GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Cory Schneider knows that shutouts don't come much easier for goalies than the one he achieved in Vancouver's 5-0 rout of Phoenix on Friday night. In front of him, his teammates were masterful.
``It was one of the best games I've seen our team play,' Schneider said.
Schneider needed just 21 saves, most of them of the not-so-difficult variety. Still, it was his second shutout in a row and he has been in goal throughout Vancouver's three-game winning streak. The Canucks have outscored their opponents 10-1 in that span.
``We were pretty sound defensively tonight,' said Ryan Kesler, who had a goal and an assist. ``When we did have breakdowns, a couple there in the first period, Schneids was there. He's been there for the last three games for us. He's been our best player each and every night.'
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said Schneider ``didn't get a lot of work ... other than one quality chance that he got in the third on one of our turnovers.'
``He played a real solid game and made the saves when he had to,' Vigneault said.
The coach would not say whether he would stick with Schneider over Roberto Luongo when the Canucks play at San Jose Saturday night.
``I know who's going to play,' Vigneault said. ``I'm going to tell my goaltender tonight on the game so I've got to tell them before I tell you.'
In front of Schneider, the Canucks were masterful, particularly on defense.
``They might have had six or seven scoring chances that whole game,' Vigneault said, ``so I'm really happy with the way we played.'
Vancouver scored three goals in a 2:12 span early in the second period - by Kesler, Sami Salo and David Booth. Maxim Lapierre and Alexandre Burrows added third-period goals.
Phoenix's Mike Smith had 32 saves as the Canucks outshot the Coyotes 37-21. It was the most one-sided win for Vancouver and one-sided loss for Phoenix in the young season.
``Our execution was so far below normal it wasn't even a game,' Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. ``We killed a 5-on-3, but after that scrap it.'
Schneider and the Canucks won at Colorado 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Three of the goals came after Phoenix turnovers.
Vancouver dominated the first period, outshooting the Coyotes 16-4, several from close range, but Smith stopped them all.
The inevitable breakthrough came shortly after the second period began. Salo's fierce slap shot zipped by two skaters - one for each team - then bounced off the crossbar into the net for his fifth goal of the season to make it 1-0 5 minutes into the period.
Just 1:22 later, Kessler stole the puck from Phoenix's Raffi Torres and scored his fifth of the season unassisted on a breakaway at it was 2-0 6:33 into the period. The third goal, from just in front of the net by Booth with an assist from Kessler, made it 3-0 with 12:47 still to play in the second to the cheers of the large contingent of Vancouver fans among the crowd.
Later in the second, the Canucks had a two-man advantage for 1 1/2 minutes but failed to score. In one positive in the lopsided loss, Phoenix had five penalty kills.
In the final period, Lapierre took the puck away from Derek Morris to score, then a turnover by David Schlemko led to the goal by Burrows.
The Coyotes were coming off a 4-2 victory over Anaheim, but they were sluggish from the start and didn't reach double digits in shots until the final seconds of the second period.
Notes: Kyle Turris, who ended his holdout and signed by the Coyotes this week, skated with the team Friday and will be sent to the teams AHL Portland affiliate to work his way into hockey condition. ... The Coyotes end their three-game home stand Saturday against Dallas. ... Vancouver had a 6-0 win at Phoenix last season.
The Associated Press News Service
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