NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Minnesota
(Wednesday, February 14th)
Final Score: Vancouver 3, Minnesota 2 (OT)
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Sami Salo scored on a backhand 4:20 into the extra session, as a share of first place in the competitive Northwest Division was on the line, with the Vancouver Canucks edging the Minnesota Wild, 3-2, in overtime at the Xcel Energy Center.
Both teams entered this showdown with 66 points and were two back of Calgary for the division's top spot. The Flames temporarily gained sole possession of first place with Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Atlanta.
Salo finished off a 2-on-1 break by taking a feed from Matt Cooke and backhanding the puck just under the netminder's knee on the stick side for the game-winner with just 39.6 seconds left in overtime.
"Every year it's been like this, it's going to be a battle down the stretch," Salo said.
Daniel Sedin and Markus Naslund also scored for Vancouver, which has won three of its last four. Roberto Luongo blocked 30-of-32 shots in goal for Vancouver, which is also 14-12-2 on the road this season and will play five of its next six away from home.
Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra both had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who have split their last four games. In their most recent outing, the Wild erupted for four first-period goals before holding on for a 5-4 decision over Carolina Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center. Niklas Backstrom stopped 31-of-34 shots in the loss.
The Wild got back another weapon, as leading scorer Brian Rolston returned to the lineup after missing three consecutive games with a stomach flu.
Minnesota wrapped up a three-game homestand and still owns a splendid 20-6-3 mark as the host. The Wild will next play back- to-back road tests at Nashville and St. Louis.
"We've got to go on, there are a lot of games left," Gaborik said.
Naslund got the Canucks on the board 9:49 into the game on a power-play slap shot after rebounding his own shot in front of the goal.
Demitra tied the score at one on a slap shot 5:16 into the second, but Sedin answered on a slap shot of his own from the same distance 19 seconds later to put Vancouver back up by a goal.
Gaborik's wrist shot 11:43 into the second tied the score at two, where it remained until Salo's overtime game-winner.
The Wild have taken four of the six meetings between these rivals in 2006-07 and five of the last seven overall encounters. The Canucks broke a four-game losing streak as the visitor in this series, including losses in all three games held in Minnesota this season.
02/15 00:49:10 ET