Wed, Feb 16, 2011 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Blues hold on to top the Canucks

Reuters and AP, ST LOUIS, Missouri

The St Louis Blues pulled off a 3-2 upset victory over the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks on Monday, handing red-hot goaltender Roberto Luongo his first regulation loss in more than two months.

Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen scored first-period goals for the Blues (25-21-9), who went ahead 3-1 in the second period on a goal by Patrik Berglund.

Jannik Hansen netted a wrist-shot for Vancouver at 1 minute, 47 seconds in the third, but the Canucks (36-12-9) could not get the equalizer and lost for just the second time in nine games.

Luongo made 31 saves, but also made a silly mistake to gift St Louis their second goal when his clearance went straight to Steen, as he suffered his first loss in regulation since Dec. 5, also against the Blues, to snap a streak of 21 games.

“The puck was coming towards me and I thought I had enough time to shove it [away],” Luongo told reporters of the events that led to Steen’s goal. “Obviously, it was a bad decision. He anticipated it and made me look pretty bad.”

St Louis netminder Jaroslav Halak finished with 23 saves.

With just their third win in the last 10 games, the Blues are seven points behind the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Coyotes 3, Capitals 2

In Glendale, Arizona, Ray Whitney scored one goal and set up another as the Phoenix Coyotes frustrated Washington’s top line with a flurry of blocked shots one their way to downing the Capitals.

Ilya Bryzgalov had 29 saves, while Martin Hanzal and Vernon Fiddler each scored and the Coyotes blocked a season-high 20 shots to win their fifth straight game and move atop the Pacific Division.

Phoenix also held Washington’s top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin to one point — an assist by Semin on Marcus Johansson’s goal in the second period.

Matt Bradley scored in the third period to get Washington back within a goal, but the Caps couldn’t get past Bryzgalov even after sending Ovechkin out as a fourth forward late.

Flames 9, Avalanche 1

In Denver, Colorado, Jarome Iginla scored twice as Calgary routed Colorado.

Olli Jokinen and David Moss had a goal and three assists each, while Curtis Glencross also scored two goals just hours after Avalanche star Peter Forsberg again announced his retirement from hockey after two games in his latest comeback.

Anton Babchuk, Alex Tanguay and Matt Stajan also scored, while Miikka Kiprusoff had 17 saves for the Flames, who had five goals in the first period. Backup goalie Henrik Karlsson played the final 6 minutes, 51 seconds and made five saves.

Daniel Winnick scored for Colorado.

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