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Canucks take over top spot in West with 3-2 win

AP - Sports
Canucks take over top spot in West with 3-2 win
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Calgary Flames goalie Henrik Karlsson (35) looks on as Vancouver Canucks center Maxim Lapierre (40) celebrates …

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Andrew Ebbett scored at 3:58 of overtime and the Vancouver Canucks took over the top spot of the Western Conference with a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

With 107 points, the Canucks also tied the New York Rangers for most points in the NHL in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

Ebbett deflected in defenseman Sami Salo's shot from in front of the Calgary net.

The winger was playing his first game since January, when he broke his collarbone. He missed 35 games.

The Canucks earned their sixth straight win - all without injured scoring star Daniel Sedin (concussion) - and moved past the St. Louis Blues in the West. The Blues lost to the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

The Flames were eliminated from playoff contention.

Max Lapierre and Marc-Andre Gragnani also scored for Vancouver.

Olli Jokinen and Mike Cammalleri scored for the Flames, who squandered a 2-1 lead.

The Canucks went 0 for 2 on the power play and Flames went 1 for 2.

Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo returned after he missed Friday's game because of a stiff neck.

Calgary goaltender Henrik Karlsson made his first start since he suffered a knee injury in Vancouver on Dec. 4. It was only his second appearance since then. He last played while mopping up for Miikka Kiprusoff in one period Feb. 21 against Edmonton.

Vancouver led 1-0 after the first period and the score was tied 1-1 after the second.

Lapierre opened the scoring at 5:08 of the first as he took Henrik Sedin's pass off his skate and jammed it past Karlsson. It was Lapierre's second goal in two games.

With Lapierre still on the first line, Ebbett slid into the fourth line. Ebbett had not played since shattering his collarbone Jan. 7 in Boston. Despite his long absence, he came close to scoring with 11 seconds left in the first period but could not stuff in a rebound.

Moments later, Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis rang a shot off both posts.

Jokinen tied it at 1-1 on a power play at 5:38 of the second period as he put home a one-timer on a pass from Jarome Iginla. The odd-man situation came after Jannik Hansen made a rush into the Calgary zone but then decided to pass the puck back toward his own zone to help kill his club's penalty, but Iginla intercepted the puck and set up the goal.

Cammalleri gave the Flames a 2-1 lead just 51 seconds into the third period as he one-timed David Moss' pass behind Luongo from about 10 feet inside the blue line.

With just over 12 minutes left to play in the third, Luongo made a save on Tom Kostopoulos to keep the score close.

Gragnani tied it at 2-2 at 11:45 of the third as he slapped in a pass from Alex Burrows with Lapierre trying to set a screen in front of the net. The puck appeared to go in off Karlsson.

It was Gragnani's first goal as a Canuck. He was acquired near the close of the Feb. 27 trading deadline as part of the deal that sent Cody Hodgson to the Buffalo Sabres.

Notes: Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff needs two more games played for 600. All but 47 have come with the Flames. Before the Flames acquired him in December 2003, he was a third-stringer with San Jose. ... Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa missed his third straight game due to what the coaching staff calls maintenance days. ... With Ebbett back in the lineup, Dale Weise was a healthy scratch. ... Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault hopes defenseman Keith Ballard, out with a concussion and neck injury since early February, can play a couple of games before the regular season ends.

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