The streaking Vancouver Canucks got off to a fast start to climb up to first place in the NHL standings with a battling 2-1 road win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
The Canucks (40-16-6) have won six of their last seven games and moved past the idle Detroit Red Wings to take a one-point lead in the standings, while the loss snapped New Jersey's (35-21-4) four-game winning streak.
Vancouver back-up goalie Corey Schneider needed to be in excellent form as the Canucks were out-shot 31-16 by New Jersey to earn his seventh consecutive victory.
"That's my job," Schneider told reporters. "To be ready when called upon, when guys need a rest and everyone else is tired. We were definitely tired out there but we expected that.
"Fortunately, we're a pretty good team when we get a two-goal lead. We gave one back, but we held on from there."
Aaron Rome gave the Canucks a 1-0 first period lead and Mason Raymond doubled the advantage early in the second, snapping a shot just inside the far post past a screened Martin Brodeur in the Devils goal.
"We talked about supporting each other a little more and making some closer five-foot passes and David (Booth) drove hard and I came in late and another guy drove the net to draw their defender back," Raymond said.
"I got a good shot off and it went in."
Devils winger David Clarkson replied in the second period to halve the deficit but the home side could not find a game-tying goal.
"It was a disappointing result," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "Not disappointing in how we played. I think, if anything, the first 10 minutes we kind of stood around and watched a little bit.
"Once we got past that, I thought the rest of the game we really controlled a lot of the play. That's how you have to play a team like that."
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by John O'Brien)