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NHL Capsules: Canucks blank Blues 2-0 to add to lead in league standings

VANCOUVER - Alex Burrows' early third-period goal gave Vancouver the lead, and the Canucks beat the St. Louis Blues 2-0 in a showdown for first place in the NHL.

Chris Higgins added an empty-net goal in the final minute for the Canucks (41-16-8), who with 90 points have a three-point lead over St. Louis (40-18-7) and Detroit in the Western Conference.

Vancouver's overall lead in the NHL is two points over the New York Rangers, who have played three fewer games.

Roberto Luongo registered his third shutout of the season, making 29 saves for the Canucks, who ended St. Louis' four-game winning streak, all on the road.


MONTREAL (AP)—David Desharnais scored in regulation and in a shootout as Montreal beat Minnesota despite blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.

The Wild trailed 4-1 going into the final four minutes of regulation and scored three times. Matt Kassian got his second of the game—and his NHL career—and Dany Heatley scored before Devin Setoguchi tied it with the Wild playing with six attackers with 9 seconds to play.

Boos poured down from the seats for a team that has blown leads repeatedly this season. But Desharnais got the only shootout goal and Setoguchi lost the puck, then fell on the Wild's last attempt to give Montreal the win, ending a season-high, five-game losing streak.

P.K. Subban, Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty scored as Montreal's 29th-ranked power play got three for the first time this season.

Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom left the game because of a leg injury just 2:52 in after stopping five of six shots.


WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP)—Evander Kane scored twice and added two assists as Winnipeg routed Florida.

Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves to earn the shutout for Winnipeg, which moved within two points of first-place Florida in the Southeast Division. Kyle Wellwood and Blake Wheeler both had a goal and an assist. Jim Slater, Bryan Little and Nik Antropov also scored.

Kane is on a career-best, eight-game point streak. He has seven goals and seven assists during the spurt.

Jose Theodore made 20 saves on 24 shots in the start for Florida, which has played three fewer games than Winnipeg. He was pulled after Little's goal made it 4-0 at 4:35 of the third period. Scott Clemmensen made five stops on eight shots in relief.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Olli Jokinen capped Calgary's three-goal outburst in the first period, and the Flames defeated Phoenix.

The loss was the first for Phoenix at home since falling to Anaheim in late January, and ended a Coyotes run of 11-0-1 in the last 12 games. Phoenix goalie Mike Smith had only one loss in his last 12 games before he was outplayed by Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff.

Kiprusoff made 29 saves.

The Flames had lost their last four games.

Fighting for playoff position, the Flames made a strong statement with three goals in a span of 3:17 late in the first period. Goals by Mike Cammalleri, Curtis Glencross and Jokinen lifted the Flames. Jarome Iginla added an empty-netter.

Raffi Torres and Michal Rozsival brought Phoenix within one.


RALEIGH, N.C.—Marian Gaborik scored his 30th goal of the season and Brandon Prust netted the game-winner in the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers' 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Gaborik reached the 30-goal mark for the seventh time in his NHL career. He gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with 5:07 left in the second period.

New York won its third straight despite playing without captain Ryan Callahan, who missed the game because of a bruised right foot. Backup goalie Martin Biron (11-3-2) made 21 saves.

Artem Anisimov also scored for the Rangers (41-15-6), who have a nine-point lead in the East. New York has 21 home wins and 20 road wins this season.

Jeff Skinner and Jay Harrison scored for the Hurricanes.


PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Matt Read scored twice and Jaromir Jagr had the go-ahead goal to lead Philadelphia over the New York Islanders.

Andrej Meszaros and Scott Hartnell also scored for Philadelphia, which had lost five of eight and had been shut out in two of three. Josh Bailey scored two goals and Kyle Okposo had one for the Islanders, who have the fourth-lowest point total in the NHL.

Evgeni Nabokov stopped just 24 of 29 shots for New York.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 21 saves to earn the win in his fifth straight start. Jagr and Read scored 39 seconds apart in the second period to put Philadelphia ahead 4-2. It was Jagr's 1,642nd career point, moving him ahead of Joe Sakic into eighth place on the NHL career list.


BOSTON (AP)—David Krejci completed his second career hat trick at 2:59 of overtime to give Boston its finished season sweep of New Jersey since 1985-86.

Tyler Seguin also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who opened a three-point lead over second-place Ottawa in the Northeast Division and sent New Jersey to its fourth straight loss.

Krejci, who had three goals in his previous 23 games, picked up a loose puck in front of goalie Martin Brodeur and scored his 16th of the season. Krejci hadn't scored more than one goal in a game this season.


DENVER (AP)—Steve Mason stopped 32 shots for his first shutout of the season, defencemen Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin both scored, and Columbus its two-year drought against Colorado.

The Blue Jackets gave Mason an early lead and he protected it en route to his 19th NHL shutout. That snapped Columbus' 0-9-1 skid against the Avalanche that dated to the 2009-10 season.

The Avalanche had their four-game winning streak snapped as they were shut out for the seventh time this season. They also missed a chance to move into eighth place in the Western Conference.


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Ryan Miller made 39 saves for his second shutout in two nights and Drew Stafford capitalized on a San Jose turnover to score the only goal in Buffalo's victory over the Sharks.

Stafford scored his 13th goal late in the first period, and Miller made the lead stand up as the Sabres earned at least one point in a season-high seventh straight game to move into 10th place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Winnipeg for the final playoff spot.

Antti Niemi made 18 saves for the Sharks but got no help from his offence, which pressured Miller throughout the third period. Miller made 82 saves to post shutouts on consecutive nights for the second time in his career. He has 27 career NHL shutouts, including five this season.


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