Final

Series (Game 3 of 8)

Minnesota leads 5-3

Game 1: Friday, November 16th
Wild2Final
Canucks6
Game 2: Wednesday, November 21st
Canucks4Final
Wild2
Game 3: Sunday, December 2nd
Canucks1Final
Wild2
Game 4: Monday, January 21st
Wild4Final
Canucks2
Game 5: Thursday, February 14th
Wild5Final
SO
Canucks4
Game 6: Tuesday, February 19th
Canucks3Final
OT
Wild2
Game 7: Friday, March 21st
Wild2Final
Canucks1
Game 8: Friday, March 28th
Canucks0Final
Wild4

Canucks 1

(14-10-2, 30 pts)

Wild 2

(15-9-2, 32 pts)

6:00 PM ET, December 2, 2007

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
VAN 0 1 01
MIN 1 1 02

A. Voros (Wild - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

K. Johnsson (Wild - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

R. Luongo (Canucks - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .933

Wild snap Luongo's shutout streak, win fourth straight

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Roberto Luongo can only do so much.

Luongo saw his 3½-game shutout streak end, but it wasn't his fault as the Vancouver Canucks lost 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

Aaron Voros and Eric Belanger scored for Minnesota, which won its fourth straight and moved into sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division.

Mike Brown scored for Vancouver, which lost in regulation for just the second time in 13 outings to fall two points behind the Wild. The Canucks managed just 20 shots on goal -- four with Luongo pulled for an extra attacker in the final minute.

"We played 40 minutes very sloppy, and the third I don't think we came up to a normal standard," Mattias Ohlund said. "If we play on our heels and not work the way we can and have we're not going to create enough to score goals."

A key to that is staying out of the penalty box.

"We gave them seven power plays tonight, and three of the penalties were things that you just can't do if you want to win games," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "They got momentum off their power play and the two power plays we had I don't think we generated a shot."

Even at full strength, the Canucks failed to do what enabled them to go 9-1-2 in their previous 12 games -- get pucks on net, have bodies in front of the opposing goaltender and crash the net for rebounds.

That put even more pressure on Luongo, whose shutout streak ended at 210 minutes, 34 seconds. He entered the game with a 1.45 goals against average and .947 save percentage in his past 11 games. Luongo finished with 28 saves.

"To put all the pressure on him is something we can't do," Ryan Kesler said. "He's probably the best goaltender in the league, and that's something we can't take advantage of because it's going to bite us in the [rear] someday."

Voros, a Vancouver native, scored an improbable game-winning goal late in the second period, lifting a pass from Marian Gaborik over Luongo's shoulder. After passing to Gaborik from below the goal line, Voros -- better known for his physical play than his stickwork -- skated to edge of the left crease and took the shot as he was being checked to the ice by Lukas Krajicek and Byron Ritchie. Luongo said the puck went off the post and his back before landing in the net.

"I haven't seemed to be having a very good grip on the pucks the past two games. It just seems to bounce off my stick down low," Voros said. "I kind of lost it down in the corner. Then Gabby came, picked it up, and I just tried to get it upstairs with the guy holding my back. I was fortunate for it to go in."

It almost wasn't fair that a goal like that cost Luongo the game.

Luongo's best stops were two first-period shots by Gaborik from low in the right circle, and a glove save of a slap shot by Nick Schultz early in the third.

"He played as good as I have seen him play," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We had a lot of great chances, good shots from angles, or even in front in the high slot."

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead late in the first period when Belanger tipped a slap shot from Sean Hill past Luongo, who entered the game with three straight shutouts.

"Without Roberto in net it probably would have been over after 20 minutes," Ohlund said.

Brown tied the game at 5:39 of the second period, tipping a shot by Krajicek past Niklas Backstrom, who won his fourth straight start. It was the first career goal in three games for Brown, who had three points and 69 penalty minutes in 17 AHL games this season before being recalled prior to the team's Nov. 21 meeting.

The teams exchanged barbs through the media before that game, after Ohlund earned a four-game suspension for his two-handed slash against Mikko Koivu after Koivu elbowed him in the head. Koivu has missed seven games with a cracked left fibula. However, in a closely called game, Voros and Brown tangled in that night's only fight.

The bad blood between the teams didn't take long to show when Voros and Vancouver's Jeff Cowan dropped the gloves 3 seconds into the game. Cowan and Matt Foy tangled late in the opening period, and Brown appeared to challenge Voros during the same stoppage. However, just five minor penalties were called the rest of the game -- two for too many men on the ice.

Vancouver's Alex Burrows also received a 10-minute misconduct after arguing a high-sticking call.

"The bottom line is they wanted it more than us tonight," Luongo said. "That's why they won."

Game notes


Ohlund was booed lustily when he was introduced as a starter, and every time he touched the puck. ... Minnesota enforcer Derek Boogaard missed his fourth straight game with a bad back, and RW Mark Parrish missed his second straight with an injured hip. ... RW Markus Naslund was held scoreless and remains tied with Trevor Linden, a healthy scratch, for most points in team history.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES