VANCOUVER, British Columbia — After more than 100 career starts, Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom finally has his first NHL shutout.
Markstrom made 30 saves and the Canucks blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.
Vancouver defenseman Derrick Pouliot had a goal and two assists. Nikolay Goldobin and Thomas Vanek also scored for the Canucks (14-10-4).
In his ninth NHL season, Markstrom had gone 129 career games and 115 starts without a shutout. He came close on Saturday night in a 2-1 victory over Toronto, but the Maple Leafs spoiled the party by scoring with just under three minutes left.
This time, the 27-year-old Swedish netminder would not be denied, and his Vancouver teammates swarmed him after the buzzer.
“I guess they were really happy about that win,” joked Markstrom. “We have a good group here. We battle together and we win and lose together. It’s a good group of guys and it’s nice when stuff like this happens.
“It’s nice to be able to contribute. If you don’t let in any goals, that’s a good way to do it.”
The Hurricanes (11-10-5) dropped the opener of a six-game road trip, their longest of the season. They have lost 10 consecutive games at Rogers Arena (0-7-3), where they last won in October 1999.
Scott Darling stopped 19 shots for Carolina, which carried the play in the first period.
“We are trying to find a way to continue that play we had in the first period and carry it into the second and not get disappointed that we didn’t score, that we didn’t get a lead,” defenseman Justin Faulk said.
The Hurricanes, who entered leading the league in shots on goal per game, outshot Vancouver 12-3 in the first. Darling didn’t have much to do at the other end, even though the Canucks had a power-play opportunity.
That all changed quickly in the second, though. Canucks wing Bo Horvat missed on a breakaway chance in the first minute and then Pouliot scored the first goal at 2:58. Pouliot carried the puck into the slot, made a nice deke to fake out Darling and snapped it over the goalie’s shoulder.
“I’m starting to add things to my game,” said Pouliot, who had a breakout offensive performance. “So if I’m playing well defensively that’s where it starts and I can add the offensive stuff after that. For me, it’s a confidence thing. I feel better each night.”
Vanek scored on a power play to make it 2-0 at 13:50. Sam Gagner fired from the top of the faceoff circle and Vanek, parked in front of Darling, tipped the puck into the top corner of the net. Pouliot also got an assist on the goal.
Justin Williams had the Hurricanes’ best chance in the second with five minutes left on a point-blank shot from the slot that Markstrom just got a glove on.
Carolina came out firing against Markstrom in the third, but Vancouver extended its lead at 6:26. Goldobin took a pass from Horvat in the slot, hit the post, collected his rebounded and scored his first of the season to make it 3-0. Pouliot added his second assist of the night on the goal.
“Without a doubt his best game, especially offensively,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “He did a lot of good things. He moved the puck up well when he needed to, and he’s a young D-man that is slowly feeling good about himself and finding his game.”
Horvat left in the third period and did not return. There was no update on his status after the game. … The Canucks were without defenseman Erik Gudbranson (upper body) and forward Brandon Sutter (lower body). … The teams meet once more this season, Feb. 9 in North Carolina.
Hurricanes: Thursday night at San Jose.
Canucks: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
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Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press
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