The Vancouver Canucks showed that a few injuries wouldn't stop them Monday night as they dominated the Minnesota Wild in all aspects, 4-0. Roberto Luongo was credited with a shutout making 33 saves, and that's thanks in part to the top-ranked power play unit in the NHL scoring two goals and keeping the Wild from getting back in the game.
The key to the win was taking advantage of momentum shifts by scoring by the Canucks. The first goal from Henrik Sedin on the power play came with 1:08 left in the first period. This was after Alex Edler cut Matt Cullen's shorthanded opportunity off as he swiped the puck away, falling onto Henrik's stick, who made a solid give-and-go play with brother Daniel Sedin for the score.
In the second period, Luongo stopped a few of Minnesota's best opportunities and Vancouver earned another power play goal, this time from Ryan Kesler. But with 1:59 left in the period, the Wild backcheck came in too late as Alex Burrows and the Sedins led a rush down the ice and showed Minnesota what offense looked like as Burrows scored.
As if a 3-0 deficit for the Wild wasn't enough, the Canucks topped off their lead with just under four minutes left and capped a strong performance on both ends of the ice with a 4-0 victory.
The Canucks have gone from an early-season struggle to find consistency to going 7-2-1 in their last ten games, with a plus-30 goal differential. The only teams with a higher differential are the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins, second and first, respectively. Along with their strong offense and power play was a good defensive effort despite losing Aaron Rome and Keith Ballard to injuries, and a good game from Luongo.
Luongo certainly earned the shutout, making key saves and keeping the Wild's hope slim, even as Pierre-Marc Bouchard shoots through a bit of traffic in the second period during a power play:
The Wild have been a tough team to beat lately, as they had a seven-game win streak, but Monday's loss has put that streak firmly in the rear view mirror. They've now lost four straight games. As Vancouver pulls within three points behind them for the division lead, Minnesota continues its three-game Western Canadian road trip Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames.