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Howard, Gustavsson combine for shutout as Red Wings beat Canucks

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings did something they haven't done in over 12 years: Get a combined shutout from two goalies.

Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson combined for the white washing and left winger Justin Abdelkader scored both goals in Detroit's 2-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Howard made 16 saves in two periods after Gustavsson stopped eight shots before leaving after the first period because he felt dizzy. Howard gets credit for his 19th career shutout.

It was the Red Wings' first tandem shutout since Oct. 27, 2001, when Dominik Hasek and Manny Legace shut out Nashville 1-0.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Gustavsson, a member of the Swedish Olympic Team, was fine after the game.

"Obviously anytime you get a shutout, goaltending has to be good and tonight it was Monster (Gustavsson) in the first and Howie in the second and third," Abdelkader said. "So it was a good job to find a way to win here tonight especially on back-to-back nights and being our third game in four days."

The Red Wings lost in overtime, 6-5, on Sunday afternoon in Washington after beating the Capitals 4-3 in a shootout in Detroit on Friday night.

Eddie Lack made 28 saves for Vancouver, which lost its fourth straight and has struggled to score goals.

"The way he's keeping us in games, you want to score some goals (for) him," Canucks right winger Jannik Hansen said. "We just couldn't find a way to get it done tonight."

Vancouver coach John Tortorella returned from his 15-day suspension, without pay, for charging the Calgary Flames locker room following the first period of a game Jan. 18 that included several fights. He missed six games, in which Vancouver went 1-4-1.

He was contrite after his team's game-day skate on Monday morning but his usual self after the game.

"I thought our best forward was (left winger and role player) David Booth, which is good for him but not good for us," Tortorella said.

Abdelkader opened the scoring 1:08 into the second period when his harmless-looking wrist shot from above the left circle eluded Lack.

"Gus (right winger Gustav Nyquist) made a good effort to get the puck behind the net and Z (captain and center Henrik Zetterberg) kind of controlled it and found me in the slot," Abdelkader said. "And just trying to get it through on net and the goalie was screened a little bit and I knew I had to get it high so you know it was a big goal for us."

Abdelkader added his second goal, and eighth of the season, into an empty net in the final minute that was a power-play goal.

Lack stopped Red Wings center Darren Helm on a shorthanded breakaway and the rebound with a little under three minutes left.

Vancouver didn't get its first shot of the third period until 5:36 remained and it had only three for the period.

Lack made a big stop on Red Wings left winger Tomas Tatar's point-blank backhand shot with a little over 9:20 left in the third period.

Howard stopped Booth's penalty shot 4:41 into the middle period. Lack stopped Detroit left winger Drew Miller on a shorthanded breakaway with about 3:35 left in the first period.

NOTES: Detroit RW Gustav Nyquist was named to the Swedish Olympic Team as a replacement for fellow Red Wings RW Johan Franzen, who won't be able to play due to post-concussion syndrome. ... Vancouver obtained D Raphael Diaz from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for RW Dale Weise earlier Monday. ... The Red Wings were without Franzen, C Pavel Datsyuk (leg) and C Stephen Weiss (groin). ... Canucks C Henrik Sedin returned after missing six games with an upper-body injury. ... Vancouver C Ryan Kesler is from the Detroit-area suburb of Livonia, and Canucks LW David Booth is from Detroit and played at Michigan State. ... Detroit played its last home game before the Olympic break. The Red Wings' next game at Joe Louis Arena is March 6. ... The Canucks play the Bruins in Boston on Tuesday, while the Red Wings play the Panthers in Florida on Thursday.
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