Vancouver 2, Chicago 1

Preview | Box Score | Recap

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker)—Markus Naslund keeps scoring goals, Todd Bertuzzi continues to collect points and the Vancouver Canucks carry on winning.

Naslund scored his NHL-best 37th goal and Bertuzzi extended his points streak to 11 games as the Canucks ran their unbeaten stretch to seven with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison assisted on Naslund’s goal and the Canucks improved to 20-4-2 when each member of the line registers at least a point.

The Canucks were leading, 1-0, when Naslund netted his league-leading 11th game-winning goal of the season. The All-Star left wing’s 33rd career game-winner moved him past Pavel Bure into first place on the franchise list.

Bertuzzi’s assist gave him five goals and eight assists during the longest active points streak in the NHL.

“It’s just nice to get the second goal for us,” Naslund said. “If you only have a one-goal lead late in a game and they have their goalie pulled, anything can happen.”

Trevor Linden added an assist for the Canucks, who are 4-0-3 since a 5-2 defeat to Detroit on January 24.

Dan Cloutier made 22 saves, but his shutout bid was spoiled by Mark Bell with just 42 seconds left. No Canucks goaltender has blanked the Blackhawks since Glen Hanlon on November 1, 1978.

“The puck was coming to the net and it took a few deflections,” Cloutier said. “I just tried to cover short side and then it bounced out front to one of their guys.”

The Blackhawks finished a 2-4-1 road trip.

“We played a pretty good game, we just didn’t bury our opportunities,” Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter said. “We had enough chances to get at least a point and then they got a lucky bounce on the second goal. … We are definitely still in it. There is a lot of hockey still left to play.”

Chicago remained two points behind Anaheim for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Meanwhile, Vancouver opened a seven-point cushion over Minnesota atop the Northwest Division.

“What I liked about it is we didn’t get away from our game plan,” Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. “When we got some breaks, we still stuck with it and shut them down, and that’s what you need to do in the playoffs.”

Trent Klatt opened the scoring at 15:12 of the second period. Darren Langdon assisted on the goal for his first point in 77 games.

Langdon outbattled defensemen Phil Housley and Jon Klemm for the puck in the slot and fed Mats Lindgren in the right faceoff circle. The Swede’s centering pass found Klatt alone at the left goalpost.

“I didn’t do any work. Mats and Darren deserve credit for that,” Klatt said. “Langer was getting cross-checked in front. He had two guys on him. I happened to be the high forward, so I was sitting there watching them do everything. I got the goal, but they should get the credit.”

Lindgren also won 11-of-12 faceoffs.

“They were the one line early on that got to the net,” Crawford said. “It was because of that we got our first goal.”

Bertuzzi had the puck just inside the blue line and dropped it to the streaking Naslund. After controling the puck, Naslund fired a quick wrister past goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and into the top right corner of the net to make it 2-0.

“We just weren’t good enough to win,” Thibault said. “A lot of teams are winning games 2-1, 3-2. It’s getting harder to score goals. I just try to do my job. I know we all want to score goals, we just need to keep plugging away and we’ll get them.”

Thibault made 15 of his 29 saves in the second period.

Related Articles

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Dan Cloutier Det 23 22