Vrbata, Horvat lift Canucks to 2-1 win over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) His shutout streak over, Ryan Miller is happy to keep winning.
Radim Vrbata and Bo Horvat scored, Miller stopped 23 shots and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Monday night.
Brandon Pirri spoiled Miller’s bid for a third straight shutout with 2:32 remaining, ending the goalie’s career-best scoreless streak at 200:45. Miller, who had blanked Philadelphia and Carolina in his last two starts, topped his previous best scoreless streak of 161:35, set in 2010 with Buffalo.
Vancouver won its third straight and improved to 3-1 on a five-game road trip.
”(Keeping the winning streak going) is probably more important,” Miller said. ”(The shutout streak) was fun while it lasted but the important thing is that we got two points here and we move on to Tampa.”
The Panthers outshot the Canucks 10-1 in the third period and finally got on the scoreboard when Pirri got the puck off the faceoff and fired a shot from above the right circle through traffic and past Miller.
”I just couldn’t catch up to (the shot). I didn’t see (Pirri’s) release too well and if I don’t see the release I’m probably dead in the water,” Miller said.
Miller was solid throughout the game, even after allowing a goal.
”It’s disappointing,” Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said. ”He made a couple of unbelievable saves; one on the power play. For sure, we wish (the scoreless streak) would have kept going and he deserved it to keep going but that happens sometimes.”
The Panthers have lost a season-worst four straight, and are lurching into the All-Star break with just one point in the last four games.
”Real disappointing first period, we didn’t play well. Mentally we weren’t sharp. They came out and took it to us that first period,” coach Gerard Gallant said. ”It could have been a real good finish to have a good homestand.”
The Canucks scored both goals in the first period and outshot the sluggish Panthers 13-6. Vrbata put Vancouver ahead at 3:25 as Daniel Sedin made a nice pass across to Vrbata on the right side and his shot got past Luongo’s glove.
”I’ve got to try to be a little better at the start, come up with some big saves,” Luongo said. ”The last few games he (Miller) hasn’t given up much so that was a tough one to get back into.”
Horvat doubled the lead at 8:03 as his shot was deflected into the crease and bounced before drifting across the goal line.
”I just tried to put the puck on net and fortunately it trickled in,” Horvat said. ”It’s been a really good road trip.”
NOTES: The line of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Vrbata have combined for 108 points for Vancouver this season. … The game was Luongo’s third against Vancouver since he was sent to Florida in a four-player deal last March. … The Panthers have scored once in their last 23 power-play chances. … Panthers centers Pirri and Vincent Trocheck returned to the lineup after being healthy scratches for the past three and four games, respectively.