|Detroit Red Wings right wing Daniel Cleary (11) tries to get a shot past Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo (1) during third period NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Dec, 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)|
Luongo, Burrows lift Canucks past Red Wings, 4-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Roberto Luongo stopped 38 shots and Alex Burrows scored for the fourth straight game, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
Chris Higgins and Cody Hodgson scored 21 seconds apart midway through the first period and Alex Edler had the other goal for the Canucks. Vancouver won its third straight and improved to 12-2-1 in their last 15 games, pulling a point behind Northwest Division-leading Minnesota
Burrows' tip of a hard pass to the goalmouth by Daniel Sedin put Vancouver up 3-1 with 4:20 to go in the first and stood as the game-winner. He tied Sedin for the team lead with 13 goals.
Todd Bertuzzi and Drew Miller scored for the Red Wings, who lost for just the second time in seven games (5-2-0).
Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 25 saves in a 2-0 home win over the Canucks on Oct. 13, trailed by that score less than 10 minutes in.
Higgins scored his second goal in three games, and 10th of the season, when he converted Mason Raymond's rebound at 9:36. Raymond had taken a hard shot when he was sent in alone by Kevin Bieksa's long pass down the side boards.
Hodgson doubled Vancouver's lead 21 seconds later after a Detroit turnover in the neutral zone. He took a pass from Jannik Hansen in the slot and sent the puck behind Howard to make it 2-0, prompting Detroit coach Mike Babcock to call a time out.
Bertuzzi pulled the Red Wings within a goal when a prone Luongo appeared to lose the puck in a scramble in his crease and the former Canucks star jammed it home with 6:14 to go in the period.
Burrows restored the two-goal lead less than 2 minutes later.
Howard kept it a two-goal game early in the middle period when he went down to stop Hansen in close when the speedy right-winger found himself on the end of a three-way passing play.
Later in the period, Howard stopped Higgins twice on the same rush and turned aside Sami Salo's point shot as Vancouver continued to have the better scoring chances.
However, the Red Wings pulled within a goal again as Miller tipped a shot by a falling Darren Helm over Luongo with 3:40 to go in the second. It was Miller's fifth goal in six games.
Niklas Kronwall almost tied it near the end of the second period when he sent a rebound from the deep slot into Luongo's pads.
Edler provided some insurance with a short-handed score at 3:30 of the third period, converting Hansen's rebound past Howard.
Vancouver's Ryan Kesler was in the penalty box for roughing after challenging Kronwall who left his feet to deliver a hard hit on the Canucks center along the boards.
Luongo preserved the lead late in the game by going down to get a pad on Helm's close-in chance and snaring Pavel Datsyuk's backhand with his glove.
NOTES: The two clubs have appeared three of the last four Stanley Cup finals ... Andrew Ebbett returned to the Vancouver lineup for the first time since breaking a bone in his foot on Nov. 10 ... The Canucks were again without D Aaron Rome (thumb) and D Keith Ballard (back). D Andrew Alberts and D Alexander Sulzer continued to fill in for Vancouver.