Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wellwood Leads Team to Shut Out Over Preds

He started the season watching from the press box. Then he basically was left waiting for a place to play. Now Kyle Wellwood finds himself leading the Canucks in goal scoring as his two-goal performance helped lead Vancouver to a 4-0 win over the Nashville Predators Tuesday night.

Wellwood snapped a scoreless contest just prior to the midway point of the second period while on the power play. After Henrik and Daniel Sedin were able to cycle the puck down low to get it into crease, Wellwood was able to jab it behind Dan Ellis. It was the Canucks first power play goal on home ice after going 0-for-10 in their last two games at GM Place.

Mason Raymond built on the Canucks lead early on in the third period on another goal mouth scramble. Steve Bernier and Kevin Bieksa were able to get the puck into the blue paint and cause havoc around the Predators goal. Eventually Raymond scooped it in for his 5th of the campaign. In 8 of his last 9 games, Raymond has five goals and five assists.

59 seconds later, Wellwood potted the prettiest goal of the game. After Taylor Pyatt won a face off, Wellwood got free in front of Ellis and beat him high under the cross bar. Wellwood now has six goals on the season, which includes four power play markers and two game winning tallies.

Daniel Sedin wrapped up the scoring for the Canucks on another play where they were rewarded with getting to the dirty areas. Willie Mitchell's point shot was deflected by Henrik off the post, but Daniel managed to slide it across the goal line for his 4th of the season.

Roberto Luongo certainly did his part to earn his third shut-out of the season and 41st of his career. He looked very zoned in early on in the game, especially in the first period. At one point in the opening frame, the Canucks were out-shooting their opponents 10-3. By the end of the period the shots were 11-11. Luongo's best save came came in the second period as a great acrobatic effort denied Nashville's leading scorer J.P. Dumont.

The Canucks out-shot the Predators 39-24, giving them their highest shots-on-goal total of the season. Vancouver finished the game going 2-for-7 on the power play and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.

Every Canucks defenceman had a minimum of two shots on target against Nashville. Mitchell and Sami Salo led the club in the shots column with five each.

Now with a record of 7-6-0, the Canucks will prepare to play host to the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. Wayne Gretzky's squad comes to the west coast at 5-5-0 and on the heels of having beat the Flames 4-2 in Calgary Tuesday night.

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