Canucks continue to dominate Wild with 2-1 win (with video)
Vancouver scores 11th straight win over Minnesota at home
Vancouver Canucks Daniel Sedin (r) leaves his skates as he fires a shot towards the goal against Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu (L) and goalie Darcy Kuemper.
Photograph by: Ian Lindsay, PNG
VANCOUVER - Henrik Sedin got the points he really wanted.
Those would be the two the Canucks picked up Tuesday night for their 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild at Rogers Arena.
The franchise scoring record can wait for the Canuck captain, who failed to earn a point and remains one behind Markus Naslund's mark of 756.
"That's fine," Henrik said after the game. "We got the two points we were hoping for. Goals and points will come. Like I said, it (the record) is going to take care of itself."
The win was Vancouver's 11th straight over the Wild at home and goalie Roberto Luongo stopped 25 of 26 shots to run his record to 4-0-2 this season. Luongo's home shutout streak over the Wild was snapped at 228 minutes and 26 seconds when Devin Setoguchi scored at 13:03 of the second.
Luongo had to make a huge save off Setoguchi in the final minute to preserve the win.
"We had to play pretty good in the last few minutes there," Luongo said. "They had a push and we were able to clear some pucks from the front of the net and clear some bodies and not give any second or third opportunities."
Setoguchi had come on as the extra skater when the Wild pulled their goalie in the final minute.
"He (Setoguchi) walked in from the bench so it was tough to cover him, but I was able to challenge him and he didn't get it up so I was able to get a pad on it there," Luongo said.
Kevin Bieksa and Jannik Hansen scored for the Canucks, who have now won six straight games and improved to 8-2-2 as they reached the quarter-pole of this shortened season.
They are 6-0-1 versus Northwest Division opponents, but won't have any of those teams to kick around for a while. Vancouver's next eight games are against non-division opponents.
"We are playing good hockey right now" Bieksa said. "We have the right mentality. We are staying in games and not having those lulls that we had earlier in the season. We had a lot better start tonight and our third period was pretty solid and we are obviously getting some great goaltending."
Winger Zack Kassian did much of the work on Bieksa's goal at 11:33 of the first on a Canucks' power play. Kassian blew by Zach Parise on the right boards and fed a pass to a trailing Bieska, who beat Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper to the stick side with a quick shot from the slot.
"I just went to the slot and it was a great pass from Zack," Bieksa said.
Kuemper was recalled from Houston and got his first NHL start after Josh Harding, struggling with medication for his recently diagnosed multiple sclerosis, was unable to play.
Luongo had to be sharp in the first period, when he faced 12 shots. His best save was a right pad stop on Charlie Coyle from the slot on a Minnesota power play.
Hansen made it 2-0 at 9:03 of the second, finishing off some nice work by linemate Mason Raymond and defenceman Keith Ballard. Raymond did some dipsy-doodling in the Minnesota zone before delivering a pass to Ballard, who in turn fed Hansen with a cross-ice pass. Hansen beat Keumper high to the glove side for his third goal of the season.
"Bally did some nice work, too," Hansen said. "They deserve all the credit for that one. I had a lot of time to think about where I am going to put that one."
Setoguchi cut Vancouver's lead in half at 13:03 of the second. The play started after Vancouver defenceman Jason Garrison was knocked off the puck in the corner by Mikael Granlund. He fed a pass to Matt Cullen, who found Setoguchi alone at the edge of the crease. Setoguchi flipped the puck high over the glove of Luongo for his second of the season.
Luongo made a clutch save from in close on Parise at the six-minute mark of the third and then had some help from one of his friends as Ryan Suter rattled the rebound off the crossbar.
"It probably wasn't the prettiest game, especially in the third period," Bieksa said. "Ice was kind of tough out there, the puck was rolling around a lot so we were trying to play it smart and keep it out of the middle of the ice. They don't really give you a whole lot as well, so we took what the game gave us. We played well in our own end, well defensively and it was a typical third period with the lead."
ICE CHIPS: Manny Malhotra, out for personal reasons, was replaced in the Vancouver lineup by Andrew Ebbett. . .Next up for the Canucks are the Dallas Stars, who pay a visit to Rogers Arena on Friday night. The Canucks close out their four-game homestand Sunday night against the St. Louis Blues.
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