Raycroft blanks old mates, leads Canucks to 3-0 win
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:16 AM
Andrew Raycroft's one season in Colorado wasn't much to remember. But he turned in a performance Sunday night that ensured the Avalanche won't forget him anytime soon.
Now tending goal for the Vancouver Canucks
and getting a chance to start with Roberto Luongo
ailing, Raycroft stopped 18 shots for his seventh career shutout in a 3-0 win over his former club at G.M. Place.
and Ryan Kesler
each had a goal and an assist, and Tanner Glass also scored for the Canucks (8-7-0), who rebounded after getting routed 7-2 in Anaheim on Friday.
"That was a big win for us," Raycroft said. "We didn’t play our best the other night and … to come in and play well tonight at home against the best team in the League, we shut them down so it’s good."
Craig Anderson started his 15th consecutive game and made 17 saves for the Avalanche (10-3-2), who concluded a four-game road trip with their second straight loss. They managed just one goal against San Jose and Vancouver, with the fatigue of playing 11 of their first 15 away from home possibly starting to take its toll.
"I can't score goals but at the same time it's a good opportunity for me to step up and throw a shutout and get this thing to overtime," Anderson said.
The Avalanche were presented a golden opportunity with a two-man advantage for 35 seconds in the first period, but the Canucks killed it off.
Raycroft won a career-high 37 games for Toronto three seasons ago, but lost playing time the following season to Vesa Toskala and went 2-9-5 before ending up in Colorado. He was 12-16-0 for the Avalanche as they finished last in the Western Conference, and with the team signing Anderson as a free agent Raycroft was allowed to leave for Vancouver.
He's started the last three games with Luongo recovering from a broken rib, beating Los Angeles in a shootout before getting pulled after two periods against Anaheim.
"I felt good the other night, I just kind of lost focus on a couple, but tonight I stayed focused all night," Raycroft said. "We killed that 5-on-3 in the first and that was most of the offensive chances that they had all night; we shut them down pretty good."
Raymond scored with 8:55 left in the first period for the only goal Raycroft would need. Kesler made it 2-0 at 6:28 of the second by sweeping in a loose puck that sat at the left post after Anderson made a stop on Sami Salo
"When we had the puck we tried to get in front of him and make his job hard tonight," Kesler said. "He’s human back there and we got to him early on."
Glass picked up his second NHL goal and first with the Canucks when Anderson stopped his shot off a 2-on-1 with Kyle Wellwood, but the rebound hit the skate of Avs defender Scott Hannan and redirected past him 9:25 into the third.
"I actually thought about putting it over to [Wellwood], but we haven’t been scoring a lot of goals and myself personally so it was nice to get that," Glass said.
Vancouver avenged a shutout loss in Colorado by the same 3-0 score on Oct. 3.
"I thought our guys battled hard at both ends of the rink," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "There wasn’t a lot of room. We were able to capitalize on a few of our chances 5-on-5 and did what we needed to do to win this game."
-- Brian Hunter, NHL.com
Material from wire services and team online media was used in this report.