Canucks pass another West test with win over Wings

on December 22 2011 8:57 PM
The Vancouver Canucks enter the playoffs with the best record in the NHL.
The Vancouver Canucks enter the playoffs with the best record in the NHL. Reuters

The Vancouver Canucks took down another leading Western Conference team on Wednesday with a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

The Canucks, who beat Northwest leaders Minnesota 4-0 on Monday, raced to a 3-1 lead in the first period and goaltender Roberto Luongo led them home with 38 saves as Vancouver earned their third consecutive win.

Chris Higgins, Cody Hodgson, and Alexandre Burrows scored in the first period with Detroit replying through Todd Bertuzzi.

Detroit's Drew Miller converted a shot in the second period to pull the Red Wings within a goal, but Alexander Edler restored Vancouver's two-goal lead early in the third with a shorthanded score.

Edler had put the puck in the net after Jannik Hansen knocked down Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard, who fumed that the goal was allowed to stand.

I was interfered with, said Howard, who finished with 21 saves. (Henrik Zetterberg) never pushed him, I watched the replay. Hansen leans into him, loses his footing and steams me, but (those are) the breaks.

Luongo had little sympathy for his fellow goaltender.

It's always upsetting when you feel you were interfered with, Luongo said. What goes around comes around.

Detroit outshot Vancouver 16-4 in the third period but Edler's strike put the game beyond the Red Wings reach.

The Canucks (21-moved a point behind the Wild in the Northwest while Detroit (21-11-2) 11-1) remain second in the Central trailing Chicago.

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