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Sami Salo scores OT winner as Vancouver beats the Wild 3-2

The Canadian Press
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Minnesota Wild right wing Adam Hall (18) and Vancouver Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund, centre, watch as Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, right, deflects a shot during the first period. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) Author: The Hockey News

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Sami Salo scores OT winner as Vancouver beats the Wild 3-2

The Canadian Press
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Vancouver, 15-3-3 since Christmas, also got goals from Daniel Sedin and Markus Naslund to move into a first-place tie with the Calgary Flames in the Northwest Division. It was the first overtime loss of the season for Minnesota, 14-1-4 in games that stretch beyond regulation. Vancouver improved to 8-1 in overtime. Marian Gaborik celebrated his 25th birthday with a goal and an assist for the Wild. Pavol Demitra also scored.

Salo got the winner with only 39.6 seconds showing on the clock, finishing off a 2-on-1 break by taking a pass from Matt Cooke and flipping a backhander past goalie Nicklas Backstrom.

The Canucks fired 17 shots at the Minnesota net in the opening period and scored the only goal of the frame during a power play. Brendan Morrison's shot from the point was headed well wide when Naslund tipped the puck past Backstrom.

The teams traded goals quickly in the second. Demitra tied the game 1-1 by firing the rebound of Martin Skoula's shot past Roberto Luongo. Vancouver needed less than 20 seconds to answer, as Henrik Sedin flipped a pretty, no-look pass from behind the Minnesota net to twin brother Daniel. Backstrom saved the initial shot, but not the rebound as Daniel Sedin scored his team-leading 24th goal.

Gaborik knotted the game 2-2 later in the second, scoring his 17th goal after a pass from Demitra. For Gaborik, it was his 20th point in the 17 games he's played since missing more than two months with a groin injury.

Backstrom finished with 31 saves, while Luongo had 30 for the Canucks.

Notes: Canucks C Jan Bulis sat out for a second consecutive game after separating his shoulder in a loss to Chicago on Feb. 7. He is expected to return to the lineup in Chicago on Friday. . . . Gaborik's second-period assist was the 300th point of his NHL career. . . . Wild winger Brian Rolston, the team's leading scorer, was back in the lineup after missing three games with the flu.

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Sami Salo scores OT winner as Vancouver beats the Wild 3-2