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Bryzgalov shines, Luongo let down as Coyotes beat Canucks 2-0

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Ilya Bryzgalov had 24 saves for his fifth career shutout and Phoenix defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 on Thursday night, reviving the Coyotes' flickering playoff hopes.

Niko Kapanen and Daniel Winnik each scored and Martin Hanzal had two assists for Phoenix, which pulled within three points of the eighth-place Canucks in the Western Conference race. The teams meet again March 17 in Vancouver.

Bryzgalov recorded his third shutout of the season and second since Phoenix claimed him off waivers from Anaheim in November. He also stopped 35 shots in a 3-2 shootout victory over Anaheim on Tuesday.

Roberto Luongo had 43 saves for the Canucks but had little help offensively from his teammates, who went 0-for-5 on the power play.

It was a critical game for the Coyotes, who are bidding for their first Stanley Cup playoff berth since 2002. They entered in 10th place in the Western Conference, five points behind No. 8 Vancouver and three behind Nashville. The Predators lost to Los Angeles at home on Thursday night, so the Coyotes found themselves with a rare chance to gain ground on both clubs.

Phoenix came out with energy, firing 24 shots on Luongo in the first period, the most in a period for the Coyotes this season. But they couldn't beat Luongo, who gave up four goals on 19 shots in a 24-minute outing one night earlier in Anaheim.

Emotions ran high. Late in the first period, Phoenix tough guy Daniel Carcillo fought Vancouver's Alex Burrows. When they were sent off, the other skaters dropped their gloves and sticks and scrummed along the boards, and a total of 44 penalty minutes were assessed.

The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead on Kapanen's power play goal at 10:32 of the second period. Keith Ballard's shot from the point was deflected in front of the goal, and Kapanen scooped it up and scored from the left circle.

At 7:32 of the third period, Phoenix led 2-0 when Hanzal stole a pass in the neutral zone, then fed Winnik between the circles. Winnik easily beat Luongo.

Notes: Phoenix will wrap up its five-game homestand against Edmonton on Saturday night. ... The Canucks have scored three goals in the first three games of a four-game road trip, and they're 1-2. They finish the trip on Saturday in Dallas.

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