VANCOUVER–Mats Sundin scored his first playoff goal in five years
and Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots as the Vancouver Canucks defeated
the St. Louis Blues 3-0 last night to take a 2-0 lead in their
first-round playoff series.
It was Luongo's first playoff shutout and it came in his 14th post-season game.
Alex Burrows and Henrik Sedin, into an empty net, scored the other Canuck goals.
Luongo used his size and quickness to leave the Blues shaking their heads.
With St. Louis pushing for the tying goal on a third-period power play,
Luongo slid across the net to block a point-blank shot from Andy
McDonald. On the same series he got a glove on a laser shot from T.J.
That brought chants of "Louuuu, Louuuuu" from the towel-waving, sellout crowd of 18,630.
In the second period, with the Blues again on the power play, Alex
Steen fired a shot from along the boards. David Backes tipped the puck,
which Luongo stopped with his foot. Backes collected the rebound and
shot again, but the big Canuck goaltender managed another toe save.
The best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series switches to St. Louis for games tomorrow and Tuesday.
Tempers flared at the end of the game with several fights breaking out.
Sticks and gloves littered the ice as the fans roared their approval.
Sundin notched the game's first goal with 1:56 left in the second
period when he deflected a pass from Pavol Demitra past Blues
goaltender Chris Mason. The play looked innocent enough but the puck
seemed to squeeze between Mason's pads.
It was Sundin's first
goal in 15 games dating back to the regular season. Signed as a free
agent for $5.6 million (U.S.) in December, the big centre last appeared
in the playoffs in 2004 with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sundin played the game with a black eye he picked up during a collision in practice Thursday.