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Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2

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CHICAGO (AP) - The Vancouver Canucks got a pair of third-period penalty shots and made the second one count.

Jarkko Ruutu converted with 2:02 left - after Alexandre Burrows missed his chance 34 seconds into the third - and the Canucks defeated Chicago 3-2 Thursday night to hand the Blackhawks their ninth straight loss.

Nolan Baumgartner and Markus Naslund scored 1:10 apart in the second period for the Canucks, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Ruutu was awarded a penalty shot after he was pulled down from behind by Martin Lapointe. Ruutu beat Chicago goalie Craig Anderson with a backhander to give Vancouver a 3-1 lead.

``I have things I like to do and I don't really look at the goalie too much,'' Ruutu said. ``I decided right off the bench what I was going to do.''

The goal turned out to be crucial when Lapointe scored to cut it to 3-2 just 25 seconds later.

``I think this is huge for our confidence,'' Ruutu said. ``The bottom line is we have to start winning games.''

The Canucks also got 26 saves from Alex Auld and salvaged the final game of a four-game road trip.

``It's huge,'' Auld said. ``We kind of looked at it as a must-win. We had to come in here and really work as hard as we could and just focus on our game and not worry about who we were playing.

``Guys were really going and right through our lineup we had contributions from everybody with good hits, good physical play and a strong forecheck.''

Tuomo Ruutu - Jarkko's younger brother - scored for the Blackhawks, who last lost nine in a row from Feb. 17 to March 7, 2003.

``The only way to get out of this is to keep working,'' Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. ``It's all we can do. We have to keep persevering.''

Anderson made his fourth straight start in goal for Chicago and blocked 14 shots, including a pad save on Burrows' penalty shot.

``He made a big save on the first penalty shot,'' Yawney said. ``It was a nice move on the second.''

Nikolai Khabibulin, the Blackhawks' top goalie, remains on injured reserve with a groin pull and has not yet resumed skating.

Tuomo Ruutu opened the scoring with 7:44 left in the first. After skating down left wing, he fired a rising wrist shot from the circle that beat Auld high on the glove side and landed in the upper right corner of the net.

Ruutu's goal was his first after missing 25 games with a back injury and first since the second game of the season.

Baumgartner tied it 1-all at 6:22 of the second with a short-handed goal. After Anderson stopped Henrik Sedin's shot from the high slot, Baumgartner went to the net, got free from Chicago defenseman Anton Babchuk and knocked in the rebound.

Naslund put Vancouver ahead, 2-1, 1:10 later.

After making saves on Todd Bertuzzi and Kevin Bieksa, Anderson appeared to lose sight of the loose puck. Naslund picked it up in the right circle and fired it in.

Burrows was awarded a penalty shot 34 seconds into the third after he was pulled down from behind by Babchuk on a breakaway. Anderson made a right pad save on Borrows' penalty-shot attempt.

Jarkko Ruutu scored on his penalty shot, using a backhander to beat Anderson with 2:02 left.

Lapointe cut it to 3-2 with 1:37 left on a shot from the slot.

Notes: It was the second time in franchise history the Canucks had two penalty shots in a game. Thomas Gradin and Ivan Hlinka scored against Gilles Gilbert on Feb. 11, 1982, in a a 4-4 tie with Detroit. ... The Blackhawks sent F Pavel Vorobiev to Norfolk of the AHL and recalled F Mikhail Yakubov. ... Chicago D Jaroslav Spacek served the second game of a two-game suspension for a low hit on Calgary's Byron Ritchie on Monday. ... Blackhawks F Mikael Holmqvist and Andy Hilbert were healthy scratches. ... Vancouver D Ed Jovanovksi missed his fourth game with a groin injury. Canucks D Wade Brookbank sat out his 10th with a concussion. ... Vancouver D Kevin Bieksa earned his first NHL point with an assist on Naslund's second-period goal. He was playing in his ninth game.

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