Roberto Luongo made 43 saves and the Canucks won their seventh straight game with a 3-1 victory against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena on Wednesday night.
Not only did the Canucks win their seventh in a row, but they broke a tie for the top spot in the overall NHL standings with 57 points.
Luongo, selected the NHL's second star for December earlier in the week, lost his shutout bid when Tim Jackman scored with 10.8 seconds left.
"I don't like shutouts … that's why I just let goals in the last 5 seconds because I think shutouts are overrated," a visibly-frustrated Luongo joked while riding an exercise bike after the game. "I'm going to punish myself for letting a goal in. I'm a competitor and obviously I want to stop them all and I was a little disappointed that went in there at the end."
Fresh off a road sweep through Dallas, Colorado and San Jose, Vancouver hasn't lost in regulation in a month (12-0-2) and is 16-1-2 its last 19 to top the NHL with 57 points.
Luongo made his best saves in the first period and added a few more 6 minutes into the third. He also survived a late 6-on-4 after Calgary pulled its goalie while on the power play only to lose the shutout in a last-second scramble.
"I don't think we had our best game by any means. We got outshot 2-1 by the Flames so there's a couple areas we can be better at," said Luongo. "But the good thing about it is we can adjust those issues while we are winning and not while things are going bad."
Miikka Kiprusoff finished with 18 saves for the Flames, who lost their second straight following four wins despite outshooting Vancouver 44-21.
Kesler opened the scoring off the rush just 70 seconds into the game. Mason Raymond got around Robyn Regehr in the corner and threw it at the net where Kesler was driving hard to the net behind Jay Bouwmeester to redirect it under Kiprusoff from the top of the crease.
Luongo kept it that way with a good save off Matt Stajan on a similar play a minute later and a 2-on-1 short-handed stop on Curtis Glencross shortly after, and Bieksa put the Canucks ahead 2-0 with 3:48 left in the period.
The Vancouver defenseman led a rush up ice, paused atop the left faceoff circle and waited for the traffic to get to the net before throwing a soft wrist shot through it that somehow skipped under the pads of Kiprusoff.
"We made two mistakes in 5 seconds on things we talked about going into the game," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said, pointing first to a turnover that started the rush. "And then someone is going to the net. We have to pick him up and we can't let that happen. Mentally we had two breakdowns very quickly."
Sedin deflected Bieksa s point shot just as Kiprusoff reached up to catch the puck, tipping it under the goalie's glove to put Calgary down 3-0 midway through the second period despite outshooting the Canucks 23-12 to that point.
"We're winning but we're not playing very well so you can't fool yourself," Sedin said.
Luongo made a great save off Olli Jokinen in the slot less than a minute later, and dove on the rebound before Jarome Iginla could knock it into an empty net. Luongo added point-blank saves on Stajan and Glencross early in the third.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
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