Vancouver Canucks win in New Jersey, lead league | NHL
The Vancouver Canucks beat host New Jersey 2-1 and passed the Detroit Red Wings for the league lead in points. The Canucks are 12-1-3 in their last 16 games.
NEWARK, N.J. — Tired and seemingly emotionally drained after ending the Detroit Red Wings' league-record 23-game home winning streak less than 24 hours earlier, the Vancouver Canucks did what is expected of an excellent team — they found a way to beat the New Jersey Devils.
Backup goaltender Cory Schneider did most of the work, making 30 saves, and Aaron Rome and Mason Raymond provided the goals as the Canucks defeated the Devils 2-1 Friday night.
Vancouver has 86 points, one more than Detroit, to lead the league.
The Canucks are 12-1-3 in their last 16 games.
Schneider, who backs up Roberto Luongo, improved to 14-5.
"That's my job," Schneider said. "To be ready when called upon, when guys need a rest and everyone else is tired.
"We were definitely tired out there, but we expected that. Fortunately, we're a pretty good team when we get a two-goal lead. We gave one back there, but we held on from there."
The Canucks didn't arrive in New Jersey until 3:30 a.m. EST because of snow-related delays in Detroit. They weren't at their best and managed to prevail despite getting a mere 16 shots on goal.
New Jersey dropped to 9-2-1 since the All-Star break.
"This was five games in seven nights and it was not easy, to say the least," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "We have nothing left in the tank, and we left it all on the ice."
Some of the Canucks' biggest stars were virtually invisible. Twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin combined for two shots and Alex Burrows was blanked.
"We gave everything we had for two periods, and by the time we got to the third, we were pretty much just trying to hang on," Schneider said.
David Clarkson scored for the Devils on a play in which the puck deflected into the net off his skate. After a review, officials upheld the goal.
Several Devils said they thought the team dominated the game.
"I thought we made a good push," Patrik Elias said. "We played better as the game went on and had plenty of chances to tie it in the third and even grab the game."
Schneider was the difference. He played his best when challenged by the Devils' top line of Ilya Kovalchuk, Adam Henrique and Zach Parise, stopping Parise three times under the circles in the third period and defenseman Andy Greene on two shots from the left point.
Elias missed an open net with slightly more than three minutes to play and Schneider made a pad save on a shot Clarkson didn't hit right seconds later. A goal-mouth scramble in the final seconds was the Devils' last gasp.
"This kid is a number-one goalie in this league," Elias said of Schneider. "He's in a tough position there. I think there are going to be 29 teams in line to get him when his time comes. He is that good."
• The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to a two-year contract extension with defenseman Willie Mitchell, 34, a former Canuck.
• The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Ales Hemsky, 28, to a two-year contract extension worth $10 million.
Hemsky could have been a free agent after this season.