VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Geoff Sanderson scored the tying goal midway through the third period Saturday night, and Brendan Morrison clinched a playoff spot for Vancouver 40 seconds into overtime of the Canucks' 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.
Morrison raced in on a two-on-two rush and snapped a 20-foot wrist shot through the legs of Ron Tugnutt, giving Vancouver its first win over Dallas this season.
Daniel Sedin also scored as fifth-place Vancouver moved within one point of the Stars in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Dan Cloutier made 22 saves for the Canucks, who posted consecutive wins for the first time in a month, and moved one point behind Colorado in the Northwest Division.
Pierre Turgeon and Brenden Morrow scored, and Tugnutt made 27 saves for the Stars, who lost for the first time in 70 games when leading after the second period.
Playing without suspended goaltender Marty Turco, three top defensemen and a couple of key forwards, the fourth-place Stars still moved within four points of San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division. Dallas will play in San Jose on Sunday.
Morrow and Sedin traded first-period goals before Turgeon put the Stars ahead 1:25 into the second after Shayne Corson muscled Henrik Sedin off the puck inside the Vancouver blue line. Corson fed a quick pass to Turgeon, alone in front of the net, and Turgeon beat Cloutier on the far side with a move to his backhand.
Even without top defenders Sergei Zubov, Teppo Numminen and Jon Klemm, the Stars managed to shut things down the rest of the second period. But they needed Tugnutt to be sharp when the Canucks came out flying early in the third.
Tugnutt played just his eighth game as Turco sat out the first of a four-game suspension for hitting Edmonton's Ryan Smyth in the mouth with his stick.
Tugnutt made a handful of spectacular saves before Brent Sopel spotted the speedy Sanderson behind the Dallas defense with a perfect pass out of his end. Sanderson raced in and beat Tugnutt with a wrist shot.
The Stars were 61-0-8 when leading after 40 minutes _ the longest active streak in the NHL and the third-longest ever. It looked like that run might continue as Tugnutt made sprawling stops on Henrik Sedin on a late power play, and Markus Naslund rolled a puck through the crease with 2:30 left.
|Brenden Morrow (25) Wrist shot - ASST: Rob DiMaio (14), Philippe Boucher (15)|
1 - 0 DAL
|Daniel Sedin (17) Tip-in - ASST: Marek Malik (16)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Pierre Turgeon (13) Backhand shot - ASST: Lubomir Sekeras (1)|
2 - 1 DAL
|Geoff Sanderson (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Brent Sopel (31), Mattias Ohlund (19)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Brendan Morrison (21) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
3 - 2 VAN
|Brad May Interference on goalkeeper|
|Daniel Sedin Interference - Obstruction|
|Bill Guerin Roughing|
|Steve Ott Interference on goalkeeper|
|Trevor Linden Interference|
|Richard Matvichuk Cross checking|
|Don Sweeney Hi-sticking|
|Rob DiMaio Hi-sticking|