Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller, right, checks Detroit Red Wings’ Moritz Seider, of Germany, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, March 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Nedeljkovic posts 43-save shutout, Red Wings blank Vancouver Canucks 1-0

Detroit snaps six-game winless drought

Alex Nedeljkovic made 43 saves and the Detroit Red Wings snapped a six-game winless drought with a 1-0 victory over the host Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

The shutout was Nedeljkovic’s second of the season and the fifth of his career.

Pius Suter scored the game’s lone goal midway through the second period, with help from Vladislav Namesnikov.

Thatcher Demko stopped 34 shots for the Canucks (30-25-7).

It’s a tough result for Vancouver, who came into the game sitting just two points out of a playoff spot.

The win gives Detroit (25-29-7) the sweep of the season series after the Red Wings beat the Canucks 3-1 back on Oct. 16.

Vancouver pushed in the third, outshooting the visiting side 14-4 across the period and pulling Demko with 2:23 left on the game clock.

Despite the extra attacker, the Canucks failed to find the equalizer.

Vancouver nearly tied things up ahead of the second intermission when Conor Garland found himself alone deep in Detroit territory. He put a backhanded shot on net but couldn’t get it up and over Nedeljkovic’s pad.

The Red Wings opened the scoring 8:09 into the second moments after killing off their first penalty of the night.

Canucks captain Bo Horvat had a pass picked off in front of the Detroit net and Vladislav Namestnikov streaked up the ice before slicing a pass to Suter. Suter attempted to send the puck back to his teammate but instead hit the stick of a diving Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes, sending the puck deflecting through Demko’s legs.

The goal was Suter’s 12th of the season.

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Vancouver went 0-for-3 with the man advantage on Thursday and Detroit was scoreless on its lone power play.

Demko was forced to make some big saves to keep the score knotted at 0-0 through the first.

The most spectacular stop came with about 30 seconds left in the period when rookie Lucas Raymond sent a wrist shot flying toward the net. Demko dived sideways and knocked the puck out of the air with his glove.

The Canucks continue their homestand Saturday when they host the Calgary Flames. The Red Wings close out a four-game homestand against the Seattle Kraken the same night.

NOTES: Star centre Elias Pettersson returned to the Canucks lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with an undisclosed upper-body injury. … J.T. Miller saw his 13-game point streak snapped. The Vancouver forward notched 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) across the stretch, dating back to Feb. 12. … Red Wings defenceman Nick Leddy was a healthy scratch. … Former Canucks defenceman Troy Stecher played his first game as a visitor to Rogers Arena. The native of Richmond, B.C., signed with the Red Wings as a free agent in 2020.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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