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Canucks 3, Rangers 2 @NHLdotcom

NEW YORK (AP) - Todd Bertuzzi had everything going his way at Madison Square Garden. He threw his body around like the old days and showed off his fine finishing skill on a breakaway.

All that was missing were the lost minutes he spent in the penalty box.

Bertuzzi heard boos all night but that didn't matter at the end because he and the Vancouver Canucks left with a spirited 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the surging New York Rangers.

After giving Vancouver a 1-0 lead in the second period, Bertuzzi received 17 penalty minutes when he came to the defense of teammate Markus Naslund and ended up in a fight with Ryan Hollweg.

"In the 13 minutes I was on I felt very, very good," Bertuzzi said. "It's a game I could've really done some damage."

That was left to Matt Cooke, who knocked in a rebound with 4:31 left to snap a 2-2 tie in his first game since missing 17 with a broken jaw.

Bertuzzi made his first New York appearance since he was suspended 17 months for his sucker-punch to the back of the head of Colorado's Steve Moore - the brother of Rangers forward Dominic Moore - on March 8, 2004.

He then gave New York fans a reason to boo him even more in the second period.

Bertuzzi, already disliked on Broadway for being a rugged player and a former Islander, took a long lead pass across three lines from defenseman Ed Jovanovski and came in on a breakaway. He beat Henrik Lundqvist for his ninth goal, giving Vancouver a 1-0 lead just 1:01 into the frame.

It was just his second goal in 12 games.

The only times Bertuzzi was cheered was when Moore met him with hard hits in the first period and again late in the third, and when he drew a slew of penalties.

While Moore was in the penalty box, Bertuzzi joined him after taking a high-sticking penalty in the first period. He was sent to the dressing room late in the second after jumping in when Hollweg hit captain Markus Naslund with an elbow.

Bertuzzi was called for instigating and given a misconduct.

"That's my buddy. When I think he's getting overworked, I have to step in," Bertuzzi said.

It was a hit on Naslund by Steve Moore that led to Bertuzzi's retaliatory shot that got him suspended. But as tough as Bertuzzi is, the Canucks would prefer to see his offensive side over the physical one that often leads to trouble.

His coach and teammates thought it was his best game all season.

"We'd rather have him on the ice for 22 minutes and not sitting in the box for 17," forward Trevor Linden said.

Canucks coach Marc Crawford's only concern in playing Cooke was whether the forward would be able to see well in his first game while wearing a full face shield. Apparently that wasn't a problem.

When Rangers forward Michael Nylander mishandled the puck in front, Cooke swooped in and smacked it in for his fourth goal and first since Oct. 29 - three days before he was injured in practice.

"Any time I can help chip in on the offensive side of the game, it's huge for us. Not just when I am coming back from injury," Cooke said.

Daniel Sedin also scored for the Canucks, who won their third straight and snapped a three-game road losing streak. Their last two wins were over Ottawa and New York, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

Petr Prucha scored twice for the Rangers, who had a five-game winning streak at home.

"Our biggest task was not to be surprised by the work ethic of the New York Rangers because in the past they've been known not to work," Cooke said.

New York coach Tom Renney was looking forward to this game because he felt it would be a good test for the first-place Rangers. But the Canucks, who had only five road victories coming in, left with the win and a tie for the Northwest Division lead.

"We lost, so we're not as good," Renney said. "The game could've gone any way at the end but the more experienced team prevailed."

Just 1:06 after Sedin gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead, Prucha tied it at 7:41.

It was his second tying goal of the night, his 15th goal of the season, ninth in a six-game scoring streak, and 12th in 12 games. Prucha has three two-goal games in five contests.

He also got the Rangers even at 8:28 of the second period.

"We lost, so my mood isn't good," Prucha said.

Notes: Naslund said his sore groin held up fine. The Canucks' leading scorer was questionable to play. ... The Rangers held a 36-32 shots advantage in their first home game since a 3-0 road trip. ... Canucks G Dan Cloutier will be out four months because of a knee injury that requires surgery.

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