for this game

Naslund lifts Canucks to first place in Northwest Division

Mar 2, 2007 - 6:59 AM
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Markus Naslund was in the right place at the right time for the surging Vancouver Canucks.

Naslund snapped a third-period tie and Daniel Sedin scored twice as the Canucks halted a two-game slide with a 4-3 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Improving to 20-4-4 in their last 28 games, the Canucks defeated the Coyotes for the eighth time in nine encounters and took over sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division from the Calgary Flames.

"I know there's the thinking out there that we're going to come out against a team that's not in the playoffs and just walk all over them," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "But it's not that simple. ... Phoenix played hard tonight."

"It's the sign of a good team to find a way to win when you don't start off too good," Naslund said. "We have to be ready. Minnesota (is up next on Sunday) and if we come out like this, we'll lose the game."

Naslund netted his 21st tally of the campaign with 4:14 remaining by shooting Brent Sopel's centering pass from the slot past netminder Curtis Joseph.

"We took over and we deserved to win," Naslund said. "It was a game that over 60 minutes we didn't play as well as we have to. But it's still good to get the two points."

Sopel made an immediate impact in his return to the Canucks after being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. He spent six seasons with Vancouver from 1998-2004.

"I came to this team just to help out anyway I can and if it's chipping in like I did there, I'll take it," Sopel said. "I saw (Naslund) coming down the wing and I just tried to get it to it. And he's skilled. He finds it and puts it in."

Shane Doan gave Phoenix a 3-2 lead at 2:54 of the final session before Sedin completed his fifth multi-goal game of the season nearly three minutes later, redirecting twin-brother Henrik's shot inside the left goalpost.

Despite Jan Bulis' tripping penalty, Jeff Cowan snapped a 1-1 tie for Vancouver with his first goal of season, a shorthanded breakaway tally at 7:54 of the second period. It was his first goal in 52 games dating to March 14, 2006.

"(Assistant Rick) Bowness has been telling me I was gonna get a chance on the penalty kill, and the last three games, I have," Cowen said. "I just went out there and got lucky on the blocked shot. I went out to the point and got a breakaway."

Bill Thomas completed his first career multi-goal game just 66 seconds later on a power play when he shot the puck inside the left goal post from the doorstep past netminder Roberto Luongo.

After Daniel Sedin opened the scoring on a power play at 5:04 of the first period, Thomas netted his first tally of the campaign with the man advantage nearly six minutes later.

"I thought I played good," Thomas said. "I got some power-play time. Both my goals were on the power play. They turned out to be pretty big goals."

Henrik Sedin collected a pair of assists and Luongo made 21 saves for the Canucks, who have won seven of their last nine contests.

Playing his 900th career game, Joseph stopped 25 shots for Phoenix, which has dropped six of its last seven road contests.

"It's disappointing when you have a 3-2 lead in the third but you've got to give them a lot of credit," Doan said. "They're probably playing as good as any team in the league in being able to come back."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1 1 3
    VANCOUVER 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) DANIEL SEDIN 28 (HENRIK SEDIN, ROBERTO LUONGO)
    5:04
    PHO - (PP) BILL THOMAS 1 (SHANE DOAN, TRAVIS ROCHE) 10:52
    2ND PRD: VAN - (SH) JEFF COWAN 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:54
    PHO - (PP) BILL THOMAS 2 (YANICK LEHOUX, JEF

    Mar 2 12:33 AM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 3
    VANCOUVER 4
    3RD PRD: VAN - MARKUS NASLUND 21 (BRENT SOPEL, BRYAN SMOLINSKI) 15:06

    Coyotes vs. CanucksMar 2 12:25 AM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 3
    VANCOUVER 3
    3RD PRD: VAN - (PP) DANIEL SEDIN 29 (HENRIK SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 5:46

    Coyotes vs. CanucksMar 2 12:08 AM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 3
    VANCOUVER 2
    3RD PRD: PHO - SHANE DOAN 21 (STEVEN REINPRECHT) 2:54

    Coyotes vs. CanucksMar 2 12:04 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1 2
    VANCOUVER 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) DANIEL SEDIN 28 (HENRIK SEDIN, ROBERTO LUONGO)
    5:04
    PHO - (PP) BILL THOMAS 1 (SHANE DOAN, TRAVIS ROCHE) 10:52
    2ND PRD: VAN - (SH) JEFF COWAN 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:54
    PHO - (PP) BILL THOMAS 2 (YANIC

    Mar 1 11:41 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 2
    VANCOUVER 2
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) BILL THOMAS 2 (YANICK LEHOUX, JEFF TAFFE) 9:00

    Coyotes vs. CanucksMar 1 11:21 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    VANCOUVER 2
    2ND PRD: VAN - (SH) JEFF COWAN 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:54

    Coyotes vs. CanucksMar 1 11:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 1 1
    VANCOUVER 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) DANIEL SEDIN 28 (HENRIK SEDIN, ROBERTO LUONGO)
    5:04
    PHO - (PP) BILL THOMAS 1 (SHANE DOAN, TRAVIS ROCHE) 10:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO 6

    Mar 1 10:48 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    VANCOUVER 1
    1ST PRD: PHO - (PP) BILL THOMAS 1 (SHANE DOAN, TRAVIS ROCHE) 10:52

    Coyotes vs. CanucksMar 1 10:35 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    VANCOUVER 1
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) DANIEL SEDIN 28 (HENRIK SEDIN, ROBERTO LUONGO)
    5:04

    Coyotes vs. CanucksMar 1 10:19 PM