Wild blanked in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for his third straight shutout, lifting the Vancouver Canucks to 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Sami Salo scored a power-play goal in the first period, and Daniel Sedin added a breakaway tally with 2:41 left to give Luongo his first two-goal cushion in two games. He stopped 28 shots in a 1-0 win over Nashville on Thursday, and made 28 saves in a 4-0 victory against Nashville on Tuesday.
Luongo has four shutouts in six games, backstopping the Canucks to five wins. He has gone 201 minutes, 8 seconds without allowing a goal.
Nicklas Backstrom was nearly as good. He finished with 27 saves, but the injury-ravaged Wild fell to 2-4 after starting the season 6-0-1.
This performance was easily the best of Luongo’s NHL-leading five shutouts, and his biggest saves came against Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Luongo threw out his left pad to take an empty net away from the center 13 minutes into the second period, and slid across his crease at the last second to get his pad on Bouchard’s one-timer with 18 seconds left in the frame.
Luongo also stopped Andrew Brunette on a breakaway late in the second, and got his paddle down on Brunette in tight during a power play with eight minutes left.
With Minnesota missing forwards Owen Nolan and Marian Gaborik and top defenseman Brent Burns, the Canucks controlled most of the opening period thanks to three straight power plays. But Backstrom turned back several point-blank chances before Salo’s one-timer beat him through a screen on the third advantage at 13:36. It was only the fourth goal allowed by Minnesota’s league-leading, penalty-killing unit all season.