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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Neither Daniel nor Henrik Sedin were impressed with how they played against the Florida Panthers. Yet Vancouver's top-line twins were still good enough to pull out the win.
Daniel Sedin scored his second goal of the game from close range with 5:08 left, and Roberto Luongo made 41 saves as Vancouver beat Florida 2-1 on Monday night and bounced back from a shootout loss to Los Angeles in their first game on Saturday.
"I wouldn't say we were sharp, but it's still nice to get two and the win," said Daniel, who opened the scoring on a short rebound in the first period.
He put the Canucks ahead again on a late scramble. Tomas Vokoun made a headfirst dive save off Henrik at one side of the net, but the puck squirted out the other side and this time it was Daniel lunging forward to knock it over the goal line.
"Average at best," Henrik, who along with Mikael Samuelsson assisted on both goals, said of his play. "We didn't make the plays we wanted too, too many turnovers."
With the pretty passing plays not clicking yet like they did last season, when Henrik led the NHL with 112 points and was named league MVP, the twins got dirty. Daniel's first goal was from three feet out, and his second came from even closer.
"As a team we need to get guys in front of the net and work hard to get the goals," Daniel said. "Last year the goals came easy to us but if we need to win 2-1, that's fine with us."
Luongo made sure of that. A notorious slow starter in the past, the Canucks No. 1 goalie has stopped 72 of 74 shots his first two games despite significant style changes under new goalie coach Roland Melanson, who has him playing noticeably deeper in his crease.
"I'm not going to lie, it's nice to get off on the right foot," Luongo said. "But it's a long year."
That year has gotten off to a rocky start for the Panthers, who opened the season with a loss in Edmonton Sunday with a 3-2 loss despite outshooting the Oilers 28-13.
"We've strung together six good periods in two tough buildings and don't have anything to show for it, so that's a little disappointing, said coach Peter DeBoer. "I like the way we're playing, this is a tough game for us back to back with Vancouver waiting and fresh and we competed hard."
Rostislav Olesz scored the only Florida goal, and Vokoun finished with 33 saves after only stopping 10 in Edmonton the night before. He had to be sharp early, stopping Kevin Bieksa on tip-in tight and Guillaume Desbiens on a breakaway in the opening 90 seconds.
Vokoun kept it close with a handful of good saves in the second, and Olesz tied with 38 seconds left in the period with a harmless looking shot that caromed off two Canucks and past a surprised Luongo. But Luongo kept it tied with a sprawling left pad save off Shawn Matthias with 7:30 left, and made a nice pokecheck on David Booth in tight in the final minutes to preserve the win.
"That's as good a road game as we could play under the circumstances," DeBoer said. "To hold that team to two goals is a pretty good accomplishment. You should be able to come out with points. Unfortunately despite a bunch of chances, I thought Luongo had all the answers today.
Notes: Vancouver didn't have a power play, while the Panthers were 0-for-3. Canucks C Alex Bolduc sprained his ankle in the first game and was replaced on the fourth line by Jeff Tambellini, the son of Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini. ... Panthers LW Darcy Hordichuk played against his old team just five days after being traded away by the Canucks, but the tough guy hasn't even been to Florida yet. He joined the team in Edmonton for the first game Sunday.
|Andrew Alberts Hooking against Shawn Matthias|
|Mikael Samuelsson Slashing against Cory Stillman|
|Henrik Sedin Hooking against Stephen Weiss|