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Coyotes 1, Canucks 0

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Center Antoine Vermette scored his sixth goal in five games this season against Vancouver late in the first period, and it stood as the game-winner as the Phoenix Coyotes squeaked by the Canucks 1-0 in a battle of struggling offensive-challenged teams.

Goaltender Mike Smith made 23 saves for his 27th career shutout and third of the season -- all of them coming in his last 12 starts. Goalie Eddie Lack, taking over the Vancouver net after Roberto Luongo was traded to Florida early in the day, made 31 saves, several of the spectacular variety, but his teammates came up empty on the other end.

The Coyotes snapped a four-game losing streak and moved into ninth place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot.

The Canucks are now 1-9-1 in their last games, a 1-0 decision against St. Louis on Feb. 26. Vancouver scored 15 goals over that 11-game span but are still two points behind Dallas and one behind both Phoenix and the Winnipeg Jets, who have played one more game than Phoenix.

The Coyotes played with five defensemen most of the way. Veteran Derek Morris left the game about seven minutes into play with an upper body injury and did not return.

Both teams were active on the eve of the trade deadline. The eight-year Luongo era in Vancouver ended leaving the 26-year-old Lack as the No. 1 goalie the rest of the way.

The Coyotes dealt little-used defenseman David Runblad to the Chicago Blackhawks and acquired veteran forward Martin Erat from the Washington Capitals for forward Chris Brown and defenseman Rostislav Klesla.

The Coyotes had one more shot than the Canucks in the first period, and that extra one was the difference.

Center Brandon McMillan won a race to the puck behind the Canucks goal and found winger Shane Doan with a centering pass. Lack got just enough of Doan's shot to keep it out of the net, but Vermette was waiting to bang home the loose puck at 17:04. Vermette lead the Coyotes with 22 goals and more than a fourth of them have come against the Canucks.

In his past nine games against Vancouver, Vermette has nine goals.

Phoenix appeared to double its lead with 8:13 left to play when winger Mikkel Boedker scored after a wild sequence in front of the net. But Vermette was called for being in the crease and the goal was wiped out.

NOTES: Long the subject of trade rumors with his bloated 12-year, $64 million contract signed in 2009, Luongo was stunned to be dealt -- and back to the Florida Panthers -- along with F Steven Anthony for G Jacob Markstrom and C Shawn Matthias. "I was not expecting it. Go figure, right?" Luongo said before departing. "I didn't know what was going on at all. I was actually taking a nice pregame nap getting ready to play. This is good for myself and my family, but I'm a little sad to be leaving Vancouver." ... Vancouver F Daniel Sedin will be out for an extended period after suffering a left leg injury in Sunday's 4-2 loss to Ottawa when he was hit on the end boards by Senators defenseman Marc Methot. "He's out for a while," Vancouver coach John Tortorella said. The Canucks recalled F Darren Archibald from Utica of the American Hockey League to replace Sedin. ... Vancouver made another trade Tuesday, acquiring Notre Dame F Jeff Costello from Ottawa for D Patrick Mullen, the son of 16-year NHL veteran and 500-goal scorer Joe Mullen. ... Also looking to make a major move before Wednesday's trade deadline, the Coyotes shipped D David Rundblad and D Mathieu Briesbois to the Chicago Blackhawks for a second-round pick next summer.

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