Thursday, April 9, 2009

Canucks Wrap Home Sked With Shut Out

In one of their more defensive-minded efforts in a long time, the Vancouver Canucks needed just one goal from their MVP and a 20-save performance from their captain as they edged out the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 at GM Place Thursday night.

Ryan Kesler, named prior to the game as the Canucks 2008-09 Most Valuable Player, scored the lone goal of the game while on a 2nd period power play. Mats Sundin's shot from the right face off circle would be denied by Kings rookie puckstopper Jonathan Quick. However, Kesler was able to snap home the rebound for his 26th of the season. Alexander Edler gets the other helper at 5:49.

Roberto Luongo wasn't nearly as busy as his 46-save effort last Tuesday against the Calgary Flames, but he was sharp. His best saves came in the middle frame when he denied Anze Kopitar from the slot with a good stop by the right pad, as well as in the third period when he made an alert high arm stop off a bullet of a chance from Alexander Frolov.

With Luongo's performance, the Canucks saw a couple of club shut-out records broken. Luongo, now has eight shut-outs on the season, surpassing Dan Cloutier's record set back in the 2001-02 season. A new club record for shut-outs in a season was also set as Luongo's eight, combined with Curtis Sanford's 3-0 win over the Ottawa Senators last December breaks a record held in three previous season. In the 2003-04 season, Cloutier and Johan Hedberg combined for eight. Cloutier teamed up Peter Skudra in 2001-02 for that same total. The first time that number was reached by the franchise came in the 1974-75 season, when the goalies were Gary Smith (6) and Ken Lockett (2).

The Canucks improve their overall record to 44-27-10, and in the processed collected their 30th win of the season when leading after two periods of action. Vancouver's home ice record finishes off at 24-12-5, improving upon last season's total of 21-15-5.

With 98 points, the Canucks enter Good Friday currently in top spot in the Northwest Division and in third place in the Western Conference. They'll conclude the regular season Saturday afternoon in Denver for a meeting with the Colorado Avalanche. Game time for the matinee at the Pepsi Center will be 12:00pm PST.

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