VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Casey DeSmith made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season and 10th in the NHL and the Vancouver Canucks beat Minnesota 2-0 on Thursday night to end the Wild’s winning streak at four.
Nils Hoglander and Teddy Blueger scored to help Vancouver improve to 17-9-1.
DeSmith is undefeated against Minnesota.
“I didn’t know that,” DeSmith said. “I don’t think it’s anything in particular, I just try to show up every game and sometimes it goes your way.”
DeSmith last played on Nov. 25, with starting goalie Thatcher Demko getting the other four starts.
“I’ve always been somebody who can have a long layoff and hop back in and do my job,” DeSmith said. “I think it’s an extra focus in practice, a little extra gear that I have to have so when I go into a game, the game doesn’t feel that much faster.”
Canucks coach Rick Tocchet praised his netminder’s perfect performance.
“Was it two weeks since he’s played?” Tocchet said “That’s what Casey does. He’s done that in his career when he’s had inactivity. he was solid for us.”
Filip Gustavsson made 15 saves for Minnesota. The Wild dropped to 9-11-4. They had won their last eight meetings with Vancouver.
“I felt like we had full control in the first period there and then they made a great read great screen there,” Gustavsson said. “Hoglander was just waiting there and he saw an opportunity to put it just in there. Then second period, they had more control over it and I think I came up with some good saves, DeSmith did that, too, and we just couldn’t break through him.”
Hoglander opened the scoring with 1:55 left in the first period with his ninth goal of the season. The winger brought the puck up ice from his own zone, cut into the slot from just above the right faceoff circle and beat Gustavsson with a wrist shot.
Blueger scored 2:05 into the third period, his second goal of the season. After Conor Garland’s pass split the defense, Blueger deked Gustavsson from in close, going backhand then forehand to beat the sprawling goalie.
Wild: At Edmonton on Friday night.
Canucks: Host Carolina on Saturday night.
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