| Photo Gallery
Audio: Gretzky Press Conference
Video: Game Highlights
Video: Glove-save by Bryzgalov
Video: Post Game Interviews
VANCOUVER – Beating the Vancouver Canucks is all about somehow getting shots past star goalie Roberto Luongo, and the Coyotes got zero past him Thursday night and wasted a sensational effort by their goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 31 of 32 shots.
Vancouver won 1-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,630 at General Motors Place.
“Both goalies played well,” Coyotes center Garth Murray said. “Bryz played great for us, and we had some opportunities out there and we just couldn’t get it by (Luongo) and it’s pretty frustrating.”
Luongo capped his NHL-leading fourth shutout by making a super glove save on a one-timer by Ed Jovanovski with 26 seconds left.
Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa scored the lone goal at 11:56 of the first period, and Luongo and Bryzgalov took complete control from there.
Murray had a terrific scoring chance on a short-handed breakaway after blocking a shot two minutes into the first period, but Luongo turned his shot away.
"I felt pretty good, but guys are doing a great job in front of me, too," Luongo told reporters. "When we help each other out like that on the ice, we get good results."
The referees called nine penalties on the Coyotes and five penalties on the Canucks.
“It’s the new NHL, there’s going to be nights when some of that takes place and that’s the way it is now and you’re going to have nights like that,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said of the 9-to-5 ratio. “
Bieksa’s goal came at the end of a two-on-one Vancouver rush. Alex Burrows set it up with a nice cross-ice pass to Bieksa in the right circle, and Bieksa ripped the puck into a half-empty net.
Trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes, the Coyotes generated little offense in the second period. Their first shot on goal didn’t come until they went on a power play at 13:45. Meanwhile, Bryzgalov kept Phoenix close by making 14 saves in the second period, including two beauties with his glove.
In the third period, four penalties kept the Coyotes playing defense when they needed to be playing offense. Their best scoring chances came on another short-handed breakaway, this time by rookie Viktor Tikhonov, with seven minutes left, and then in the final minute after Gretzky pulled Bryzgalov for an extra attacker. Luongo, however, didn’t crumble.
The Coyotes got solid production from their fourth line of Murray and wingers Todd Fedoruk and Daniel Carcillo. The trio combined for seven shots on goal in a little more than 10 minutes of ice time.
“It’s pretty simple for us,” Murray said. “I think we all play the same game. We’re all going to go hard and go to the net, and we’re going to be in good positions in the corners so it’s good when you know where a guy’s going to be. I think that’s why we’re working together so well…It’s good to play with players who are very similar.”
• Coyotes rookie Kyle Turris was a healthy scratch for a second straight game.
• Carcillo fought Vancouver’s Mike Brown in the first period. The most entertaining part of the brawl came afterward as Carcillo continuously chirped at Brown while they sat in the penalty boxes.
• According to the Associated Press, a reporter from Denmark was at the game to chronicle what would have been the first NHL game between two Danish players - Coyotes rookie Mikkel Boedker and Canucks rookie Jannik Hansen. Hansen didn’t play because of injury.
• The sellout was the 221st consecutive sellout at General Motors Place.
• The Canucks have a 7-1 record when they score the first goal of a game.
• The Coyotes outhit the Canucks 21-10.