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Avs snap Luongo's streak in 2-1 shootout win

by John Kreiser / NHL.com
First the Colorado Avalanche ended Roberto Luongo's shutout streak. Then they snapped his winning streak.

The Avs ended Luongo's Canucks-record shutout streak at 242 minutes, 36 seconds when Paul Stastny scored 1:28 into the third period to tie the game at 1-1. Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos then scored in the shootout to give Colorado a 2-1 victory at GM Place, ending Vancouver's three-game winning streak.

Luongo came into the game off shutouts of Nashville, Phoenix and Minnesota — and through two periods, it looked as if he might get No. 4. Taylor Pyatt's penalty-shot goal 2:43 into the second period gave Vancouver the lead, and Luongo was perfect in stopping 24 shots in the first two periods.

"Louie kept is in it in the first period," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "In the second period, we played really well. But we had opportunities to put a couple of goals into empty nets in the second period, and we didn't."

The Canucks paid the price for failing to get that second goal.

With the Avs on a power play early in the third period, Stastny kept whacking at the puck in a scramble and finally lifted it over the prone goaltender to tie the game. It was the first goal allowed by Luongo since Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg scored with 68 seconds left in the second period of the Wings' 3-2 win at Vancouver on Nov. 2.

"We wanted to get the puck to the net," Stastny said. "Sometimes you get a good bounce, and that's what happened."

Luongo and Colorado's Peter Budaj then went save-for-save down the stretch, with Luongo sending the game into OT by sliding across the crease to rob Wolski on a one-timer from the right circle with :00.7 left in regulation.

After Budaj stopped Kyle Wellwood to start the shootout, Wolski scored in the first round of the shootout on a spectacular backhand move. Pyatt and Milan Hedjuk couldn't beat the goaltenders in the second round, but Alex Burrows lifted a backhander over Budaj in the third round to give the Canucks some hope. However, Svatos skated in and beat Luongo with a quick, high wrist shot for the win.

Luongo was much more disappointed by the lost point than the lost shutout streak.

"I didn't care about the streak," he said. "Our goal was to get the two points. (Not getting them) was more disappointing than any streak."

Added Wellwood: "With all the chances, we should have had more than one goal. So should they. Both goalies played well."

Luongo only needed to blank the Avalanche for 11:05 to pass his own franchise shutout record of 212 minutes, 12 seconds. By then he had already stopped 15 shots, including a sliding stop on Wolski on an early power play and a right-pad save on David Jones on a 3-on-1 rush about six minutes in. he also stuffed Stastny on a point-blank one-timer from the top of the crease just four seconds before matching the record he set last December.

Pyatt was awarded the penalty shot after Ruslan Salei broke his stick with a slash on a breakaway. Pyatt then faked a deke before snapping a shot past Budaj's glove.

 
 


Vancouver had several chances to extend its lead, but couldn't put the puck past Budaj, who got some help from Canucks shooters. After Steve Bernier and Daniel Sedin missed open nets, while Mason Raymond and Henrik Sedin couldn't lift the puck over the goaltender and into the vacant top half of the net during a third-period power play.

"In the second period, they came out really hard," Budaj said. "I got lucky three or four times."

Even Luongo tipped his cap to Budaj.

"He made some big saves, timely saves late in the second and the third period," the Vancouver captain said.


Contact John Kreiser at: jkreiser@nhl.com.

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.







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