VANCOUVER, B.C. – Andrew Raycroft turned aside 18 shots for his seventh career shutout as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 Sunday night.
Mason Raymond scored in the first period and linemate Ryan Kesler extended the margin in the second as both teams struggled to generate offence. It was the fifth goal of the season for both.
Tanner Glass added his first goal of the season and second of his career when goalie Craig Anderson stopped his shot but the puck went into the net off defenceman Scott Hannan’s skate.
All three goals came after the Colorado netminder, who blanked Vancouver 3-0 earlier this season, made the initial save but failed to control the rebound.
Raycroft, who signed with Vancouver as a free agent after a year in Colorado, was steady against his former teammates. He earned his first shutout since Nov. 9, 2007, when he blanked the Buffalo Sabres as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Raycroft, playing in place of injured starter Roberto Luongo (hairline rib fracture), needed some help in the third period as Ryan O’Reilly and Philippe Dupuis hit posts.
Vancouver, with five regulars out with injuries, improved to 8-7 with the win and moved into seventh place in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche, who lead the conference, lost two consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season to slip to 10-3-2.
Raymond scored his fourth goal in six games when he shovelled the rebound of Alex Edler’s point shot behind Anderson, who made his 15th consecutive start – even though Peter Budaj is back with the club after missing four games with H1N1.
Raymond’s goal was the only offence in a sluggish opening period in which Colorado held a 6-4 shots edge but got no pucks on net during a 35-second two-man advantage.
Raycroft was steady for the Canucks, squaring up to deny Dupuis after an early defensive giveaway and stopping Paul Stastny after Vancouver took the lead.
Kesler’s goal came when Anderson left the rebound of Sami Salo’s point shot lying in the crease.
Vancouver forced the play early in the frame then frustrated Colorado with soft dump-ins into the offensive zone after taking the two-goal advantage.
Raymond missed another good scoring opportunity in the third period when he had the puck at the side of the net with Anderson down and scrambling to get back into position.
The chance came at the end of a four-minute high-sticking penalty to Milan Hejduk.
Notes :The Avalanche had 10 wins in October, most in that month in franchise history. … Raycroft appeared in 31 games for Colorado last season, going 12-16-0 with a 3.14 goals-against average. … The Avs played 11 of their first 15 games away from Denver. … Canuck forwards Jannik Hansen, Pavol Demitra, Daniel Sedin, Michael Grabner, Ryan Johnson and goalie Luongo sat out with injuries. Kyle Wellwood (toe) returned to the lineup. … the Avalanche were missing forwards T.J. Galiardi, Matt Hendricks, Cody McLeod and Darcy Tucker, along with defenceman Ruslan Salei.