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Canucks Squeak By Coyotes


The playoff-bound Phoenix Coyotes are glad they've seen the last of goalie Garth Snow this season.

Snow, who blanked the Coyotes 3-0 in their last meeting, stopped 22 shots to extend his personal shutout streak against the Coyotes to 154 minutes, 46 seconds. He helped the Vancouver Canucks to a 1-0 victory on Monday night. The goalless streak goes back to the second period of a 3-3 tie on Dec. 6.

"They're a tough team to play against. They've got some talent," said Snow, when asked if he'd like to face the Coyotes more often. "Those are good players and whenever you play against special players like them, you try to get pumped up."

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  • The shutout was Snow's fifth of the season and eighth of his career.

    He made a game-saving stop with 1:04 left when Robert Reichel set up Jeremy Roenick for a one-timer in the slot. The shot hit Snow on the left shoulder.

    "I think Snowsy's got our number," said Roenick, the last Coyote player to beat Snow. "He seems to play really, really well against us. We just weren't able to capitalize. He's got our number. When a goaltender has confidence against a team, it's hard to generate any offense."

    Rookie Peter Schaefer scored the lone goal, on a breakaway with 6:58 left in the second period, as the Canucks won back-to-back games for the first time since Christmas, and for only the fourth time this season.

    As well, the Canucks avoided being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Vancouver is in last place in the Western Conference with a 22-41-11 record.

    Ed Jovanovski, from his own end, set up the goal, sending a pass up the middle that hit Schaefer in full stride crossing the red line. Schaefer then did the rest.

    Splitting Coyotes defenders Teppo Numminen and Deron Quint at the blue line, Schaefer broke in alone. With Quint hooking him from behind, Schaefer faked right and cut left, slipping the puck between the oalpost and goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov's outstretched pad.

    The Coyotes, who entered the night on a 5-1-2 roll, failed to pad their four-point edge on the idle fifth-place Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

    While crediting Snow for his play, Coyotes coach Jim Schoenfeld complained his club lacked a killer instinct.

    "We have to play with a much sharper emotional edge than we did," said Schoenfeld. "Late in the game we tried to turn it on a little bit but it should be turned on for the entire game. If this is our playoff mode, it'll be an early exit."

    The Coyotes blew a number of chances.

    Eight minutes into the third period Reichel, leading a 2-on-1 break, centered a pass to Keith Tkachuk. While being hooked from behind by Vancouver's Donald Brashear, Tkachuk got a weak shot off that dinged the post.

    Late in the second period, Tkachuk, from behind the net, set up Roenick, who had an open net. But the pass went through Roenick's legs.

    The Coyotes' anemic power-play statistically the NHL's second worst went 0-for-3.

    Shtalenkov made 19 stops to keep the game close.

    While lying on his stomach, Shtalenkov foiled Schaefer, who failed to flip the puck over him from in close three minutes into the second period.

    Two minutes later, Markus Naslund, the Canucks' leading scorer, was set up all alone to the right of the net, but couldn't get a shot off as Shtalenkov poked the puck away.

    "It's disappointing," said Roenick. "But don't take anything away from the way they played tonight. They played sound defensively and their goaltender came up real big. ... It's no fun losing, especially to a team that's not going to make the playoffs."

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