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Canucks' goalie handcuffs Wings, 4-1

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
By The Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Brendan Morrison had a short-handed goal late in the second period, Roberto Luongo made 14 of his 32 saves in the third, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 Saturday night.

Trevor Linden closed the scoring with an empty-netter with 1:26 left for the Canucks, who remained one point ahead of Minnesota atop the Northwest Division.

Bryan Smolinski and Lukas Krajicek also scored, and Daniel Sedin and Matt Cooke each had two assists as Vancouver improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games. The Canucks won despite finishing 0-for-9 on the power play.

The Wings celebrate Pavel Datsyuk's first-period goal at GM Place on Saturday.

Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit and Dominik Hasek stopped 35 shots. The Wings lost inregulation for just the second time in 14 games (9-2-3) to fall one point behind Nashville atop both the Central Division and the overall NHL standings.

Already missing defenseman Willie Mitchell for a third game with a sore groin, the Canucks lost Sami Salo to a lower body injury late in the second period, giving Detroit their best chance to get back in it on consecutive power plays midway through the third.

However, Kyle Calder's shot at an empty net hit Mattias Ohlund's skate early on the first advantage and Luongo took care of the rest.

After blowing two-goal leads in their last two games, the Canucks were outshot 14-6 in the final period by Detroit. Vancouver's All-Star goalie made sure they clung to this one, getting a piece of Nicklas Lidstrom's blast with his glove and catching Mikael Samuelsson's shot through traffic for his 41st win.

Datsyuk was the only one to beat Luongo, scoring on a 5-on-3 power play at 6:05 of the first period.

After failing miserably on two early power plays, the Canucks took penalties for holding and too many men on the ice, and Datsyuk opened the scoring just 25 seconds into the two-man advantage. He one-timed a cross-crease pass to extend his point streak to 10 games, matching his career-best with a run that has seen him accumulate three goals and 13 assists.

Smolinski tied it at 11:41, just 1 second after another power play expired, when he beat Hasek to the far side along the ice with a backhand wraparound.

Vancouver outshot the Detroit 18-9 in a penalty-filled first period, but Hasek made several great saves during Vancouver's last three power plays of the period. He robbed Brendan Morrison twice, and stopped Daniel Sedin on the goal line.

But Hasek got caught trying to beat Sedin to loose a puck behind his own net on the go-ahead goal. He just got back in time to stop Sedin's wraparound, but the puck went straight to Krajicek, who snapped in his first goal in 24 games.

Morrison added an insurance goal after stripping the puck from Robert Lang on a Detroit power play. He raced to the other end for a return pass from Matt Cooke before and snapped a shot past Hasek low on the stick side with 2:50 left in the period.

GAME NOTES: Ex-Canuck Todd Bertuzzi didn't travel with his new Wings team, staying with their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids instead to continue rehabbing from early season back surgery. ... Detroit D Danny Markov returned after missing four games with an upper body injury. ... RW Dan Cleary, who missed his 10th game with a knee injury, and C Johan Franzen, who missed his fourth with an upper body injury, both hope to play Tuesday at Calgary. ... Detroit legend Gordie Howe, a part-owner of a Vancouver junior team, received a long ovation when his attendance was announced.
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