While the Philadelphia Flyers were busy showing off today why their hold on the top spot in the Eastern Conference may be a tenuous one, the Vancouver Canucks were doing their part to show off what they’re capable of doing out west. Vancouver shutout a hot Anaheim team 3-0 on the strength of a shutout by backup goaltender Cory Schneider. Schneider stopped 26 shots to earn his first career shutout and did so on a night where the Canucks may not have been generating many shots, but they made them count.
Manny Malhotra was the man of the quick strike attack scoring two goals. His first came just 42 seconds into the game while his second came 16 seconds into the start of the second period. Daniel Sedin added the third goal. Jannik Hansen had two assists for Vancouver. The Canucks scored three goals tonight on a total of 16 shots and what should’ve been an easy night for Ducks goalie Dan Ellis turned into a surprisingly rough one.
The win padded Vancouver’s cushion in the Western Conference to seven points. Vancouver’s 93 points is by far tops in the NHL and a reason to fear them. Anaheim’s loss prevented them from joining the fray of teams tied for sixth place at 77 points in the West while Ducks rival Los Angeles holds on to eighth with 75 points.
Not to get caught looking too far ahead, but Anaheim and Los Angeles play a home-and-home set to close out the season. Those two rivals going at each other’s throats to close out the season with playoff spots on the line sounds pretty good to us.