Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, front, of Sweden, loses his balance as New York Islanders’ Anders Lee skates into him during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Lehner posts 4th shutout as Isles blank Canucks 4-0

Vancouver drops third game in a row

VANCOUVER — Goalie Robin Lehner stymied a hungry Vancouver Canucks offence on Saturday, leading the New York Islanders to a 4-0 victory.

Lehner stopped all 36 of Vancouver’s shots to earn his fourth shutout of the season.

Jacob Markstrom put up 20 saves for the Canucks (26-28-7).

Casey Cizikas, Ryan Pulock, Anthony Beauvillier and Cal Clutterbuck all scored for the Islanders (36-18-7).

The defeat extends the Canucks’ losing streak to three games as the team battles for a wild-card spot in the tight Western Conference.

Cizikas opened the scoring 4:48 into the first period on Saturday, corralling a bouncing puck and tapping it behind Markstrom.

The 27-year-old centre has five goals in his last six games.

Abbotsford native Devon Toews registered a helper on the play, extending his point streak to five games. Saturday marked the rookie defenceman’s first NHL game in Vancouver.

The Islanders struck again at 14:05 in the first after Pulock was tripped by Vancouver’s Bo Horvat, drawing a delayed penalty.

New York pulled Lehner and took advantage with the extra attacker, patiently shuffling the puck around the edge of the Vancouver zone until Pulock got it at the top of the face-off circle and sent a rocket of a slapshot soaring over Markstrom’s left shoulder.

The Vancouver crowd expressed their displeasure with the tripping call, chanting “ref you suck!” after the Islanders took the 2-0 lead.

Beauvillier added another marker for the Islander 2:34 into the third period, finishing a tic-tac-to play by popping the puck up past Markstrom from the slot.

Clutterbuck added an empty-net goal with 1:14 seconds left in the game.

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The Canucks’ best chance of the night came on a power play midway through the second frame after Brock Nelson was called for holding.

A shot from Ben Hutton clanked off the left post and the puck ricocheted off Lehner before New York defenceman Scott Mayfield scooped it off the goal line.

The Islanders goalie now has three shutouts in his last 19 games and 12 across his NHL career.

Saturday marked the eighth time this season Vancouver has been held off the scoreboard.

The Canucks quest for a playoff spot will continue in Vancouver on Monday when they battle the Anaheim Ducks.

The Islanders host the Flames on Tuesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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