NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Atlanta
(Friday, March 25th)
Final Score: Vancouver 3, Atlanta 1
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Roberto Luongo made 30 saves to help Vancouver inch closer to its first Presidents' Trophy with a 3-1 win over Atlanta at Philips Arena.
Vancouver sits atop the NHL standings with 107 points, 12 more than Detroit and nine more than Philadelphia. The Red Wings have eight games to play while the Flyers have nine games remaining.
Alexandre Burrows, Mason Raymond and Alexandre Bolduc each had a goal for the Canucks, who have won two straight and nine of 10.
"We haven't had our own lineup basically the whole year," said Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler. "We're missing some key guys right now. That's the thing about this team, we've dealt with adversity all year. We're not going to sit here and complain about it. We're going to go out and get the job done. I think that speaks of the character and leadership of this room."
Bryan Little had the lone goal and Chris Mason stopped 23-of-25 shots for the Thrashers, who have alternated losses and wins over the past seven games.
Atlanta has little hope for a postseason berth as the team is now nine points back of Buffalo for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with eight games to play.
"Five minutes where we tried to do a little too much and we got trapped," said Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsay. "Against a good team like that you can't get stuck. Other than that it was a wonderful game. Overall in our end we did a good job, except for that stretch."
Daniel Sedin was awarded a penalty shot with 8:01 to play in the first when he was tripped up Ron Hainsey on a breakaway, but his chance to give Vancouver the lead failed when his backhander was stopped.
Vancouver, though, did get on the board at the 5:08 mark of the second on a 2- on-1 break as Raymond opted to shoot and squeezed the puck between the pads of Mason from the right circle.
The Canucks took a 2-0 lead with 7:36 to play in the middle frame as Victor Oreskovich took a feed just before the blueline, skated to the slot and sent a pass over to the right side for Bolduc, who lifted a backhander in from down low.
Luongo had made 19 stops through the first two periods, but saw his shutout bid fall short with 5:30 to play when Little skated in on a breakaway and snuck a shot past his left pad.
Burrows iced the game with an empty-netter in the final moments.
Sedin is 0-for-4 on penalty shots in his career...Vancouver continues its four-game road trip in Columbus on Sunday...The Thrashers host the Senators on Sunday...The Canucks have taken four of the last five against the Thrashers.
03/25 22:44:01 ET