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Daniel Sedin's OT tally lifts Canucks past Hawks

by Kevin Woodley
VANCOUVER -- On a night when Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider stole a win for the Canucks, he couldn't even stand to watch his biggest save.

Schneider made 37 stops before Daniel Sedin scored with 1:23 left in overtime to lift Vancouver to an unlikely 3-2 win against Chicago on Tuesday night despite being badly outplayed for prolonged stretches by the Blackhawks. But the game's First Star still hadn't seen the stop that generated his biggest cheer.

Brilliant throughout a second period in which Chicago outshot Vancouver 15-6, Schneider received a standing ovation after diving belly-first and throwing up his glove arm to take an empty net away from new Blackhawk Brendan Morrison. The only problem was Morrison had that glorious chance because Schneider gave the puck to him while trying to make a play behind his own net.

While the sellout crowd at Rogers Arena saluted him, Schneider couldn't even look up at the replay they were cheering -- he still hasn't seen it.

"I didn't bother looking because it was my fault," Schneider said, who credited defenseman Alexander Edler for tying up Morrison's stick just long enough that he could dive back into the crease. "I botched it behind the net. I went to move it and fanned on it. Other than that I just remember reaching as far as I could and the puck hit me. I was more upset with myself than happy about the save."

The Canucks were certainly happy they had Schneider after being outplayed by the rival Blackhawks.

"He had to make some real quality saves to keep us in the game and he did," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Obviously you can't shut down a skilled team like that – too many weapons, too many tools."

Making his first start in three weeks, his second period alone included throwing out the blocker to take a backdoor shot away from Patrick Kane early, a similar save on Viktor Stalberg on a 2-on-1 and a right pad on Stalberg in alone.

Stalberg finally beat him 1:17 into the third to put Chicago up 2-1, but turned the puck over less than three minutes later, leading to a breakaway for rookie Cody Hodgson, who snapped his 14th goal over Corey Crawford's glove.

Schneider and Crawford traded a few more fantastic overtime saves before captain Henrik Sedin ended a personal four-game point drought with a pretty pass from behind the net that twin brother Daniel quickly snapped home.

"Hank is deadly behind the net, so it was good to see it go in," said Daniel.

Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks, but the big story was Schneider, who made his best stops on the Blackhawks' top players, often from close range.

"It's pretty frustrating," said Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, back after missing a game and a half with a wrist injury. "We had chances to distance ourselves, a ton of odd-man rushes. Give their goaltender credit, he played well."

Stalberg had the best of them, but was more upset about an overtime breakaway that ended without a shot after Dan Hamhuis appeared to slash his hand.

"Terrible call," Stalberg said. "He slashed my hands and I couldn't make the move I wanted. It was pretty clear it fit the definition of a penalty shot."

Jamal Mayers also scored and Crawford finished with 30 stops for the Hawks, who were coming off consecutive losses to Nashville before the All-Star break and kicking off a season-high nine-game road trip. The single point moves them into a tie with St. Louis for fifth in the West, a point behind Nashville.

"I felt like we definitely played well enough to win tonight," said Crawford, whose night included a fully extended glove robbery of Henrik Sedin in overtime.

"It's definitely frustrating."

Vancouver opened the scoring at 7:58 on a sequence that started with Alexander Edler chasing down Marian Hossa to take away a potential breakaway and ended with the All-Star defenseman setting up Kesler in the slot at the other end.

On a night when the Blackhawks welcomed back 47 goals with the return of Toews and sniper Patrick Sharp from wrist injuries, and debuted trade acquisition Morrison as their new second-line center, it was Mayers, their fourth-line pivot, who tied the game 11:11 into the first. A skate repair for Toews put Mayers out with top-line wingers, and some sloppy defending left him alone in the slot, where he snapped home his first goal since Dec. 16, ending an 18-game goal drought.

Stalberg put Chicago ahead on his fifth shot of the game, but Hodgson, fresh off a rookie invitation to the All Star Game, tied it after Stalberg lost the puck at the Vancouver blue line, settling down a bouncing puck before snapping in his fourth goal in the last five games, and 30th point this season.

Vancouver's top-ranked power play scored five times in a 6-2 win in Chicago to start the season series back in November, but hasn't had a chance against the Blackhawks in two games since. Chicago only had two power plays, and almost went ahead just after the second one expired with 3:20 left to play, but Kane's rebound attempt hit Sami Salo and trickled dangerously off the post.

"I know there's the intensity, the rivalry but you can't get caught up getting even," said coach Joel Quenneville. "You want to get even by playing smart and staying out of the box. … Tough ending but we did some good things to start our trip."
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