VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Roberto Luongo doesn't have an explanation why the Minnesota Wild can't score against him when he is home in Vancouver.
Luongo made 25 saves, and the host Canucks beat the Wild 2-1 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight win.
Luongo's home shutout streak against the Wild ended at 228 minutes, 26 seconds but he held on for the win. He still hasn't lost a game in regulation this season (4-0-2).
"Whether it's a coincidence or what, I'll take it," Luongo said of his success against Minnesota. "They're divisional games so they're important. We have a pretty good streak against them."
Luongo, who is splitting time in goal this season with Cory Schneider, lowered his goals-against average to 1.45, behind only Ottawa's Craig Anderson.
"They're making a lot of key saves for us when we're down or in tight games," Vancouver forward Jannik Hansen said.
Kevin Bieksa and Hansen scored for Vancouver (8-2-2).
Devin Setoguchi had the only goal for the Wild (6-6-1), whose two-game winning streak was snapped. Minnesota hasn't won in Vancouver since Jan. 31, 2009 (0-9-2).
It was just the seventh goal the Wild have scored in six games.
"We got a find a way to score," forward Zach Parise said. "That's too many games of just getting one. We've got to generate offense, and it's not good enough right now."
Darcy Kuemper stopped 28 shots in a losing effort in his NHL debut. Kuemper was called up because Josh Harding was dealing with the effects of medication he takes for multiple sclerosis.
Kuemper had a 1.79 goals-against average and .938 save percentage with the Houston Aeros of the AHL.
"It was a hard-fought, gritty game with two teams battling for every inch on the ice," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had opportunities to make it 3-1. Their goaltender made some good saves and their players made some key defensive plays and took us right down to the wire."
Bieksa gave Vancouver a 1-0 at the tail end of a power play.
Zack Kassian rushed past a defender along the right boards and centered the puck to Bieksa, who beat Kuemper low with a one-timer at 11:33 of the first.
"I didn't think the big man would find me, but he's got some soft hands on him and he did," Bieksa said of Kassian's pass.
Luongo made his first big stop about 13 minutes into the game during a Minnesota power play. He kicked out his right pad to rob Charlie Coyle's one-timer from the slot.
Mason Raymond and Keith Ballard combined to set up Hansen's third of the season at 10:03 of the second. Raymond began the play by skating through three Minnesota defenders before feeding Ballard along the left boards. Ballard spotted Hansen at the right side of the net, and the Danish right wing beat Kuemper glove side, off the crossbar and in.
Continue reading this story on the...