VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks raised Pavel Bure’s No. 10 to the rafters before honoring the franchise’s first superstar the best way they could — with a fast start.
Vancouver blitzed Toronto early and Roberto Luongo made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season Saturday night as the Canucks beat the Maple Leafs 4-0.
After a 20-minute ceremony to retire Hall of Famer Bure’s jersey, the Canucks came out flying, leading 1-0 on the scoreboard and 11-0 in shots before the game was nine minutes old.
“It was a great performance, from the first minute to the last,” said Luongo, who was sporting the Canucks’ Superman shirt for player of the game. “I don’t even know why I’m wearing this … a ton of guys deserve it more than me in this locker room tonight. We really kept the puck in their zone and cycled and created some chances and were in there pretty much the whole game.”
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Known as the “Russian Rocket” for his speed, the 42-year-old Bure would have been happy with the Canucks’ tempo early as Daniel Sedin opened the scoring for Vancouver at 6:03 of the first period after a frenetic opening few minutes that saw Toronto goaltender James Reimer make a number of big saves.
Zack Kassian, Chris Higgins and Dan Hamhuis also scored for the Canucks, who outshot Toronto 47-21 three days after a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Vancouver.
“It was a terrible game for us,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “Probably the worst game we have played this year.”
With his team buzzing early in the first period, Luongo had to stay sharp at the other end of the ice.
“I was getting antsy, sitting out there for 20, 25 minutes (for the Bure ceremony) and the first 10 minutes of the game not getting any shots,” he said. “I had a lot of built-up energy.”