Ryan Kesler — playing for the first time in 20 games after suffering a broken foot — scored in his return to the lineup, Cory Schneider made 19 saves and the Vancouver Canucks defeated Phoenix 2-0,
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Ryan Kesler — playing for the first time in 20 games after suffering a broken foot — scored in his return to the lineup, Cory Schneider made 19 saves and the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 Monday night.
Kesler got the foot injury in his first game back after shoulder and wrist surgeries in the offseason.
Kesler scored at 7:26 of the first period on a rebound.
“Offensively, this could have been one of our best games this year, as far as the number of quality chances,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.
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Schneider picked up his fifth shutout of the season, tying Phoenix’s Mike Smith and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne for the league lead. It was his 11th consecutive start and his ninth career clean sheet.
Schneider and the Canucks had to kill off a penalty with just over a minute left in regulation when Kesler took a tripping penalty.
But Keith Yandle of the Coyotes missed a pass from Antoine Vermette and the puck went the distance for a short-handed, empty-net goal credited to Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis.
“They don’t draw pictures on the score sheet, so I’ll take credit for it,” Hamhuis said.
The Coyotes were outshot 41-19.
“I think this is what they call a system shutout,” Schneider said. “It was more about my teammates than me.”
Vancouver, which has won nine of its last 11, is four points ahead of second-place Minnesota in the Northwest Division.