Streaking Canucks blank Oilers behind Luongo’s 65th career shutout
The Vancouver Canucks celebrated their sixth consecutive win for a short while, and then quickly turned their attention to the Boston Bruins.
Roberto Luongo made 19 saves for his 65th career shutout, helping Vancouver beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Friday night.
But with the Bruins set to visit Rogers Arena on Saturday night for the first time since their victory in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, the questions quickly shifted away from Vancouver’s fourth consecutive win on home ice.
"Didn’t that happen about 20 years ago?" Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "We’ll play the game hard, they’ll play the game hard and we’ll see what’s left after 60 minutes."
The Canucks and Bruins met in Boston during the 2011-12 season for their only other meeting since the Cup final, but Luongo watched as Cory Schneider got the start.
"I think it’s just a fun game to play," Luongo said. "It’s been a few years now and I think we have all moved on, but that being said, I think there is a history there and those are the type of games you want to play in.
"There’s not much we can do about two years ago. (Saturday) night is all about the two points."
After losing a shutout bid in the final seconds Sunday in a victory over Colorado, Luongo moved within one of Hall of Famer Patrick Roy for 14th place on the career list. Luongo has three shutouts this season.
"I felt pretty good," Luongo said. "I wasn’t getting much action and that’s not the type of game I love to play, but I was seeing the puck well in warm-up so sometimes you just have that feeling and I had that tonight. Obviously the guys did a great job in front of me not giving them much."
The Canucks, who now have back-to-back shutouts after No. 2 goalie Eddie Lack blanked Carolina 2-0 on Monday, have given up just six goals during their six-game winning streak.
Daniel Sedin, Zack Kassian, Chris Higgins and Dale Weise scored to help Vancouver improve to 19-10-5. Jason Garrison added three assists, and Ryan Kesler had two.
Devan Dubnyk made 36 saves for Edmonton (11-20-3).
"We just couldn’t ever get going," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "It seemed like every time we got the puck, they had already closed on us. We couldn’t even get out of our zone for most of the night."
Sedin opened the scoring in the second period, snapping a five-game goal drought with his 11th of the season when his shot from the point went in off Oilers defenseman Nick Schultz.
Vancouver made it 2-0 at 2:26 of the third when Kassian deflected a shot from David Booth past Dubnyk for his sixth of the season and first point in nine games.
Higgins scored at 6:07, taking a feed from Kesler and beating Dubnyk with a quick release for his ninth goal. Higgins has two goals and five assists in a four-game points streak.
Luongo made a big glove stop on defenseman Justin Schultz midway through the period, and shot out his left pad on Ryan Jones to preserve the shutout a few minutes later.
Weise scored on a power play with 34.8 seconds left.
"We just need to play the way we are capable of playing," Dubnyk said. "That’s been the most frustrating part of the whole year. We’ve shown that we’re capable and we know what to do."
NOTES: Higgins has two goals and five assists during his four-game point streak. … Friday’s matchup was Kassian’s first against the Oilers since his eight-game suspension for hitting Sam Gagner in the head with his stick during the preseason. The Edmonton forward missed 13 games with a broken jaw. … Oilers forward Boyd Gordon returned to the lineup after missing six games with a shoulder injury. … Edmonton’s four-game road trip continues Sunday against Anaheim. … After Saturday’s meeting with the Bruins, the Canucks open a three-game road trip against Minnesota on Tuesday.