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Rookie Grabner shines as Canucks blank Flames 4-0 in pre-season action

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER - The kids were all right.

Vancouver's youngsters scored the goals and rookie netminder Corey Schneider shared the shutout Wednesday as the Canucks blanked the Calgary Flames 4-0 for their first NHL pre-season victory. Michael Grabner and Alex Edler each had a goal and an assist while Ryan Shannon and Jason Jaffray contributed power-play goals.

Schneider, who got credit for the win and an assist on Shannon's goal, stopped 10 shots while starter Roberto Luongo was perfect on all 13 he faced.

It was a physical game between Northwest Division rivals and the third straight loss for the Flames - two of them shutouts. Calgary has scored only two goals in that span.

Grabner, drafted as a goal-scorer with the Canucks' first-round pick in the 2006 entry draft held at GM Place, finally converted a power-play marker on Vancouver's eighth opportunity.

Playing on a line with Jaffray and Juraj Simek, he went to the net to tip Lukas Krajicek's point shot behind goalie Curtis McElhinney.

"We spent a lot of time in their zone and didn't give up much defensively," the Austrian rookie said. "We had the puck a lot and had good chemistry out there.

"I went to the net a couple of times. That's what the coaches told us ... driving the net and getting the easy goal. I had a few chances today which I would have liked to have gone in, but not everything goes in. It was still one of my better days."

The speedy Shannon, entering his sophomore season after coming to Vancouver in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks, scored on the Canucks' next man advantage.

"I settled down a little bit," said Shannon, one of five Canucks to play a second exhibition game. "My legs were coming and going as the night went on but every once in awhile you look up at the scoreboard, you realize where you are and the adrenaline pumps back in."

Edler, who had one goal in 22 appearances with Vancouver last season, blasted a hard shot through traffic that beat goalie Miikka Kiprusoff who played the first 40 minutes. That broke open a scoreless game at 18:55 of the second period.

Then Jaffray, who had 35 goals and 81 points for the AHL Manitoba Moose, knocked down Grabner's rebound and shovelled it over McElhinney.

Schneider, who had six shutouts in 42 games for Boston College, needed a bit of luck to keep Calgary scoreless.

"It's definitely a higher tempo and fast paced but you can't get lost in there, you can't give up anything," said Schneider. "I had some lucky bounces but I thought it was a good first start."

Vancouver's power play struggled early when Eric Goddard of the Flames was twice assessed double roughing penalties, one of them providing a 1:04 two-man advantage.

In the second period, Warren Peters of Calgary and Nathan McIver of Vancouver stepped out of the penalty box after serving roughing penalties but went right back in with fighting majors.

NOTES: The Canucks continue exhibition play Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers ... five Canucks - Trevor Linden, Brendan Morrison, Willie Mitchell, Byron Ritchie and Rick Rypien - are suffering from sore groin muscles ... Mitchell is the only one with pre-season action ... Kiprusoff played in 74 games last season and had a .917 save percentage while Luongo was in 76 games and had a .921 save percentage.

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