Jaffray's first goal of season snaps Canucks' slump

Sat Dec 6, 2008 1:50am EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jason Jaffray scored his first goal of the season to help the Vancouver Canucks snap their slump with a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Jaffray scored at 3:52 in the second period on assists from Jannik Hansen and Darcy Hordichuk as the Canucks (15-10-2) snapped a four-game losing streak.

It was the third career goal for the 27-year-old, who has played in just three games this season and was recalled from the American Hockey League on November 30.

The game started off with fireworks as the teams engaged in a skirmish early in the first period.

"I have a hard time to accept their coaching staff always talking to (the referees)," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire told reporters. "I just feel at times it pays off."

Kevin Bieksa's power-play goal in the first period helped Vancouver establish control over their Northwest Division opponent before Mikko Koivu replied 27 seconds into the second period.

It was the 10th goal of the season for Minnesota wing Koivu, who extended his career-high points streak to seven games.

Rookie goalie Cory Schneider got his first win for Vancouver by stopping 16 shots. The Canucks had struggled defensively as of late, and are 1-4-0 since losing starting goaltender Roberto Luongo to a groin injury on November 22.

Minnesota has managed just three goals against Vancouver in three meetings this year.   Continued...

<p>Vancouver Canucks right wing Steve Bernier (18) tries to deflect a shot past Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom (L) during the first period of their NHL game in the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota December 5, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Miller</p>