Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Vancouver leads 1-0

Game 1: Tuesday, December 9th
Penguins3Final
OT
Canucks4

Penguins 3

(6-15-2, 18 pts)

Canucks 4

(15-7-2, 36 pts)

10:00 PM ET, December 9, 2003

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
PIT 1 1 1 03
VAN 0 2 1 14

M. Naslund (Canucks - LW): Goals: 4, Assists: 0

M. Kraft (Penguins - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

T. Bertuzzi (Canucks - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

Naslund scores in OT for Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Markus Naslund gave the Vancouver Canucks all the offense they needed.

Naslund scored his fourth goal of the game 24 seconds into overtime to give the Canucks a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

"I haven't been scoring as much as I want to and the key is to get the timely goals and the game-winners," said Naslund, back in the lineup after missing a game Saturday against Minnesota because of a groin injury.

Naslund ended the game with his team-leading 15th goal of the season, beating Marc-Andre Fleury through the legs.

"I felt that I could handle the skate and I was just a little bit sore," Naslund said. "But my skating felt good."

Todd Bertuzzi had three assists and Johan Hedberg made 14 saves to help the Canucks break a three-game winless slide and regain a share of the top spot in the Western Conference.

Naslund tied it at 1 by completing a pretty three-way passing play with Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison 3:29 into the second, then tied it again 10 minutes later on a sharp-angle power-play shot off another feed from Bertuzzi.

Naslund completed his ninth career hat trick by breaking a 2-2 tie 7:08 into the third period, banging in a loose puck after a wild scramble in front of Fleury.

"It's definitely good for your confidence, that's for sure and just shows it's important to shoot the puck," Naslund said. "But more than that it was good we came up with a win even though we didn't play a good game."

Milan Kraft scored his second goal of the game with 7:19 left in the third period to force overtime and give Pittsburgh its first point through four games of a five-game road trip.

Drake Berehowsky also scored for the Penguins, who have lost six of their last seven games.

"I can't describe as a coach how pleased I am with my guys," Penguins coach Ed Olczyk said. "We don't get a lot of respect. You battle a team like that, that's a way to earn respect."

Fleury made 33 saves in his last start for the Penguins before joining the Canadian team for the World Junior Championships.

"Hopefully it won't be like this when I'm there, the same guy scoring four goals," Fleury said. "He's a great player and a tough guy to stop."

Vancouver goalie Dan Cloutier injured his groin during the morning skate, leaving Hedberg to start consecutive games for the first time since the Canucks acquired him from Pittsburgh in an August trade.

With Cloutier unable to back up, and their minor league teams unable to provide a goalie in time, the Canucks dressed Canadian university goalie Chris Levesque as a backup. For a while it looked as through Levesque, a 23-year-old goalie from the University of British Columbia, might also have to play.

Hedberg had his mask knocked off in a hard collision with Konstantin Koltsov while diving for a loose puck late in the first period and was down on the ice for several minutes while Levesque looked on from the bench.

"A little bit of fear, a little bit scared, trying to play it calm on the bench," Levesque said of his thoughts at the time. "Luckily, he wasn't hurt seriously.

Hedberg, who was fortunate Kelly Buchberger shot wide at an empty net guarded only by defenseman Sami Salo as the play continued, kept playing despite jamming his left hand on the play.

"It wouldn't be fair to Chris either," said Hedberg, whose wrist was noticeably swollen after the game. "He got the call an hour before the game.

Levesque, a third-year student who was dragged out of the library where he was studying for a Wednesday morning exam, enjoyed his brief stint in the NHL.

"All the guys were really friendly and introduced themselves, as if I don't know who everyone is in here anyways," he said.

Game notes


It was Naslund's second career four-goal game. His other one came against Edmonton on Dec. 14, 2002. ... Levesque signed a one-day amateur contract. The Canucks recalled G Alex Auld from Manitoba of the AHL and he was expected to arrive Tuesday night.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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