NHL: Vancouver 5, Minnesota 0

April 8, 2011 at 12:38 AM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 8 (UPI) -- Ryan Kesler's hat trick and Roberto Luongo's perfect goaltending Thursday lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-0 triumph over Minnesota.

The Canucks won for the 13th time in 16 games, rolling toward the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the entire NHL. Vancouver will visit Calgary Saturday to conclude what has been the best regular season in team history.

Kesler has been a big part of that season and his three goals Thursday gave him 40 for the campaign, the first time he has reached that mark in his seven-year career. He scored on the power play with 28 seconds left in the opening period to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead, added a goal early in the second and finished off his hat trick 2:18 into the third.

Mason Raymond scored the other two Vancouver goals, giving him 15 for the season.

Luongo made 28 saves while recording his fourth shutout of the season and the 55th of his career.

Niklas Backstrom gave up five goals on 23 shots before being relieved by Jose Theodore. The Wild lost their third straight.

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