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Morrison's OT winner lifts Canucks past Flames

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Vancouver Canucks might

look back on their overtime win over the Calgary Flames as the

turning point of their season.

At least Brendan Morrison hopes so after scoring a power-play

goal with 2:53 left in the extra period to give Vancouver a 4-3

victory Saturday night.

The Canucks had just two wins in their last 10 games entering

the Northwest Division clash with the Flames.

"This was huge for us. We had a tough game in Chicago and have

really been struggling lately, we just haven't been on the same

page," Morrison said. "Tonight's win was a huge confidence

builder, but we know that we still have to get better."

Vancouver could easily have packed it in after giving up two

goals to the Flames early in the third period to fall behind 3-1.

But in contrast to their recent outings, the Canucks kept pressing

and were ultimately rewarded as they pulled to within one with 7:31

to play in regulation and sent the game to overtime by tying it

with 30 seconds remaining in the third period.

"This was our third game in four nights but if you look at the

effort we had in the third period it shows the type of mentality we

have, we just want to win and do whatever it takes," said

defenseman Sami Salo, who scored twice and assisted on the winner.

Salo who sent the game into overtime, beating Flames goalie

Miikka Kiprusoff with a slap shot, almost a carbon copy of his

first goal of the game.

In overtime, Salo was able to draw Kiprusoff out of his net with

the threat of a slap shot and just missed winning the game himself

after stepping around the sprawling goalie. Salo's shot rang off

the post, went off the back boards and popped into the slot for

Morrison on the other side of the net. Morrison was able to tap the

puck into the empty net as Kiprusoff scrambled to get back into the

play.

"That is the way the game goes sometimes," Kiprusoff said.

"Sometimes the bounces work for you and some nights, like tonight

they don't. I tried to challenge Salo, but the puck took a funny

bounce off the post and came off the boards right to their guy. It

happens."

The Canucks are just happy to get a lucky bounce for once.

"When you are playing well you can make errors and it doesn't

cost you the game. When you are playing like we have the last

couple of weeks it seems like every error you make winds up in the

back of your net," said Anson Carter, who also scored for the

Canucks. "Maybe this is a sign that things are changing for us,

that our luck is changing. But we have to stick with it, we were

coming off a win in Chicago that we needed for our confidence and

we stayed focussed tonight.

"It looked like the sky was falling a couple of weeks ago, but

now things are looking pretty good for us. We're on a two-game

winning streak."

Rookie defenseman Dion Phaneuf had scored at 3:40 of third

period to give the Flames a 2-1 lead. With Calgary on the power

play, Phaneuf took a pass from Andrew Ference at the blue line,

slid a couple of steps to his left and ripped a snap shot through

traffic that beat Vancouver goalie Alex Auld for his 10th of the

season.

Calgary captain Jarome Iginla scored less than a minute later,

his 17th of the season.

Calgary took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission as Stephane

Yelle opened the scoring 8 minutes into the game. With the Flames

on a power play, Yelle slipped undetected into the low slot and

tipped home a loose puck that got past Alex Auld.

Vancouver tied it 6 minutes into the second period on Salo's

first goal.

All four Vancouver goals came on the power play. The Canucks

went 3-for-10 with the man advantage, while the Flames were

3-for-6.Game notes
Calgary recalled D Richie Regehr from Omaha of the American

Hockey League prior to the game. Regehr, the younger brother of

Flames D Robyn Regehr, was called up to replace Bryan Marchment,

who injured his knee Friday night in a win over Toronto ...

Vancouver is a 6-10-4 in its own division this season, while the

Flames are 12-4-1 ... LW Wade Brookbank returned to the Vancouver

lineup after missing 10 games because of a concussion. RW Richard

Park was a healthy scratch for the first time this season, while D

Ed Jovanovski missed his fifth straight with a groin injury.