VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Roberto Luongo made 30 saves
in his first NHL playoff shutout, and the Vancouver Canucks beat
the St. Louis Blues, 3-0, on Friday night to take a big lead in
the Western Conference playoff series.
Mats Sundin put Vancouver ahead late in the second period, and
Luongo did the rest as the Canucks grabbed a 2-0 advantage in
the series that will continue Sunday in St. Louis.
Alex Burrows added an insurance goal midway through the third
period, scoring on a wraparound less than a minute after Luongo
had bailed him out on a tripping penalty with a couple of great
saves during the ensuing power play.
Henrik Sedin, who had an assist on Burrow's goal, scored into an
empty net with 1:24 left.
Luongo, who finished the regular season with consecutive
shutouts before making 25 saves in a 2-1 victory in Game 1 on
Wednesday, made several spectacular saves. He got some help as
Blues forward Andy McDonald hit the crossbar three times, two on
drives deflected by Luongo.
Sundin, playing his first playoff series in five years after
signing with the Canucks in mid-December, gave the Canucks a 1-0
lead with 1:56 left in the second period. He cut through the
slot off a rush and knocked Pavol Demitra's centering pass out
of mid air, bouncing the puck between the legs of Chris Mason
and just over the goal line.
Mason matched Luongo most of the way, making 24 saves, but was
unable to prevent the Blues from losing consecutive games in
regulation for the first time since the middle of January.
After winning a penalty-filled first game on the strength of
special teams, the Canucks rode Luongo to victory in Game 2. He
made his first big save 24 seconds into the game.
Keith Tkachuk fed a pass out front to an open Dan Hinote, whose
quick shot was turned away by Luongo's right pad. Four minutes
later, Luongo sprawled and threw his blocker on McDonald's
deflection from the slot, getting enough of the shot to knock it
off the crossbar.
That was part of more than eight minutes of fast-paced action
without a whistle. The teams combined for 22 hits in the first
10 minutes. There were 33 hits in the opening period counted by
the end of the first period -- 18 for St. Louis.
Luongo made a pair of improbable left-pad stops on a St. Louis
power play midway through the period. He kicked out his leg to
deny McDonald's deflection from the top of the crease, then
extended it fully to turn aside David Backes on the rebound.
Mason denied Daniel Sedin in tight, forced Demitra to send a
deflection wide from the top of the crease, and slid quickly to
his left to rob Henrik Sedin on a backdoor pass. Burrows knocked
the rebound into the net, but he did it with his glove so the
goal was waved off immediately.
Luongo made two more great stops with Burrows in the penalty box
in the third period, sticking out his right pad to deny McDonald
again. He flashed his glove to get a piece of T.J. Oshie's
one-timed blast from the point as a power play expired.
Burrows then battled out from behind the net and banged the puck
in off Mason less than a minute after his penalty expired.
McDonald hit the crossbar again, this time off Luongo's glove,
with seven minutes left.