VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Jarkko Ruutu knows good things usually
happen when you drive to the net.
Ruutu scored with 3:54 left in regulation to complete Vancouver's comeback
from a three-goal deficit and give the Canucks a 4-4 tie with the Los Angeles
Kings on Monday night.
Ruutu, who ended a 26-game goal drought in his previous game, scored his
third of the season by charging the crease and shoving the puck and Kings
goalie Cristobal Huet into the net.
"We talked about taking the puck to get net and not trying to be too
pretty," Ruutu said. "I knew (Artem Chubarov) was in front of the net so all
I tried to do is just kind of fake that I'm going there and just take the puck
to the net, crash the net, and try to get a rebound. They're not pretty but
it's effective when you go to the net."
There was a slight delay signaling a goal as the puck trickled over the
line, but it stood despite Huet's protests.
"I have to see it again, but I guess there s a rule you can push the
goalie, said Huet after making 40 saves. "The guy pushed my pads so I tried to
yell at the ref."
Ziggy Palffy scored his second goal of the game on a short-handed breakaway
to give Los Angeles a 4-1 lead with 3:20 left in the second period.
But defenseman Brent Sopel responded with two seconds left on the same power
play, and Chubarov made it 4-3 just 33 seconds later as Vancouver rallied to
earn at least a point for the 10th time in 12 games.
Chubarov's goal ended a 20-game drought, and Sopel's was his first in 25
contests as the Canucks moved five points ahead of Colorado and Calgary for the
Northwest Division lead.
Todd Bertuzzi also scored, and Dan Cloutier made 24 saves for the Canucks,
who have played overtime in five straight home games.
"It was the third- and fourth-line guys that did the bulk of the work and
got us back in the game," Canucks captain Markus Naslund said. "We're happy
to get that point. We made some mistakes and we were a little sloppy on the
power play and it ended up in the back of our net."
Alexander Frolov also scored on a short-handed break, and Luc Robitaille
added a power-play goal for the Kings, playing without Martin Straka. Already
missing 11 regulars to injury, Straka returned to Pittsburgh for the birth of
his first child.
The Kings have recorded at least one point in 11 of 13 games to stay atop
the Pacific Division, two points ahead of San Jose.
"We need points every night we play and we scraped a point out of here, but
we left a point on the table being up 4-1," Kings coach Andy Murray said.
"With our lineup we just scrape through and I think we've lost two games in
regulation in our last 13 or 14 with 35 players."
Huet, starting his seventh straight game in place of the injured Roman
Cechmanek (hip), finished with 40 saves.
Bertuzzi opened the scoring on a power-play rebound, ending a six-game
drought with the man advantage for the Canucks.
They gave it right back on the next power play when Ed Jovanovski got caught
flat-footed at the Kings blue line and Frolov blew by him before beating
Cloutier on a breakaway.
Robitaille made it 2-1 with a power-play goal that bounced in off Mattias
Ohlund's skate during a scramble in front of the net.
Palffy, who extended his point streak to seven games, scored his first goal
on a rebound 12:32 into the second period. He added his second four minutes
later after Ohlund tripped trying to keep the play onside.
Palffy outraced everyone down the ice, and beat Cloutier. He has six goals
and four assists during his point streak. But the Kings couldn't hold on.
"We didn't keep it up, we just get two minutes soft and they scored a goal
on the power play and then they got the third goal," Palffy said. "We can't
do anything about it now, but we have to win these kind of games because in the
end we're going to need those points."