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Murray makes 27 saves, Penguins beat Canucks 3-0

Murray makes 27 saves, Penguins beat Canucks 3-0

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 12, 2017 at 12:15 a.m.

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins had too much firepower for Vancouver on Saturday night, even with an outstanding performance from Canucks goalie Ryan Miller.

Matt Murray made 27 saves and Pittsburgh pelted Miller with 47 shots on goal, helping the Penguins beat the Canucks 3-0.

Jake Guentzel, Ian Cole and Conor Sheary scored for the Penguins, who have won five straight, including a 3-2 shootout win on Friday in Edmonton. They are in sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division ahead of Columbus.

The Canucks took another hit to their already bleak playoff outlook. With St. Louis beating the New York Islanders 4-3 earlier Saturday, the Canucks are 10 points back for the second wild card in the Western Conference.

Miller made a season-high 45 saves.

"Ryan Miller played fantastic tonight," Cole said. "You see how dominant of a goaltender he can be. We had a ton of chances and sooner or later those are going to go in eventually. We had to keep making it hard on him, which we did."

Miller shrugged off any frustration about losing despite a solid performance.

"It's hockey. Sometimes you play well enough to win and you don't get it. You have to kind of accept that's part of it," Miller said. "You try your best whenever you are on the ice and continue to battle and see what can happen. It was a 1-0 game. It could have turned at any point."

About eight minutes into the game, the Canucks looked to have scored first, with Daniel Sedin's corner shot along the goal line ricocheting in off Michael Chaput's skate. However, it was called off on goaltender interference following a coach's challenge.

"I was yelling even before they showed the replay to challenge just because the guy coming from the backside, takes my foot out from underneath me," Murray said. "It's subtle, but that's the rule, you can't nudge the goalie because that completely throws you off and gives you no chance to make the save, so I was 100 percent confident."

Miller was tremendous in the second period. He made a big save on Sheary from about six feet away on a delayed penalty call to the Canucks. On the ensuring power play, he stoned Phil Kessel while flat on his stomach and then stopped Sheary again off a 2-on-1 late in the period.

However, the Penguins did break through with 3:36 left in the second, as Cole's hard wrist shot near the blue line cleared traffic to beat Miller, who was being screened by Oskar Sundqvist. The shot clock tilted 35-19 in Pittsburgh's favor after two.

The Canucks had their second disallowed goal of the night early in the third when Sven Baertschi swatted in a puck while on the power play but had his stick deemed too high, much to the crowd's chagrin.

At the other end, Murray robbed Henrik Sedin on a point-blank shot from the slot to preserve Pittsburgh's lead in the third.

Miller made dazzling saves on Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz before Guentzel scored on a beautiful pass from behind the net from Sheary to give Pittsburgh some insurance with just over two minutes left.

NOTES: Chris Tanev and Markus Granlund missed the game with food poisoning, bringing D Alex Biega onto the fourth line and opening a slot for Philip Larsen. ... The Canucks recalled Fs Alex Grenier and Joseph Labate from the AHL with Brendan Gaunce (upper body) and Nikolay Goldobin (flu) out.


Penguins: Travel to Calgary to play Monday night.

Canucks: Host Boston on Monday night.

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