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Canadian Press
1/16/2007 10:20:12 PM


MONTREAL (CP) - Roberto Luongo made 30 saves to post his third shutout of the season Tuesday as the Vancouver Canucks won their fifth consecutive road game 4-0 over the slumping Montreal Canadiens.

Josh Green, Lukas Krajicek, Ryan Kesler and Jan Bulis scored for the surging Canucks (26-19-1), who have won nine of their last 10 games and moved past the idle Calgary Flames into first place in the Northwest Division.

Cristobal Huet made 20 saves in goal for the Canadiens (25-17-2), who have lost nine of their last 13 games and haven't scored a goal in two straight, drawing a chorus of boos from the sellout crowd of 21,273 at the Bell Centre throughout the third period.

The Canadiens have been outscored 14-3 in losing their last three games and have failed to score an even strength goal in nine of their last 10 periods, dating back to a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 11.

Conversely, the Canucks have scored 39 goals and allowed only 22 over their last 10 games, riding some incredible special teams play to the top of the division standings. Vancouver has killed off 50 of 53 penalties and has scored on 13 of 54 power-play opportunities over those 10 games.

The victory made it a triumphant return to the Bell Centre for Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, who coached the Canadiens from the start of the 1997 season until November of 2000 and was facing his old team for the first time.

The axe fell from Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau on Tuesday as he shuffled all his forward lines and finally lost patience with struggling winger Sergei Samsonov, sending him to the press box for the first time this season, but it was to no avail.

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