LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 23: (L-R) Chris Tanev #8, Jordan Schroeder #45, Mason Raymond #21 and Jannik Hansen #36 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate Raymond’s goal in the first period during the NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 23, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Photograph by: Victor Decolongon, Getty Images
LOS ANGELES -- It's hockey, not figure skating, so the beat-up Vancouver Canucks don't really care about artistic impression these days.
The two points are all that matter and for the third straight game the Canucks got them. Vancouver got an early goal from Mason Raymond and shutout goaltending from Cory Schneider as they beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 in a Saturday afternoon matinee at the Staples Center.
This one probably won't be going into the time capsule for later viewing.
The Canucks didn't generate much offence as they managed only 13 shots on Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick. But they did a nice job of holding the Kings in check and when they didn't, Schneider was there to make the save.
The players weren't making any apologies for the chip-and-chase style of play.
"We are missing a lot of guys," said captain Henrik Sedin. "I think people have to realize where we are."
"You've got to do what you've got to do," added head coach Alain Vigneault. "And right now I think this is the right way to win hockey games."
Schneider stopped 20 Los Angeles shots to earn his second shutout of the season.
"He was excellent tonight," Vigneault said of Schneider. "He made the key saves at the right time. There weren't a lot of shots from the opposition and I think Cory would be the first to credit the players in front of him for playing the type of road game we have to play right now.
"You have to be on the right side of the puck, you have to chip it in and chip it out and sort of frustrate the opposition and when they do make a mistake try and capitalize on it. They didn't make a lot of mistakes but we were able to capitalize on one."
Vancouver got the only goal it would need at 11:06 of the first period and it came from the only line that really had much offensive jump. The speedy trio of Raymond, Jordan Schroeder and Jannik Hansen had a strong game and combined on the goal.
Schroeder delivered a long stretch pass through a sea of bodies to spring Raymond free behind Los Angeles defenceman Jake Muzzin. Raymond took the pass at full speed, skated in alone and put a shot through the legs of Quick.
"It was a great look by Schroeds," Raymond said. "He even threaded it through the guy's triangle -- when the stick's down I call it his triangle. We were able to capitalize on that. We didn't have a lot of shots, but a heck of a game by Schneids and I thought we played well defensively for the most part right down to the final period."
After Raymond's goal, it was up to Schneider. He wasn't particularly busy, but did make a number of key saves. He moved across his crease to rob Trevor Lewis on a shorthanded two-on-one with Mike Richards in the second period. Early in the third, he made back-to-back right pad saves on Dustin Penner from in close and later stopped a Richards shot from the slot.
When he wasn't stopping pucks, Scheneider was having to face Kings' forwards who frequently crashed the net.
"One of the harder 20-save efforts I've had," Schneider said. "I have made 40 saves and worked not as hard as that. They crash the net, they screen, they get pucks to the net and it makes life hard.
"They have got some big bodies down there and I think our defencemen did a good job handling them down low and not giving them too much time and space and our forwards came down and helped and cleared out rebounds."
The Kings, meanwhile, were shut out for the second straight game at home.
"We have outshot our opponents 2-to-1 the last two games," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. "We just need the odd one to go in."
The win kept the Canucks, now, 16-9-6, tied with the Minnesota Wild in the Northwest Division standings. Each team has 38 points, but the Wild -- 2-0 winners over San Jose on Saturday -- have a game in hand.
Already missing some key injured forwards, the Canucks played without defenceman Alex Edler, who served the first game of the two-game suspension he received for his hit on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith on Thursday night. Andrew Alberts took his spot in the lineup.
Winger Chris Higgins returned after missing Thursday night's game in Phoenix with a bad back.
Henrik Sedin warned that no one should be expecting a lot of goals from the team until the Canucks get some of the missing bodies back.
"This team has showed up every night," he said. "We are not going to score four or five goals every night. With the effort this team has given over the last five, six, seven games, we knew the wins were going to come."
The Canucks will try and make it a perfect road trip late Sunday afternoon in Denver, when they meet the Colorado Avalanche. That game starts at 5 p.m. PDT.
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