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Vancouver at Anaheim

Schneider earns first shutout as Canucks top Ducks

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Although the Vancouver Canucks had alternated wins and losses for the past month, this is not a .500 hockey team.

The overall NHL leaders proved it with help from both of their talented goalies during a remarkable two-day surge through Southern California.

Western Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1p-Chicago487730
2y-Anaheim486624
3y-Vancouver485921
4x-St. Louis486024
5x-Los Angeles485925
6x-San Jose485717
7x-Detroit485622
8x-Minnesota485522
Eliminated
9o-Columbus485519
10o-Phoenix485117
11o-Dallas484820
12o-Edmonton484517
13o-Calgary484219
14o-Nashville484114
15o-Colorado483914
Complete Playoff Race >>

Cory Schneider made 26 saves for his first career shutout, Manny Malhotra scored two goals and the Canucks won consecutive games for the first time in four weeks, beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Sunday night.

NHL scoring leader Daniel Sedin scored a power-play goal in the third period for the Canucks, who kicked off a five-game trip by allowing just one goal during back-to-back wins over Los Angeles and Anaheim, two potential first-round playoff opponents.

"We're getting back to the things that made us successful over the course of the year," said Malhotra, who contributed his first two-goal game in four months. "[We're] getting on teams quick, forcing them to make errors and forechecking really hard. I think our goals were a result of that."

Although the Canucks hadn't won two straight games since Feb. 4-7, this deep, balanced club also hasn't lost consecutive games in regulation since Nov. 20-21. A four-game winless skid in mid-January was the longest drought of a remarkable season.

One day after Roberto Luongo beat the Kings 3-1 for his 300th career victory, Schneider capitalized on an increasingly rare chance to play, earning his first shutout in 29 career appearances.

"I was most happy that I got the win," Schneider said. "Luongo and I have been joking that we've lost four or five shutouts in the last few minutes. The guys buckled down at the end. It's a good feeling to finally get this out of the way, but the team is more important. I've never really been a shutout guy. Hopefully there are many more to come."

Vancouver's extremely capable backup made just his second appearance in the past nine games, even though Schneider's stats are nearly identical to the totals of Luongo, the Canadian Olympic hero.

Malhotra scored his 100th career goal in the opening minute before adding another goal 17 seconds into the second period. Jannik Hansen assisted on both goals as Vancouver moved seven points ahead of East-leading Philadelphia in the Presidents' Trophy race.

"When you come out the way we did and then you push the pace and roll the lines the way we were, we're pretty hard to play against," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "When we did make some mistakes, Schneider was really good and made the right saves at the right time."

Vancouver also was backed by several hundred blue-jerseyed fans making an organized winter trip to sunny California, chanting "M-V-P!" for Sedin and jeering Dan Ellis, the new Anaheim goalie.

Ellis stopped 13 shots in his first regulation loss in five appearances with the Ducks, whose three-game winning streak ended.

After third-period comebacks led to overtime victories over Detroit and Dallas in their past two games, the Ducks missed a chance to leapfrog back into the top eight in the crowded West playoff picture. Still stuck in a three-way tie for ninth place, Anaheim dropped to 3-2-1 on a key seven-game homestand that ends Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

"They're a good hockey team, there's no doubt about it," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "The standings will show you that. It's hard work to get to the top of the standings, and they've been doing it all year. Their goaltenders give them a chance to win every night and they play pretty tight. So when they get those chances, they definitely put them in the net."

Malhotra put the Canucks ahead just 42 seconds in, beating Ellis with a stoppable shot on an odd-man rush. The veteran center then created his own goal on the first shift of the second period, disrupting Ellis behind the net and forcing a turnover by rookie Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler before banging home a one-timer from Hansen.

Sedin, who scored the late tiebreaking goal against the Kings, capitalized in the third period with accidental help from Ducks defenseman Andreas Lilja, whose stick redirected Sedin's slap shot between Ellis' legs.

"They played a strong defensive game, so you've got to give them credit," Ellis said. "They're the top team in the league for a reason. They don't beat themselves. They have a strong, sound structure, and they've got some good players. They took away our time and space, and we just didn't have that extra punch to get through it."

Notes

  • Vancouver LW Mason Raymond hurt his shoulder during the game, but Vigneault said he doesn't "think it's anything serious."
  • Ducks C Saku Koivu sat out his sixth straight game with a strained groin, and LW Jason Blake missed his second game because of a cut on his right hand.
  • Ducks All-Star G Jonas Hiller still hasn't been cleared to return from an apparent bout of vertigo that has kept him out of nine straight games.
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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Cory Schneider stops everything from entering Vancouver's goal, including Anaheim's Bobby Ryan. (AP)
Cory Schneider stops everything from entering Vancouver's goal, including Anaheim's Bobby Ryan. (AP)

Scoreboard
Vancouver  (42-16-9) «1113
Anaheim (35-26-5)0000
Three Stars
C. Schneider
VAN


Saves: 26
Save Pct.: 1.000
M. Malhotra
VAN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Getzlaf
ANA


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
42.0 - Manny Malhotra (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Hansen, Torres
2ND PERIOD
17.0 - Manny Malhotra (11), Snap Shot. Assist: Hansen
3RD PERIOD
06:06Power Play - Daniel Sedin (34), Slap Shot. Assist: Samuelsson, Sedin
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:59Hansen, 2 min, Interference
18:02Salo, 2 min, Interference
2ND PERIOD
07:40Perry, 2 min, Charging
16:48Ballard, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
18:17Selanne, 2 min, Slashing
18:41Ehrhoff, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
05:38McMillan, 2 min, Tripping
17:29Ballard, 2 min, Kneeing
17:29Brookbank, 2 min, Roughing
18:40Perry, 2 min, Roughing
19:02Beauchemin, 2 min, Roughing
19:02Rome, 2 min, Elbowing
19:02Rome, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
 123T
VAN56516
ANA710926
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Cory Schneider59:46260
Dan Ellis60:00133
Game Information
Attendance - 16356
Referees - Dan O'Rourke, Brian Pochmara
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Thor Nelson
 
Other Games
NJ 3 Final
NYI 2
Phi 0 Final
NYR 7
Wash 3 Final
OT
Fla 2
Buf 3 Final
OT
Min 2
Nash 2 Final
Cal 3