It's been three years since Mike Santorelli put up his career-high 20-goal campaign as a member of the Florida Panthers. On Sunday, he showed he's got the ability to reach those heights again.
The 27-year-old Vancouver-native, who managed just two goals in all of last season split between the Panthers and Winnipeg Jets, equaled that total alone against the Flames scoring twice – including the netting the overtime game-winner – to propel the Canucks to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
With just under two minutes left in the overtime session, Santorelli took a perfect pass at the top of the Flames crease from Kevin Bieksa and managed to tip the puck past Flames' netminder Joey MacDonald to extend Vancouver's win streak to two games.
David Booth, Jannik Hansen and Dale Weise also tallied for the Canucks, who improved to 2-1-0 on the season. Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan and David Jones had the goals for the Flames, who dropped to 1-0-2.
After Hansen scored at 5:01 of the third period to bring the Canucks back to within a goal at 3-2, Santorelli potted his first of the night taking a perfect pass from Henrik Sedin on a two-on-one and beating the Flames' goaltender between the pads to even up the game.
The Canucks, who opened the scoring in the game before giving up three straight goals, looked like they might escape with a regulation win after Weise scored his first of the season with just under four minutes remaining in the third period but the Flames managed to pull even thanks to Jones' marker with 19 seconds left setting the stage for Santorelli's overtime heroics.
Eddie Lack, making his first career NHL start, made 32 saves on 36 shots in the victory. MacDonald finished with 23 saves on 28 shots.
The Canucks return to Rogers Arena on Tuesday for the start of a three-game home stand beginning with a visit from Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils.
LONG ROAD TO 200: It's taken David Booth a lot longer than he would have liked to reach the 200 career points mark but he finally managed to hit that elusive milestone on Sunday with his first goal of the season in the first period. He hit the mark in his 380th career NHL game. The goal was also Booth's first against an NHL netminder since the April 7, 2012 when he scored against Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk. His lone goal last season was into an empty net.
BUCKING THE TREND: Spotting the opposition a multi-goal lead isn't usually a recipe for success. Last season, the Canucks trailed by two-or-more goals on 16 occasions and only managed to come back and win once (1-13-2).
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS: Mike Santorelli wasn't the only Canuck to manage a first in tonight's game with his first goal in a Vancouver uniform. Goaltender Eddie Lack also started in his first career game and picked up his first career win while defenceman Ryan Stanton collected his first career NHL point with the second assist on Santorelli's overtime winner.
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