three goals in his past two games and seven in 17 contests since being acquired from Anaheim on Dec. 3.

Luongo got breaks when Enver Lisin and Shane Doan hit posts in the first 21:30 of action. But Yandle made it 3-0 only 2:22 into the second period with a screened shot off the right boards, and Mueller, left unchecked, drove the net and beat Luongo through the legs after another blown power-play faceoff assignment.

"Our confidence is being tested right now, our character is being tested, our leadership group is being tested," coach Alain Vigneault said. "Obviously, Roberto would have liked to come in and probably have that first save and be a difference like he always was. He played a good game, made some great saves. We didn't give him the help we're supposed to give our goalie to be successful."

Notes

  • Coyotes C Kyle Turris, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, played his first NHL game in his hometown after being a surprise healthy scratch when Phoenix visited in early November.
  • Canucks G Curtis Sanford cleared waivers and was sent to Manitoba in the AHL after losing his backup job to Jason LaBarbera, who was acquired from Los Angeles on Dec. 30.
  • Vancouver C Kyle Wellwood, who is second on the team with 14 goals, was a healthy scratch.
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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A rusty Roberto Luongo gives up a goal on the first shot he faces from Joakim Lindstrom. (AP)
A rusty Roberto Luongo gives up a goal on the first shot he faces from Joakim Lindstrom. (AP)
Scoreboard
Phoenix  (22-18-5) «2204
Vancouver (22-19-5)0011
Three Stars
J. Lindstrom
PHO


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
S. Doan
PHO


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
K. Yandle
PHO


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:05Joakim Lindstrom (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Reinprecht, Doan
13:16Power Play - Joakim Lindstrom (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Yandle, Doan
2ND PERIOD
02:22Keith Yandle (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Hanzal, Fedoruk
08:34Power Play - Peter Mueller (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Turris
3RD PERIOD
11:02Daniel Sedin (22), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:57Davison, 5 min, Fighting
01:57Carcillo, 5 min, Fighting
12:18Sundin, 2 min, Tripping
13:46Hale, 2 min, Kneeing
2ND PERIOD
08:29O'Brien, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
07:50Jokinen, 2 min, Hooking
13:22Hansen, 4 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Phoenix11111032
Vancouver9111232
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Ilya Bryzgalov60:00311
Roberto Luongo60:00284
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Phoenix2-for-4
Vancouver0-for-2
Game Information
Attendance - 18630
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Mark Wheler
 
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