Canucks 1, Blue Jackets 0, SO

When the Vancouver Canucks and Columbus Blue Jackets have played

each other this season, the goals have been few and far

between.

Cory Schneider made 17 saves and Max Lapierre scored the

shootout-winning goal and the Canucks beat the Blue Jackets 1-0 on

Tuesday for their fifth straight victory.

The past two meetings between the clubs – both played in

Columbus – have ended in a 2-1 result.

One was a shootout victory for Vancouver on March 12, and the

other an overtime win on March 8 for the Blue Jackets.

Schneider saw just two shots in the opening period on Tuesday

and eight total shots through 40 minutes.

”It’s better than 40 shots, but it is challenging to just make

sure you are sharp and ready and you haven’t really felt a puck and

sometimes it’s nice to get a feel for it and just get your hands

going and seal it up and stuff like that,” Schneider said.

”I haven’t really experienced a game like that at this level so

it was a challenge.”

Schneider made a number of big stops in the third, including a

few off Nick Foligno, who was easily the most dangerous Blue Jacket

with six shots.

However, the biggest save came from defenseman Dan Hamhuis with

just over a minute to play when he slid across to kick out

Foligno’s shot after taking a back-door pass.

”Just trying to help him out there,” Hamhuis said. ”A

desperation play, got lucky.”

Vancouver moved past idle Minnesota into third place in the

Western Conference, and into the Northwest Division lead.

Columbus moved up one spot to 10th in the West, but that single

point can be attributed to Blue Jackets goalie Sergei

Bobrovsky.

”He was by far our best player out there, he gave us a chance

to maybe win in overtime,” Vinny Prospal said. ”We don’t score

enough goals as it is and today I don’t think we really played that

hard as a team.”

While Bobrovsky entered the game with the league’s third-best

goals-against average of 2.17, Columbus also has the NHL’s worst

goals for average, with just 78 through 33 games.

Still, the 34-save shutout was Bobrovsky’s third career shutout

– with all three coming this month. He has been the major reason

the Blue Jackets are 7-1-5 in their past 13 games.

”He was great,” said Matt Calvert, who was stopped on the

game’s final shootout attempt by Schneider. ”His timely saves were

the biggest thing for us tonight, he was great in the first

period.

”We weren’t generating a ton and we kind of settled in,

tightened it up a bit, got a few chances here and there, but he’s

been our backbone all year and we’ve just got to support him a

little more.”

Lapierre was the only shooter to beat Bobrovsky.

”I was going backhand all the way, I do it in practice, it

works,” Lapierre said. ”I closed my eyes, and pray and it

worked.”

Lapierre, who usually plays on the third or fourth line and has

just two goals this season, is 5 for 10 in his shootout career,

including 1 for 2 this season.

”(The coaching staff) have been spending time in practice and

both have said that Max has got some good moves,” Canucks coach

Alain Vigneault said. ”If you look at his overall track record

he’s been near 50 percent. So, I don’t know, it just worked out

today. Sometimes it does.”

NOTES: Vancouver was without Ryan Kesler (foot), Zack Kassian

(back) as well as forwards Steve Pinnizotto and Dale Weise. …

Columbus was without James Wisniewski, day to day with a foot

injury. Brandon Dubinsky is also day to day with a lower body

injury.