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Canucks honor Pat Quinn, shut out Devils

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks didn't get down after an emotional pregame ceremony to honor former coach, general manager and president Pat Quinn, who died Sunday at 71.

The tribute had the opposite effect.

After a moment of silence and stirring rendition of "Danny Boy" over a video celebrating Quinn's life, Vancouver came out flying on the way to a 2-0 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

The Canucks fired the first 10 shots, took the lead early in the second period on a backdoor tap-in by Alexandre Burrows and finally put the game away when Shawn Matthias got a lucky breakaway bounce with 5:23 left to play.

Ryan Miller made 20 saves for the shutout, his second this season and the 31st of his career.

The Canucks fed off the early emotion at Rogers Arena.

"It was very sad, but you watch that video and see the pictures and the impact and amount of people he touched," said defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who wears Quinn's old No.3. "I felt like I had a little bit of extra energy in my veins to start, and we came out flying."

If not for the early play of former Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider, who finished with 34 saves for the Devils, it could have been over a lot sooner.

"The first 10 minutes, we were overwhelmed, and from then on it was a pretty even game," New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said. "Cory was excellent; he gave us a chance to get through the first 10 minutes and find our legs, and from then on in I thought it was a pretty even game."

DeBoer was asked why the Devils, who have lost four of five (1-3-1), were overwhelmed early in the game, which wrapped up their four-game road trip.

"This is an emotional night here," he said. "I don't have an answer, but we survived it, and it was a game right until the last five minutes."

It was Schneider's second visit to Rogers Arena since being traded to the Devils at the 2013 NHL Draft, and the Canucks welcomed him back with a flurry of activity. He was forced to make a couple point-blank stops off Nick Bonino during a scramble 1:20 into the game that set the tone for a first period that saw Vancouver outshoot New Jersey 17-6.

"They didn't sit back; they dictated the way they wanted to play, and it seemed like we were trying to catch up all night," Schneider said.

The Devils (9-10-3) didn't get their first shot on goal until 8:34, but Schneider kept it scoreless until early in the second period.

Bieksa corralled a clearing attempt by Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky at the right point and fired a slap pass backdoor to Burrows, who beat Zidlicky to the edge of the crease for an easy tap-in.

"This is a difficult day for a lot of people in this organization," said Burrows, who missed the previous two games with an upper-body injury. "It's a sad day, but we wanted to respond well and get the win. At the end of the day, that's what Pat would have wanted the most."

It was Burrows' fifth goal, matching his total during an injury-ravaged 2013-14 season. He rang another shot off the post on a 2-on-1 in the third period.

The Canucks (15-6-1) won two of three games on their homestand. They leave Wednesday for a season-high seven-game road trip.

"It's fun to come to the rink," Burrows said. "Everybody's working for each other, everybody's paying the price, and we're finding ways to win."

Miller wasn't busy but made a couple good saves late to preserve his shutout. His best save came after New Jersey appeared to get life when Vancouver defenseman Luca Sbisa landed a big hit on 42-year-old forward Jaromir Jagr, who had been the Devils' best skater, with about eight minutes left in the game. Former Canucks forward Steve Bernier had a great chance to tie the game alone in the slot with seven minutes left, but he fired the puck off Miller's left pad.

"I honestly don't know how it happened," Miller said.

Matthias added the insurance goal 90 seconds later. Sent in alone after a Zidlicky turnover, Schneider stopped his backhand deke, but the rebound went in off Zidlicky's skate as he tried to stop.

"That's kind of how it's been this year. We're still in games and a late one like that, bad luck, bad bounce, whatever, kind of puts us out of it," Schneider said. "It was tough because we were pushing, starting to get some looks, and all of sudden it's 2-0 with five minutes to go."

DeBoer didn't blame Zidlicky after a tough minus-2 performance.

"We're five minutes left in the game, trying to get a win, your offensive players at that point are going to try and create something for you," he said. "If he makes a play there and we score a goal, we are patting him on the back, so I am not going to throw him under the bus."

Schneider was back in goal after getting his first break of the season Saturday. He broke Martin Brodeur's franchise record by making 20 straight starts to begin the season, but his former teammates weren't taking it easy on him. Bieksa blasted one off his mask early.

"Obviously I am not trying to hurt Cory," Bieksa said. "Our wives were sitting beside each other in the stands, so I felt a little bad. He gave me the look after the whistle, and I gave him a wink like I was sorry."

The Canucks weren't apologizing for an ugly win, however.

"Maybe not the prettiest game, but I'm sure Pat would have been happy," Burrows said.

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