Canucks fans sa­lute Luongo in win

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - GEMMA KARSTENS-SMITH

VAN­COU­VER Loui Eriks­son had a goal and two as­sists Sun­day, lead­ing his Van­cou­ver Canucks to a 5-1 win over the Flor­ida Pan­thers.

Ben Hut­ton, Markus Gran­lund, Brock Boeser and Jay Bea­gle, the lat­ter two into empty nets, also scored for Van­cou­ver (21-21-5). Frank Va­trano tal­lied the Pan­thers’ lone goal as Flor­ida (17-198) has now lost six games in a row.

Ja­cob Mark­strom stopped 23 of 24 shots for the Canucks and Roberto Luongo made 31 saves for the Pan­thers.

De­spite play­ing for the vis­i­tors, the for­mer Canucks net­min­der re­ceived rau­cous cheers of “Lou­uuu!” from the crowd ev­ery time he stopped the puck.

Van­cou­ver out­worked Flor­ida from the be­gin­ning, keep­ing the Pan­thers pinned in their own end for long stretches.

The work paid off 12:32 into the sec­ond pe­riod when Eriks­son opened the scor­ing.

The left-winger picked off a pass from Mike Hoff­man at the Pan­thers’ blue-line and drove into the of­fen­sive zone. Eriks­son fin­ished with a wrist shot in be­hind Luongo for his eighth goal of the year.

The Pan­thers re­sponded early in the third, just as Van­cou­ver’s Niko­lay Goldobin was re­leased from the box after a hook­ing penalty.

Us­ing a screen from for­mer Canuck Jared McCann, Va­trano popped a back­handed shot in past Mark­strom to tie the game.

Hut­ton put his team up again less than two min­utes later, flick­ing a snap­shot past Luongo. The Van­cou­ver de­fence­man had not scored in 30 games.

Boeser put away an empty-net­ter after Luongo was pulled with 2:27 to go in the game. Eriks­son was cred­ited with a helper on the play.

He added an­other as­sist when Bea­gle scored an empty-net goal with just 38 sec­onds left.

Gran­lund fin­ished up the scor­ing, putting a snap shot past Luongo with 11 sec­onds on the clock.

Canucks fans showed on Sun­day that they hadn’t for­got­ten — or for­given — what hap­pened when the two teams last played in mid-Oc­to­ber.

The Pan­thers con­tinue their Cana­dian road swing on Tues­day when they visit the Cana­di­ens in Mon­treal. The Canucks will be back in ac­tion on Wed­nes­day, host­ing the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers.

ARLEN RE­DEKOP

Flor­ida goal­tender Roberto Luongo played sev­eral sea­sons for the Canucks.

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