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game recap

Wild 5, Canucks 4, SO

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM

Associated Press

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Wild 5, Canucks 4, SO
Minnesota Wild 5, Vancouver Canucks 4

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Mikko Koivu scored the winning goal in a shootout as the Minnesota Wild recovered from a pair of rare blown leads in the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Thursday night.

After Trevor Linden matched Brent Burns' goal to keep the shootout alive, Koivu got Roberto Luongo moving to his right, then tucked a backhand into the open net on the other side, finally ending an unexpectedly crazy finish.

“It’s hard after a loss like that, even though it’s in a shootout; These types of games, where we can make up some ground, we got to win outright,” said Trevor Linden who was the only Canuck to score in the shootout. 

Minnesota also improved to 24-0-1 this season -- and 50-1-1 the past two seasons -- when leading after two periods, but it's a safe bet few came in this fashion.

Ryan Kesler and Alexander Edler scored 16 seconds apart early in the third period to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead. Kurtis Foster tied it on the power play and Marian Gaborik made it 4-3 with a great individual effort 2½ minutes later, but Edler tied it again for the Canucks with 2:44 left to play.

Stephane Veilleux scored the other two goals -- his first in 34 games -- and Niklas Backstrom made 22 saves through overtime, and two of three in the shootout, as the Wild moved six points ahead of the ninth-place Canucks in the Northwest Division.

“This is a resilient bunch and we can come back to work tomorrow and have a good practice and get ready for Saturday night. Guys are obviously disappointed tonight, but that’s the amazing thing about the game you come back tomorrow and start working on a new day,” said Linden.

Luongo finished with 26 saves through overtime as the Canucks failed in their bid to win consecutive games for the first time in a month, but are one point behind Colorado for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

“Obviously we need to win games here, that being said though I thought our guys battled really hard. We were down by two, and then down by one with not very much time left in the third and we found a way to time the game up,” said Vigneault.

After combining for just 20 shots and one goal through the first half of the game, the two usually tight-checking teams played a wild final 30 minutes featuring seven goals, three blown leads.

“I think the first two periods were really tight and we didn’t throw enough pucks at the net, the one goal we got was from hard work and throwing pucks at the net and getting bounces,” said Captain Markus Naslund.  “I think that’s the type of games it’s going to be now, there’s so much on the line, and playing against teams like Minnesota where you know they don’t give you much you got to try to get the puck to the net and get some bounces.”

After blowing their first lead, Foster tied it again with an unscreened power-play point shot that was deflected perfectly over Luongo by his own player. Gaborik then celebrated his 26th birthday with his 30th goal, cutting between Willie Mitchell and Sami Salo in the slot off a rush and snapping a low shot past Luongo's blocker.

But Edler tied it again, sneaking down and snapping the loose puck over the glove of Backstrom after Henrik Sedin tied up a faceoff in the Wild end.

Minnesota led 2-0 after Veilleux scored his second of the game with 7:15 left in the second period, but Brad Isbister closed the gap with 4:23 left in the second and Burns took a roughing penalty as the period expired.

Alexander Edler
Recorded three points, scoring two goals and adding an assist with a total TOI of 28:33.
Stephane Veilleux
Scored two goals to give his team a 2-0 lead in the second period.
Ryan Kesler
Netted the initial tying goal in the third period, recording a TOI of 20:14
Kesler walked into the slot and snapped a puck over Backstrom's glove just as Burns stepped back on the ice, and Edler blew a slap shot in off the goalie's glove on the next shift to give the Canucks their first lead.

Veilleux ended a 33-game goal drought with 6:14 left in the first period after a bad pinch by Edler led to a 3-on-2 break. The puck was thrown back to Veilleux trailing the rush and he walked down the middle, faked a slap shot, deked around a challenging Luongo as he went down, and tucked it in on the backhand as three Canucks tumbled comically into the crease.

Veilleux, who had just three assists since scoring his last goal on Nov. 28, added his second goal by driving to the net and deflecting a puck off the post, off Luongo and in.

These two teams meet again in Minnesota on Tuesday, as Coach Alain Vigneault and his team look to take the final steps in turning their season around.

"We’ve gotten points in 5 of 6 games and tonight they got two fortunate bounces there, so to battle back against a team that plays so well defensively is a very positive sign, and for two periods we didn’t give that team a lot. I think we’re slowly but surely turning the corner here,” said Vigneault.

Game Notes: Mitchell returned after missing 10 games with a stress fracture in a vertebra. Wild D Kim Johnsson was back after missing Tuesday's loss in Edmonton with the flu. The Canucks started the season 9-0-2 within the Northwest Division they won last season, but were 1-5-1 in the past seven coming into this game.
scoring summary
1st Period
Stephane Veilleux (5) ASST: Pavol Demitra (24), Todd Fedoruk (7)
1 - 0 MIN
2nd Period
Stephane Veilleux (6) ASST: Branko Radivojevic (7), Nick Schultz (10)
2 - 0 MIN
Brad Isbister (4) ASST: Alexandre Burrows (13)
2 - 1 MIN
3rd Period
Ryan Kesler (14) ASST: Ryan Shannon (1), Alexander Edler (9)
2 - 2 Tie
Alexander Edler (4) ASST: Matt Cooke (8)
3 - 2 VAN
Kurtis Foster (6) ASST: Kim Johnsson (18), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (37)
3 - 3 Tie
Marian Gaborik (30) ASST: Keith Carney (6)
4 - 3 MIN
Alexander Edler (5) ASST: Henrik Sedin (45)
4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
1A. EdlerM. Gaborik
2R. ShannonB. Burns
3T. LindenM. Koivu
penalty summary
1st Period
Nathan McIver  Fighting (maj) against  Aaron Voros
Aaron Voros  Fighting (maj) against  Nathan McIver
2nd Period
Alexandre Burrows  Interference on goalkeeper against  Niklas Backstrom
Aaron Voros  Charging against  Byron Ritchie
Alexandre Burrows  Misconduct (10 min)
Alexandre Burrows  Instigator against  Brian Rolston
Brian Rolston  Fighting (maj) against  Alexandre Burrows
Alexandre Burrows  Fighting (maj) against  Brian Rolston
Brent Burns  Roughing against  Willie Mitchell
3rd Period
Henrik Sedin  Hooking against  Mikko Koivu
Markus Naslund  Tripping against  Branko Radivojevic
Stephane Veilleux  Cross checking against  Alexandre Burrows
Alexandre Burrows  Slashing against  Stephane Veilleux
OT Period
goalie stats
Niklas Backstrom
Niklas Backstrom
SA: 28TOI: 64:55
Saves: 24EV: 18 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .857SH: 4 - 4
Roberto Luongo
SA: 26TOI: 65:00
Saves: 22EV: 17 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .846SH: 0 - 0