VANCOUVER, CANADA — Roberto Luongo made 20 saves for his career-high eighth shutout of the season, Ryan Kesler scored on a second-period power play and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Kings, 1-0, on Thursday night.
Luongo faced one fewer shot all game than he did in the first period in a 46-save, 4-1 win over Calgary on Tuesday night. The Kings fired only 13 shots through two periods -- four fewer than Luongo saw the first 10 minutes against the Flames.
With Anze Kopitar in the penalty box for holding Mats Sundin behind the net, Kesler -- honored as the Canucks' MVP in a ceremony before the game -- banged in a rebound of a hard shot from Sundin at the top of the faceoff circle. It was Kesler's career-best 26th goal and 59th point of the season.
Luongo did get an early break when Kings captain Dustin Brown shot wide of an empty net on a rebound just three minutes into the game. Luongo made his best save with 6:39 left, throwing out his glove to get a piece of Alexander Frolov's hard shot from the high slot off the rush to preserve the 1-0 lead.
At the other end, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick faced more -- and harder -- chances among his 27 saves. He shot out the left pad to deny Rick Rypien on a breakaway at the end of a power play, and sprawled to rob Kyle Wellwood in tight.
The Canucks moved two points ahead of idle Calgary atop the Northwest Division, but the Flames still control their own destiny in the race for the third seeding in the Western Conference, and can clinch both by matching Vancouver over their final two games.