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Canucks rookie playing strong

11/9/2003

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Vancouver Canucks should
have known from past experience that the Minnesota Wild wouldn't go
away quietly.

Todd Bertuzzi scored twice and rookie Jason King added his
eighth goal of the season as the Canucks built an early four-goal
lead, then hung on for a 4-3 win Saturday night.

"I don't know what it is about this team, but they never give
up," goalie Dan Cloutier said. "Give them credit. They battle to
the end."

Minnesota overcame a 3-1 series deficit to knock Vancouver out
in the second round of last season's playoffs, sealing the victory
despite falling behind 2-0 on the road in the deciding seventh
game.

For a while it appeared the Wild might muster another comeback
against the Canucks on Saturday.

Marian Gaborik scored his first goal since ending a contract
holdout last week, and Pascal Dupuis and Alexander Daigle also had
goals for the Wild, who lost for the first time in six games.

"We've played a lot of good games against them," Gaborik said.
"We came back and we played a strong game. I think we can be very
satisfied with our effort."

Matt Cooke also scored for the Canucks, who have won six of
seven and are 7-0-1 in eight home games.

Vancouver jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Dupuis and Gaborik
scored less than a minute apart late in the second period. Daigle
made it 4-3 with 5:43 left to play, but it wasn't enough for a Wild
team playing for the second straight night.

"They got a lot of breaks in the first period and 4-0 is hard
to come back," Gaborik added.

Bertuzzi opened the scoring midway through the first, beating
Manny Fernandez with a wraparound.

King, the NHL's leading scorer among rookies, scored for the
fifth straight game two minutes later after a pretty passing play
between twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin left him alone in front of an
empty net.

Bertuzzi added his second on a power-play deflection with 7.6
seconds left in the first period, ending Fernandez's night after
making just five saves.

"We're a little disappointed we let them come back," Bertuzzi
said. "The top teams get the game out of reach so teams can't find
a way back in."

Dwayne Roloson, who shut out Calgary 3-0 on Friday night, took
over in goal to start the second period, but Cooke beat him from
close range at 11:34.

"The four goals came quickly and we kind of thought it might be
an easy night and obviously they'll jump on you if you start
thinking that," Canucks captain Markus Naslund said.

Cloutier, facing the Wild for the first time since giving up 16
goals in the final three games of last year's second-round playoff
loss to Minnesota, robbed Gaborik on a breakaway five minutes into
the second.

But Dupuis started the comeback by banging in a rebound at
14:54, and Gaborik, who was scoreless in his first two games,
whistled a long shot in off Cloutier's glove 48 seconds later.

"The second goal gave them the life and it was a bad goal,"
Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. "Sure we made it interesting
at the end, but we didn't break and that's a good sign."

Minnesota failed to convert three straight power plays in the
third period before Daigle scored on a one-timer from the slot
shortly after missing the net on a breakaway.

Roloson made 18 saves, including Daniel Sedin's shot on a
breakaway with 2:44 left.

Game notes
Vancouver LW Brad May left after fighting Brad Brown twice
in the first period and did not return. ... Canucks LW Magnus
Arvedson missed the game with a sore groin, but expects to be ready
for the rematch in Minnesota on Tuesday. ... Vancouver recalled C
Fedor Fedorov, the younger brother of Anaheim's Sergei Fedorov,
from Manitoba of the AHL, but he didn't play. ... Wild RW Sergei
Zholtok returned after missing seven games with flulike symptoms,
and 19-year-old C Pierre-Marc Bouchard was scratched from the
lineup for the first time this season.