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Burrows, Vrbata help Canucks rally past Rangers

by Mike G. Morreale

NEW YORK -- Alexandre Burrows and Radim Vrbata scored in a shootout to give the injury-depleted Vancouver Canucks a come-from-behind 5-4 victory against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller, who finished with 30 saves in regulation and overtime, referred to the gritty win as a "Wall Street size bailout" for him. Henrik Sedin scored to tie the game with 2:00 left in the third period after Miller was pulled for an extra attacker before Vancouver (33-21-3) earned its first victory in a shootout since Nov. 9.

Vancouver is 3-1 in the shootout; New York is 2-5.

Miller, who allowed goals to Martin St. Louis and Carl Hagelin in a span of 21 seconds early in the third to give the Rangers a 4-3 edge, stopped Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan in the shootout.

"I thought we got stronger as the game wore on but I kind of let the guys down," Miller said. "They can't score on that goal by St. Louis. It was a Wall Street size bail out, big time. I wanted to do my best to be solid if I was called upon in the shootout."

The Canucks, who have won four of the past five games, play the second of a five-game Eastern Conference road trip against the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

Vancouver was playing without six regulars in the lineup, including defensemen Alexander Edler (upper body), Frank Corrado (upper body) and Kevin Bieksa (broken hand), and center Nick Bonino (lower body).

It didn't matter, even after a sluggish first period in which the Rangers outshot the Canucks 14-5 and took a 1-0 lead on Stepan's 11th goal.

"We're playing hard; I think we're trying to keep shifts short and get everyone involved and that's how we've been winning," Henrik Sedin said. "We need everyone to go every night otherwise we're not going to win games."

Burrows, who scored on his first shootout attempt of the season, agreed with Sedin.

"The Rangers are one of the best teams in the League, if not the best and we respect them a lot," Burrows said. "We knew we had to bring our work ethic to have a chance to win. We got some big saves by [Miller] and some timely goals. Our young guys played well and we just believed, worked hard and left it out there."

The Rangers (34-16-6), who had their four-game win streak end, will travel to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday before returning home to play the Columbus Blue Jackets at MSG on Sunday. The game against the Sabres is a makeup of the game postponed due to snow Nov. 21.

Stepan, St. Louis, Hagelin and Rick Nash scored and goaltender Cam Talbot, who was making his eighth straight start, made 24 saves for the Rangers.

"Any time you score four goals you want to win the game," Talbot said. "Obviously you never want to give up chances like that and goals like that. Four goals should be enough most nights and that's on me. I have to come up with a way to make an extra save."

Henrik Sedin had two goals, and Shawn Matthias and Bo Horvat each scored for the Canucks. Vancouver took its first lead, 3-2, 3:55 into the third period when Henrik Sedin deflected home a shot from the crease with the Canucks on the power play. Adam Clendening took the initial shot from the point with a screen set by Jannik Hansen.

"They came at us and they got their cycle game going a little bit," Talbot said of the Canucks in the second and third periods.

The Rangers rallied to tie the game 3-3 at 5:03 of the third when St. Louis took a pass from Stepan and skated hard down the right wing before releasing a forehand shot that went past Miller to the long side underneath his right arm.

Hagelin deflected a shot by Dan Girardi off a giveaway by Henrik Sedin to give the Rangers their third lead, 4-3, 21 seconds later.

"We stayed positive and didn't break down [on the bench] when the Rangers regained the lead," Burrows said. "We were upbeat and still had time. We could have tied it up right after; I don't know how that puck stayed out a few minutes later."

Burrows was referring to the Canucks nearly tying the game at 6:52 when a shot by Yannick Weber got behind Talbot but was alertly swept away just before it reached the goal line. The rebound directed at the net by Vancouver forward Ronalds Kenins was stopped by a diving Marc Staal. A quick video review confirmed that the puck never crossed the line.

"It was a great job by our guys at getting better each period," Miller said. "You have to win all different ways during the season and the guys bailed me out. We had a lead and I let it go and it didn't faze them. They wanted to get that win and so good on them and appreciate that."

Nash scored his team-leading 36th goal at 11:00 of the second to give the Rangers their second lead of the game, 2-1. After taking a lead pass from Derick Brassard at the Canucks blue line, Nash broke into the left circle and took a shot that deflected off the inside right skate of Miller and over the goal line.

"They were short a couple of players, especially on the back end," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "A few of their players raised their level. We had a lot of guys that played all right but not good enough to win."

The loss against his former team was the first for Vigneault in four tries as coach of the Rangers. Prior to being named Rangers coach in June 2013, Vigneault spent seven seasons as coach of the Canucks.

Horvat took a pass from Kenins off a 2-on-1 and buried his eighth goal 13:18 into the second to tie the game 2-2. The goal gave the rookie nine points (five goals) in the past 11 games.

The Canucks pulled even 1:43 into the second on a timely line change by Matthias. Hansen skated the puck down the right-wing boards while being closely guarded by Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh before dishing to the slot.

"We weren't playing near to where we need to play but still had a chance to win," McDonagh said. "We really just let an opportunity slide."

The puck deflected off Talbot's stick before going right to Matthias in the middle of the ice. Matthias controlled while skating to his left and slammed a shot over the fallen Talbot.

"You have to find ways to do your job in this League; it's not always going to be perfect and most times it's not perfect so you just have to go about your business," Miller said. "I thought the last two games we responded, played good hockey and have been grinding it out. We got a couple big wins."

Stepan scored 11:39 into the first period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. St. Louis took a pass from Girardi behind the net and sent a pass to Stepan between the circles. Stepan wasted little time scoring his 11th goal. Stepan extended his points streak to three games (two goals, five assists).


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