NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at New Jersey
(Thursday, February 5th)
Final Score: Vancouver 4, New Jersey 0
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Dan Cloutier made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Meadowlands in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.
Brothers Henrik and Daniel Sedin each posted a goal and an assist for the Canucks, while Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden also found the back of the net. Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund each notched a pair of assists in the victory.
Vancouver snapped a two-game losing streak and capped a five-game road trip at 3-1-0-1. The Canucks are 6-1-0-1 in their last eight and trail first-place Colorado by one point in the Northwest Division.
The Devils lost for just the second time in seven games (5-2-0) and had a three-game home winning streak stopped. New Jersey was shut out for just the third time this season.
"We just didn't do a whole lot of things right tonight," said Devils head coach Pat Burns. "It was one of those bad days at work."
Martin Brodeur made 18 saves in defeat and fell to 5-8-0 lifetime against the Canucks, the only team against which he has a sub-.500 record.
Cloutier stopped seven shots in each of the first two periods, then turned aside 10 in the third to preserve his 12th career shutout.
"I felt good about the way I was playing," said Cloutier. "As long as the guys were there for the rebounds, I was in good shape for the first shot."
The Canucks grabbed a 2-0 lead thanks to the Sedin twins.
Henrik started the play on the first goal early in the first period by stealing the puck from New Jersey defenseman Scott Niedermayer deep in the Devil zone. Mike Keane then took control behind the net and fired a pass to Daniel along the right boards. Daniel spotted a wide open Henrik at the left side of the cage for an easy tap-in at the 1:11 mark.
The Sedins again cashed in at 3:51 of the second. Henrik had the puck above the right circle and sent it toward the net. New Jersey defenseman Brian Rafalski tried to knock it down, but couldn't gain full control and Daniel was able to sweep it past a sprawled Brodeur.
The Devils had a couple of good chances midway through the second period, but Cloutier was up to the task. He turned aside a left wing blast by Igor Larionov, who was then whistled off for holding at the 12:00 mark.
John Madden had a good chance while shorthanded for New Jersey, but missed the net on a 2-on-1 and the Canucks went the other way for their third goal of the game.
Bertuzzi sent the puck ahead to Naslund, who fed a streaking Morrison. The ex- Devil and least-heralded member of Vancouver's top line made a nifty move around Niedermayer down the slot and backhanded a shot past Brodeur on the blocker side for his 16th goal.
Cloutier made a dazzling save to preserve his shutout with just over 13 minutes left in the third. He was lying along the ice and stuck out the paddle of his stick to deny a backhand chance by Mike Rupp, then scrambled in the crease to cover the rebound.
The Canucks then scored on a power play to seal the victory. Moments after a 5-on-3 skating advantage expired, Naslund backhanded a pass to Bertuzzi, who then backhanded a cross-crease feed through the skates of New Jersey's Colin White to a wide open Linden. Linden then lifted a shot from the left side of the crease past Brodeur and under the crossbar for his 12th goal.
Vancouver was 2-for-3 on the power play and killed off each of New Jersey's two chances with the extra skater.
"I didn't expect our team to make as many mistakes as we did," Burns added.
Linden earned his 673rd career point with the Canucks, tying Stan Smyl for the franchise record...Vancouver improved to 19-0-0-1 when leading after two periods...The Canucks have won four straight in the series and three in a row at New Jersey.
02/05 22:52:56 ET