GLENDALE, Ariz. – Roberto Luongo wasn’t about to let yet another shutout escape him in the third period.
Luongo made 23 saves for his 54th NHL shutout and third of the season, and the Vancouver Canucks routed the struggling Phoenix Coyotes 6-0 on Wednesday night.
“They had a lot of chances early in the game but we got it locked down defensively in the second and third (periods),” said Luongo, who faced only six shots in the final 20 minutes.
Luongo’s teammates blocked more shots (24) than the goalie was forced to stop.
“It was a good shutout and a good win against a real tough opponent,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.
Cody Hodgson scored his first career goal, Ryan Kesler added a pair to reach 30 for the season, and Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond also scored. The Canucks (33-10-9), owners of the NHL’s best record, have won four straight and have points in seven consecutive games.
“We’ve been on a good roll the last couple of months,” Luongo said. “When you have the confidence that you can play hard and play well things fall into place.”
The Coyotes, who have lost four of five, have allowed 11 straight goals since taking a 3-0 lead midway through the second period Tuesday at San Jose in a 5-3 loss.
“You’d think after getting our butt kicked last night that we’d jump back in a little stronger,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “If you want to call it hangover, those are your words, not mine, but we have some things to straighten out.”
Vancouver took advantage of repeated sloppy play by Phoenix to score against Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Canucks took a 1-0 lead 3:46 in when Daniel Sedin intercepted a clearing attempt by Scottie Upshall, turned toward the net, and fired a shot that was redirected in by Burrows, who was standing alone at the top of the crease.
Hansen made it 2-0 at 1:38 of the second when he skated in and wristed home a long rebound from between the bottom of the circles as both Coyotes defencemen stood watching.
Hodgson, playing in his second career game, recorded his first goal at 12:06 with a wrist shot from the right circle after he carried the puck the width of the ice.
The Canucks made it 4-0 at 6:41 of the third when Mikael Samuelsson stole a drop pass from Shane Doan and passed to a streaking Kesler for a 2-on-1 break with Mason Raymond. Kesler deked Adrian Aucoin to the ice in the circle and fired a wrist shot just under the crossbar.
“I was kind of (angry) about a couple of things on the ice so I thought I’d pull that move off,” Kesler said. “I don’t want to get fined so I better not say anything else.”
Raymond scored at 11:37 and ended the night for Bryzgalov, who allowed five goals on 31 shots.
Kesler scored his 30th with an unassisted effort at 17:32 off another Coyotes giveaway, this one by Keith Yandle.
“We have to get back to reality and realize how hard it is to win in this league,” Tippett said before abruptly ending his news conference. “After we do that we’ll be fine.”
Notes: Phoenix was without D Ed Jovanovski, who is day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury. … Since the Coyotes beat the Canucks 3-2 in the teams’ previous meeting on Nov. 21, Vancouver has gone 23-3-6. … Yandle’s 10-game point streak ended.