NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Vancouver|
(Wednesday, March 21st)
Final Score: Vancouver 2, Nashville 0
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Roberto Luongo turned away each of the 20
shots he faced to lead to the Vancouver Canucks past the Nashville Predators,
2-0, in a key matchup of division leaders at General Motors Place.
Jan Bulis and Tommi Santala both lit the lamp for the Canucks, who have won
four in a row and nine of 11. Vancouver now owns a three-point edge over
Minnesota for first in the Northwest Division, and climbed within four points
of the Predators for the top seed in the Western Conference.
"Our main focus is to try to win our division," Luongo said. "Then if the
other teams falter, we may be able to sneak up a bit. But we just have to keep
Tomas Vokoun finished with 28 saves for Nashville, which has dropped three of
four. With the loss, it failed to improve its one-point lead over idle
Detroit for first place in the Central Division.
"When you come into someone else's building and you come out flat, you give up
two goals, it's tough," Nashville's Jason Arnott said. "We left Vokie (Vokoun)
out to dry. They had something like 16 or 17 shots in the first period and
that's way too many, especially in the start of the game."
The Predators would have locked up a playoff berth with a win or a Colorado
loss, but the Avs topped Edmonton to prevent that from happening.
Vancouver scored a pair of goals in the latter stages of the first period to
The first came at the 10:58 mark, as Bulis came in on a rush along the left
side and overpowered Vokoun with a slapshot from just above the circle.
"It's finally going in for me," Bulis said. "It's always tough when you come
to a new team. I've been in Montreal five years, and now on a new team. It's
not like I'm going to a new team every year. It was a tough start to the
season, but I think it's turned around a little bit and coming my way."
The Canucks struck less than eight minutes later to make it 2-0. After the
home team won a draw in enemy territory, Santala gained control between the
circles and fired a shot that slipped under the left arm of Vokoun.
The scoring went silent from there, as the story of the game shifted to the
defense of Vancouver.
With Luongo manning the pipes, the Canucks denied Nashville on all four of its
power-play opportunities -- including three in the third period -- to secure
"We hate to look at the standings and other teams and what they're doing,"
Vokoun said. "It's more important for us how we play and we didn't play good
today. At least not for 60 minutes. That's a lot more important."
Nashville's Jordin Tootoo served the first of a five-game suspension for
punching Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas in the face...The Canucks have
posted wins in eight of their last nine games at GM Place and own an
outstanding 25-9-3 home mark...This was Luongo's fourth shutout of the season
and 31st of his career...The Canucks are now 0-for-22 in power-play chances
against the Preds this season...Luongo has won 43 games and is four wins away
from tying Bernie Parent's NHL record of 47 wins in a season (set in 1973-74
as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers). Luongo is 27-5-4 since a loss to the
Blue Jackets on December 22.
03/22 02:05:50 ET