Luongo excels in unexpected start

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After watching Cory Schneider from the bench since March 18, Roberto Luongo finally got a chance to play on Wednesday. He might just get more reps after stopping 40 out of 41 shots as the Vancouver Canucks topped the Calgary Flames 4-1.

This marks Vancouver’s fourth consecutive win, opening up a six-point lead in the Northwest Division (although the Minnesota Wild do hold a game in hand).

Curtis Glencross scored the night’s first goal, but then Luongo and the Canucks took over from there. Daniel Sedin collected his first power-play tally since Jan. 25, Henrik Sedin had two assists and Dan Hamhuis also produced two helpers (extending his personal point streak to five games).

The Canucks have struggled quite a bit this season, but with the Derek Roy trade and Ryan Kesler back, they might just be a dark horse candidate in the West. (Not that this team really slips under the radar.)