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Canucks beat Kings behind Roberto Luongo's 40th shutout

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

LOS ANGELES - Roberto Luongo has his priorities in the right order, which is a good sign for the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo recorded his 40th career shutout and the Canucks got power-play goals from Daniel Sedin and Kyle Wellwood in a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Coming off a hard-luck 1-0 loss to Boston on Tuesday night, Luongo made 28 saves and survived a penalty shot by Alexander Frolov to become the 28th goaltender in NHL history to record at least 40 shutouts in the regular season. But all that mattered to the nine-year veteran were the two points.

"It's just a little added bonus if you get a shutout. But that's more show-and-tell. I don't really care about that stuff, honestly," Luongo said. "The only goal is to win and be in the playoffs. That's what I play for."

This was the first time the Canucks have shut out the Kings in Los Angeles in 106 visits to the Forum and Staples Center. Twenty-six other goalies have posted shutouts for the franchise, which joined the NHL in 1970-71.

"I didn't get much action in the first 10 minutes because we had a lot of power plays," Luongo said. "But then I was able to see a few shots and the guys were doing a good job in front of me, clearing rebounds and breaking up a couple of backdoor plays in the last few seconds."

Mason Raymond and Taylor Pyatt also scored for Vancouver and Henrik Sedin had two assists. Along the way, the Canucks thwarted seven Kings power plays.

"We were pretty solid and the PK was huge," Luongo said. "If the guys do a good job keeping the other team's power play to the outside, it allows me to make easier saves. I don't have to worry about the rebound or guys in front taking away sticks and tips and stuff like that. So they help me out, I help them out. It's (reciprocal)."

The turning point came with 16:42 left in the period, when Frolov was awarded his penalty shot after getting pulled down from behind by Sami Salo on a breakaway with the Kings training 1-0. Luongo stood his ground, forcing Frolov to attempt a backhand, but the puck slid off his stick as he skated past the crease.

The Canucks increased their lead to 2-0 at 18:53 of the first while the teams were skating 4-on-4. Raymond got a pass in the middle from Alexander Edler, faked a slapshot with Kings centre Oscar Moller in front of him, then stickhandled around the rookie and beat Jason LaBarbera with a short wrist shot from the left circle.

Wellwood gave Vancouver a three-goal cushion at 12:20 of the second period while Moller was off for holding Willie Mitchell. Henrik Sedin backhanded the puck out in front just before he was checked against the end boards by Denis Gauthier. Daniel Sedin then did a 360-degree turn to elude Matt Greene and found Wellwood all alone at the left of the crease.

Vancouver had a goal disallowed at the end of the second period by video replay, after Ryan Kesler took a desperation one-timer from the blue-line and Steve Bernier converted the rebound with the horn going off simultaneously. The Canucks learned of the ruling back in the dressing room, while the Kings remained seated on their bench.

Pyatt made it 4-0 with 13:47 to play, redirecting Mitchell's slapshot from the left point for his first goal of the season.

"It was definitely nice to get that first one," said Pyatt, who scored 16 goals last season. "It feels like a lot of weight is off my shoulders. It's tough when you go your first stretch of the season without scoring because you're feeling a little stressed out about it."

Less than two minutes into the game, Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown received a four-minute high-sticking penalty for cutting Kesler and Greene was sent off for hooking - giving Vancouver a 5-on-3 power play for 49 seconds. LaBarbera weathered that storm, but Daniel Sedin banged home a rebound from just outside the crease with 59 seconds left on Greene's penalty.

"It was a tough start," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We got a double-minor in the second minute of play, then it ends up a 5-on-3. You're just trying to get the game going and get everybody involved. We just about got it killed off and they end up poking in a loose puck."

Notes: The Canucks were 2-for-17 on the power play in their four meetings with Los Angeles last season. ... The Kings had allowed only three power-play goals in 35 chances over their first eight games. ... Luongo's next appearance will make him the 51st goaltender to appear in 500 regular-season NHL games.



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