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Naslund steps up as Canucks win fifth straight

11/21/2002

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Markus Naslund finally got to
show off for his dad.

With Sture Naslund in from Sweden to watch his son Wednesday
night, Markus scored two power-play goals and added an assist as
the Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 for their
fifth straight victory Wednesday night.

"He usually gets to watch me once a year and I usually stink
the joint out,'' Markus Naslund said with a laugh. "It's good to
get a couple for him. I like to make him leave with good
memories.''

Trevor Linden scored on the game's opening shift, and special
teams took care of the rest. Matt Cooke scored short-handed, and
Brendan Morrison added a goal and an assist on the power play as
Vancouver won for the seventh time in eight games.

Defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Ed Jovanovski each added two
assists, and Dan Cloutier made 22 saves for the Canucks.

"It has to do with confidence just like the overall game,''
Naslund said of an improving power play that finished 3-for-8 and
is 8-for-20 the last four games. "We're a pretty confident group
right now and we're finding ways to win.''

Eric Daze, playing his fourth game after missing the first 15
because of back surgery, scored his first goal and added an assist
for Chicago. Rookie Tyler Arnason and Steve Sullivan also scored
for the Blackhawks, who lost for the second time in as many nights
after going unbeaten in six games.

"Special teams is the way we lost,'' said Daze, pointing to the
two short-handed goals Chicago surrendered during a 3-1 loss in
Edmonton on Tuesday. "Tonight they score one big short-handed goal
at the start and they have three power-play goals. That's the game
right there and we just couldn't get anything going on the power
play.''

Naslund and Morrison set each other up for second-period
power-play goals that restored a two-goal Vancouver lead
established by Linden and Cooke in the opening three minutes.

Naslund moved into a tie for the league lead when he added his
12th goal of the season midway through the third. He gathered his
own rebound at the side of the net and roofed a backhand over a
sprawling Steve Passmore.

"He's got such sweet hands,'' Canucks coach Marc Crawford said
of Naslund. "That was a special play by a special player.''

Passmore, playing just his third game after regular goalie
Jocelyn Thibault took the Edmonton loss, gave up two goals on the
first three shots and finished with 30 saves.

Linden's goal, 14 seconds after the opening faceoff, was his
262nd with the Canucks -- tying former captain Stan Smyl's
17-year-old franchise record. Cooke scored on a short-handed
breakaway three minutes later.

"It's huge anytime you can score two quick goals. We're a team
that relishes it,'' said Cooke, who was playing with a full shield
after being hit in the face by a slap shot Saturday night. "It's
sore, but no worse then it was this morning so I'm just taking it
day by day.''

Sullivan converted their next power play at 7:18 when his
cross-crease pass bounced in off the stick of Vancouver defenseman
Marek Malik.

Vancouver regained the two-goal lead twice, but both times
Chicago answered quickly.

Morrison tapped in a perfect backdoor pass from Naslund at 9:55,
but Daze scored 49 seconds later. Naslund then beat Passmore
one-on-one from close range at 14:07, but Arnason responded 14
seconds later after Daze spotted him alone in the slot.

"My legs were feeling better,'' Daze said. "I still have work
to do, my timing is still a little bit off on some of the rebounds,
but overall it was one of my best games.''

Naslund added some insurance 11:51 into the third.

Game notes
Chicago was 1-for-6 with the man advantage. ... Morrison
has four goals and five assists during a five-game point streak.
... Canucks LW Todd Warriner and C Artem Chubarov missed the game
because of back injuries sustained in the 12 hours before the game.
LW Jarkko Ruutu, a Finnish Olympian who has only played four games
this season, and C Mats Lindgren took their lineup spots. ... The
Blackhawks played the second of seven games on their annual
two-week road trip because of a visit by the circus in Chicago.