The Vancouver Canucks are heating up in December, and to some extent, they can thank their goaltenders for this run.
Eddie Lack was the man on Monday, as he earned his first career shutout while the Canucks blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. The 25-year-old is now 4-2-0 with a .925 save percentage and 2.08 GAA in his first NHL season, generally making the most of the rare moments when Roberto Luongo gets rest. Lack stopped 31 shots tonight.
Christopher Tanev scored the game-winner while Jannik Hansen grabbed an empty-netter. Chris Higgins collected two assists, giving him five points (one goal, four assists) in a three-game point streak.
The Canucks have now won five games in a row and six of their last seven.
The Canucks improved 18-10-5 with 41 points, inching their way into the West’s elite (though that’s a little misleading with 33 games played). Carolina has been playing well lately, so while the Hurricanes’ 13-13-5 record isn’t very impressive, they’ve won five of their last eight games and just saw a three-game winning streak end.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.