Canucks 5, Devils 0 (Final)
Travis Zajac and the Devils put 32 shots on Roberto Luongo only to come away empty handed.
newjerseydevils.com (Dec. 18) –
You could forgive the Devils for not wanting to see Vancouver for another six years.
In what was heavily billed as a showdown between two of the NHL's best goaltenders, the Canucks got on the board early and never looked back in a 5-0 rout of the Devils at GM Place on Tuesday night.
It was New Jersey's first visit to Vancouver since Dec. 29, 2001, a 4-2 loss.
Markus Naslund notched a pair of goals and Roberto Luongo made 32 saves for his fifth shutout, as New Jersey was blanked for the seventh time this season, matching a franchise high.
The Devils lost in Vancouver for the 17th time in 24 visits, and dropped the first game of a three-game trip that continues in Edmonton on Friday and Calgary on Sunday.
A season ago, Martin Brodeur
posted 48 wins to set a single-season record. Luongo ended the year one win shy of equaling Brodeur's total. Arguably the top two Canadian netminders, the debate raged Tuesday morning on Vancouver sports talk radio: Who's better?
Fans couldn't hope to have that question answered in a regular-season performance. But the Canucks scored on their first shot of the contest and added three in the second period to tip the scales in Luongo's favor for at least one December night.
Brodeur slipped to 13-5-0 in head-to-head meetings with Luongo, and 6-9-0 against the Canucks, overall.
Despite featuring high-profile snipers like Patrik Elias
and Zach Parise
for the Devils, and Naslund and Sedin twins for the Canucks, the first goal of the contest went to Aaron Miller, who had gone 33 games without a goal.
Miller notched his first of the season by wristing a shot from the point that redirected off of Sergei Brylin and dipped past Brodeur 2:16 into the contest.
Trailing 1-0 in the second period, the Devils were a couple of lucky bounces away from drawing even or perhaps grabbing a lead.
Instead, the Canucks caught the breaks they needed to blow the game open.
had his point shot blocked by Ryan Kesler, who took the puck the other way for a breakaway goal and a 2-0 lead at 1:09.
Later, John Madden ripped a shot over Luongo's left shoulder that caught a piece of the right post. Just 44 seconds later, Trevor Linden had made it 3-0 with a slapshot from the right circle at 2:43.
Markus Naslund added the final two Vancouver goals for his 12th and 13th of the season.
Devils' special teams had six chances with the man advantage but registered five shots as the club failed to gain a point in the standings for just the third time in 15 games.
A win by the Rangers on Tuesday shaved New Jersey's lead in the Atlantic Division back down to two points.
|Three star selections