Roundup: Canucks thrash Atlanta, streak reaches 14 games
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Markus Naslund collected a goal and five assists as the Vancouver Canucks extended their league-best unbeaten streak to 14 games with a 8-0 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers last night.
Naslund set up Vancouver's first four goals and scored the sixth, his league-leading 41st, on a long wrist shot with 1:36 left in the second period. He added another assist on Todd Bertuzzi's second goal of the game late in the third period.
Naslund's first career six-point game gave him 10 points in two games and 83 this season, tying him with Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux for the league lead.
Dan Cloutier made 23 saves for his second shutout and 31st win of the season as the Canucks, 10-0-4 during the streak, moved a point behind Western Conference-leading Dallas.
Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden scored two goals each, and Henrik Sedin added a goal as Vancouver won its fifth straight game.
The top line of Naslund, Morrison and Bertuzzi combined for 14 points, giving the trio 26 — 10 goals and 16 assists — in two games.
Fourth-string goalie Frederic Cassivi gave up three goals on the first six shots and finished with 22 saves for the Thrashers, who have one win in eight games.
Atlanta outshot the Canucks 13-10 in the first period, but trailed 3-0 before 10 minutes had been played.
Cassivi stopped Naslund twice from the left side, only to watch rebounds bounce straight to a Canucks stick — Morrison's first, then Linden's — on the other side.
Bertuzzi made it 3-0 on a power play, tapping in Morrison's pass from the top of the crease. Morrison made it a four-goal lead, converting a cross-ice feed from Naslund at 15:09 of the second period.
Naslund made it 6-0, and Bertuzzi and Sedin rounded out the scoring late in the third.
Morrison had two assists, giving him five goals and 12 points during a five-game point streak.
Linden has three goals and 11 points in a seven-game point streak.
Vancouver defenseman Brent Sopel extended his point streak to seven games with an assist on the second goal. He has one goal and seven assists during that run.
Naslund is the first Vancouver player to record three straight 40-goal seasons.
Cloutier preserved his 10th career shutout — and first since the season opener — with a brilliant blocker stop off Ilya Kovalchuk during Atlanta's fourth and final power play early in the third period. Cloutier is the first Canucks goaltender to post back-to-back seasons of 30 wins.
Atlanta plays the fourth game of a seven-game trip in Colorado tomorrow, the first time Coach Bob Hartley has been back in Denver since the Avalanche fired him earlier this season.
Flyers 2, at Blackhawks 0 — Roman Cechmanek stopped 25 shots for his second consecutive shutout and Kim Johnsson and Marty Murray scored as Philadelphia beat Chicago.
At Avalanche 4, Oilers 2 — Alex Tanguay scored two goals and Peter Forsberg added three assists as Colorado beat Edmonton to extend its home winning streak to seven. Avalanche captain Joe Sakic returned after missing 15 games with a broken right foot.
"I definitely wouldn't want to be standing here if we didn't win that hockey game," Sakic said afterward. "It was good to be back in the lineup."
At Lightning 2, Mighty Ducks 0 — Dave Andreychuk scored his 609th goal and moved into 12th place on the career list, and Nikolai Khabibulin made 24 saves for his 31st career shutout as Tampa Bay beat Anaheim.
Wild 3, at Senators 0 — Dwayne Roloson stopped 28 shots to earn his second shutout in three starts and lead Minnesota over Ottawa. Richard Park, Lubomir Sekeras and Marian Gaborik scored.
Stars 5, at Bruins 5 — Glen Murray scored two goals, including one on a power play with 1:40 remaining in regulation, to lift Boston into a tie with Dallas.
Rangers 3, at Devils 3 — Petr Nedved scored on a power play with 4:28 left in regulation to help New York salvage a point against New Jersey.
Kings 5, at Penguins 3 — Ziggy Palffy and Bryan Smolinski each scored twice, and Los Angeles overcame two goals by Lemieux and a 2-0 deficit to beat Pittsburgh.
At Maple Leafs 5, Islanders 2 — Mats Sundin scored twice as Toronto beat New York, which had not lost in its previous five games.
At Predators 5, Blue Jackets 0 — Tomas Vokoun made 19 saves for his second shutout this season and five Nashville players scored against Columbus.
• St. Louis forward Keith Tkachuk was suspended for four games without pay by the league for hitting Minnesota forward Wes Walz in the head with his stick. Tkachuk will lose $487,804.84 in salary.
• Ottawa acquired forward Vaclav Varada and a fifth-round pick in this year's draft from the Buffalo for Jakub Klepis.
• Former players Ray Bourque and Willie O'Ree and longtime executive Ron DeGregorio will receive the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to U.S. hockey.