PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- It could wind up being a costly victory
for the Vancouver Canucks.
Daniel Sedin scored a goal and set up two others as the Canucks
topped the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon.
Vancouver's celebration likely will be tempered because
superstar goaltender Robert Luongo left the game in the first
period with a groin injury.
"He strained his groin a little bit," Canucks coach Alain
Vigneault said. "We are not exactly sure the severity of it.
He will come back with us to Vancouver and get an MRI sooner
than later, and we will hopefully know within 24 hours."
Luongo, who leads the NHL with five shutouts this season, went
down attempting to make a save on a shot that was blocked in
front. He was helped off the ice by the training staff, unable
to put any weight on his left leg.
Pavol Demitra scored two goals - including an empty-netter - and
Henrik Sedin added three assists for the Canucks, who improved
to 7-0-2 in their last nine contests.
"We didn't really give them anything, not even on their power
play," Demitra said. "Our (penalty) killers were playing
Mike Zigomanis netted the lone goal for the Penguins, who were
handed their first regulation loss this month (7-1-1).
"(The Canucks) play really well, and they play hard," Penguins
coach Michel Therrien said. "That's the reason why they're the
hottest team in the league. They deserve to win."
Luongo made one save before leaving 4:54 into the opening
session. He was replaced by Curtis Sanford, who turned aside 17
Luongo's former backup, Pittsburgh's Dany Sabourin stopped 16 of
the 18 shots he faced. Sabourin spent the 2006-07 season in
Vancouver, receiving just seven starts behind Luongo.
"I played with him for a year, and he's my friend," Sabourin
said of Luongo. "Hopefully, he's all right."
Demitra opened the scoring with a bad-angle shot with 1:55 left
in the first period.
Daniel Sedin doubled the advantage with his ninth goal of the
season. He took a pass from his brother and fired a quick shot
past Sabourin at 6:50 of the middle session.
Zigomanis halved the deficit early in the third, but Demitra
sealed the win with the empty-netter - his seventh goal of the
season - with 12 seconds to play.
"You never want to be down in the third," Penguins captain
Sidney Crosby said. "But it happens. You don't win every game
going into the third with a lead, but we'd all rather play with
the lead. It's just a matter of consistency starting games."
Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke played against his former team for the
first time since Vancouver dealt him to the Washington Capitals
at last season's trade deadline. He got into a fight with
Jannik Hansen just 25 seconds into the contest and received a
Many of the Canucks thought Cooke's hit on defenseman Alex
Edler, which led to the fight, was dirty.
"Definitely cheap," Vancouver blue-liner Shane O'Brien said. "I
mean, he does that a lot."
"He submarined him, and it was two or three seconds after he got
rid of the puck," Sanford said. "You don't like to see that."