Luongo, Canucks blank Rangers

Vancouver 3, Rangers 0
January 4, 2008 6:11:48 AM PST
The New York Rangers have seen enough of Roberto Luongo over the years to know that the key to beating him is to get in his face and prevent him from seeing the puck.Not that it helped them any Thursday night, when Luongo stopped 28 shots for his sixth shutout of the season Thursday and the Vancouver Canucks beat the New York Rangers 3-0.

"We got exactly as advertised from him. Everybody on our team and everybody in the league knows what to expect from Roberto," New York coach Tom Renney said.

"The one thing you have to do with him is keep pressing and going hard to the net, getting your shots there and getting into the blue paint. We probably could have done a little bit more of that quite honestly, I thought he saw a lot of our shots. You really need that second and third effort to get goals on a guy like him and I don't think we were in a position to do that."

Even though the Rangers outshot Vancouver 28-19, the Canucks extended their home points streak to 13 games with the victory, having allowed just 11 goals at home since Nov. 9.

"I have been feeling good and the guys have been playing great in front of me," Luongo said. "We have played especially great at home in front of our fans and it's one of those things where we have confidence at home and things are going our way."

Ryan Kesler gave Vancouver its lead early in the second period on a goal that Rangers netminder Steve Valiquette, getting a rare start in place of Henrik Lundqvist, would probably like back.

Kesler's clearing pass from the corner of the rink went off his right foot and into the net.

The goal was the 10th of the season for Kesler, who drew the assignment of keeping the Rangers' top line of Scott Gomez, Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka in check.

Gomez and Jagr came into the game as two of the hottest players in the NHL. Gomez was riding a 13-game point streak while Jagr had had at least one point in his last eight games.

Both of those streaks came to a halt thanks to Kesler and linemates Alex Burrows and Byron Ritchie.

The Rangers' best chance to pull even came midway through the second period when Kesler got a double minor for high-sticking New York defenseman Dan Girardi. Kesler clipped Girardi under the left eye as he tried to jump past him on a one-on-one.

The Rangers managed to get a couple of shots on Luongo on the ensuing power play but only one scoring opportunity of any quality.

Daniel Sedin made it a 2-0 game with three minutes to play, registering his 19th of the season and extending his goal scoring streak to four games. Jason Jaffray's second of the season finished the scoring.

New York outshot Vancouver 28-19.