Miller’s 2nd straight shutout lifts Canucks over Hurricanes
Ryan Miller didn’t really need his Vancouver Canucks teammates to score all those goals in the second period.
Once again, one would have been plenty.
Miller stopped 27 shots in his second straight shutout and the Canucks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Friday night.
Derek Dorsett, Shawn Matthias and Alexandre Burrows scored the Canucks’ three goals in a span of 10 minutes, 31 seconds of the second.
Kevin Bieksa had two assists for Vancouver, which has followed a three-game losing streak with back-to-back shutouts on the road.
Miller, who returned from an illness to beat Philadelphia 4-0 on Thursday night, earned his fifth shutout of the season and 34th of his career. According to STATS, it was Miller’s first shutouts on consecutive days since 2012.
"I think it’s important to get these points and important for me to get back after taking a few days," Miller said. "You keep it pretty simple, but you still recognize that it has to be a battle. … Being in the East for a long time, I know how those teams play in their buildings. They’re going to come out and … push hard with their defense, and they’re going to send a lot of pucks at the net and try to make plays."
Cam Ward made 10 saves in two periods for the Hurricanes but allowed three goals and was replaced by Anton Khudobin, who made four stops in the third.
Carolina — which scored 18 goals in its previous six games — outshot Vancouver 27-17 but fell to 4-2-1 in January.
The Hurricanes remained in last place in the Metropolitan Division and ahead of only Buffalo in the Eastern Conference standings.
"You’ve got to tip your hat to him," Carolina coach Bill Peters said, "but I think we could have made it quite a bit harder."
Scoring had been a problem lately for Vancouver, which managed just two goals during that losing streak before generating more than enough offense in the second period to earn its 11th win in 14 meetings with Carolina.
"Not too long ago, we couldn’t score goals, it seems like," Burrows said. "Now everybody’s got some bounces going their way. … We weren’t really getting any puck luck around the net, but now we’re scoring some timely goals."
The Canucks had some trouble putting the puck on the net against Carolina before Dorsett started the decisive scoring binge.
The sequence started when Vancouver’s Nick Bonino sent a long pass that Carolina All-Star defenseman Justin Faulk misplayed. Dorsett snatched the puck in stride and beat Ward high with 13:42 left in the second.
"I think we got some bounces, but when you continue to do the things that we’ve been talking about — using speed and going at their `D’ and getting pucks deep, you get good results," Dorsett said.
Another misplay by Faulk, at the blue line, led to Matthias’ goal with 7:03 left in the second. Burrows made it a three-goal game with a shot from the wing that slipped under defenseman John-Michael Liles’ stick and got past Ward with 3:11 to go.
"As the game went on, they got those bounces to get their two, and then it was tough to generate anything through the neutral zone and anything in the offensive zone," Carolina captain Eric Staal said. "I just don’t think we battled enough or worked enough to create more offensively. … We needed to amp it up more than we did."
That was plenty of offensive support for Miller, who joined the Canucks during the offseason and improved his career record against Carolina to 15-9-4.
NOTES: D Dan Hamhuis returned for Vancouver after missing 22 games with a hip injury. … The Hurricanes killed their 30th straight penalty and haven’t allowed a power-play goal since Dec. 20.