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Luongo helps Canucks shut out Avalanche 3-0 in Vancouver

Posted: January 31, 2013 - 12:12am
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Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen celebrates after scoring on Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)  Genevieve Ross
Genevieve Ross
Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen celebrates after scoring on Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Roberto Luongo made 24 saves for his first win of the season and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Luongo, who has been on the trading block since Cory Schneider replaced him as Vancouver’s No. 1 goaltender, was rarely tested but still made some big saves in his 61st career shutout.

With the Canucks leading 2-0 in the third, Luongo stopped Matt Duchene on a short-handed breakaway that prompted calls of “Luuu, Luuu” from Canucks fans. He blocked a John Mitchell shot from the slot later in the period.

Jason Garrison and Max Lapierre each scored for the first time this season, and Zack Kassian picked up his fifth goal in seven games.

Kassian tipped a Dan Hamhuis shot past Semyon Varlamov at 8:18 of the third, snapping an 0-for-13 power-play drought for the Canucks.

It was another frustrating night on the road for the Avalanche, who are winless in four games away from the Pepsi Center this season and have been outscored 15-3.

The Avs’ struggling power play has managed just one goal all season and is 0 for 12 on the road. Against Vancouver, the Avs failed to score on a 1:25 two-man advantage and on four opportunities overall.

Garrison, a free-agent signing in the offseason, opened the scoring at 7:34 of the first. Avs defenseman Erik Johnson tried to clear the puck but it ended up on Garrison’s stick. The big defenseman let go a shot from the blue line that beat Varlamov.

Lapierre showed some strength and speed on his goal at 15:12 of the second. He beat Avalanche defenseman Greg Zanon in a battle along the boards, skated in alone, and slipped the puck through Varlamov’s legs.

Luongo was a surprise starter after he stopped 26 shots and was one of the best Canucks on the ice during a 3-2 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. Schneider is expected to start Friday against Chicago.

One of Colorado’s best scoring chances came with the game less than two minutes old. Luongo got a piece of Jan Hejda’s shot, and the puck dropped behind him and lay on the ice. A falling Luongo knocked it out of the crease with the knob of his goal stick.

NOTES: Attendance at Rogers Arena was a sellout at 18,910. ... Garrison’s goal came on the Canucks’ first shot of the game. ... Vancouver defeated the Avs in all six meetings last season. ... Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin played his 588th consecutive game and now ranks seventh in NHL history for the longest ironman streak.

WILD 3, BLACKHAWKS 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Matt Cullen scored 90 seconds into the game and again in a shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 victory over Chicago on Wednesday, handing the Blackhawks their first loss in seven games this season.

Cullen’s snap shot in the third round slipped between Corey Crawford’s legs, and Patrick Sharp then hit the crossbar for Chicago. The Blackhawks and San Jose were the only teams to start 6-0 this year. The Wild improved to 4-1 at home.

Goals by Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews early in the first period prompted the Wild to pull goalie Josh Harding for Niklas Backstrom.

Cal Clutterbuck also scored for the Wild, and Backstrom stopped all 28 shots he saw.

Crawford, off to a sharp start in his third season as Chicago’s primary goalie, made 23 saves as the Blackhawks started a season-long six-game road trip. They’ve played five straight one-goal games.

OILERS 2, COYOTES 1, OT

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Nail Yakupov scored a power-play goal at 3:52 of overtime and Edmonton fought back after giving up a goal late in regulation.

The Oilers appeared to be on their way to helping Devan Dubnyk to his fifth career shutout, but put their goalie in a bind when Sam Gagner was called for a penalty and the Coyotes pulled goalie Chad Johnson.

Nick Johnson took advantage, whipping a shot past Dubnyk’s glove side with 19 seconds left in regulation after teammate Radim Vrbata failed on a backhander.

Yakupov ended it in overtime, punching in a rebound after a shot by Ryan Whitney caromed off teammate Taylor Hall.

Dubnyk stopped 27 shots and Lennart Petrell scored his first goal since Feb. 27, helping the Oilers end a five-game losing streak to Phoenix.

Chad Johnson had 19 saves after notching his first NHL shutout two days earlier.

SENATORS 5, CANADIENS 1

OTTAWA — Daniel Alfredsson scored his first goal of the season to lead Ottawa to the victory.

Jim O’Brien, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Phillips and Chris Neil also scored for the Senators, and Craig Anderson had 31 saves in his 300th career game.

Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal, which had won four straight. Peter Budaj made 22 stops in his season debut. Down 4-1 in the third, the Canadiens made a desperate push to get back in the game, but Anderson made numerous point-blank saves, including two on Brandon Prust. Neil made it 5-1 with a wraparound goal with just over five minutes left.

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