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Minnesota Wild 1, Vancouver Canucks 1 FINAL OT @NHL

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Patience finally paid off for Trevor Linden.

Linden scored with 2:52 left in regulation to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 1-1 tie with the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

After falling behind 1-0 early, Linden and the Canucks knew it would be tough to score against the stingy Wild, especially against goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who shut out Vancouver 1-0 on Nov. 11.

"It's a test of patience and it's frustrating," Linden said. "They play us well and their goaltending always seems to play well against us. We just tried to tell ourselves to stick with our plan and keep executing our plan and that was just to get lots of shots and traffic."

Linden collected the puck at the side of the net with his back to the goal after Mattias Ohlund threw it through the crease. He spun back and his wrist shot bounced off the inside of Roloson's left pad and trickled in.

"I couldn't get the backhand on it so I spun around and just tried to get it to the net," Linden said.

Christoph Brandner scored early and Roloson made 33 saves for the Wild, who have scored just one goal in six straight games.

"You try not to worry about it," Roloson said of the lack of offensive support. "I worry about stopping the puck and I can't control what my teamates are doing."

Minnesota only has one win in the last seven games, but did manage to wrap up their three-game Western road trip at 1-1-1 despite the lack of offense.

"We can't get down just because we score one goal -- we play good defense," said Brandner, who returned after missing two games with the flu. "For sure maybe we got to put another chance in the net, but I think that's coming."

Johan Hedberg finished with 16 saves for the Canucks, who were playing without captain Markus Naslund. Vancouver's leading scorer was taking the weekend off to rest a sore groin.

The Wild, playing for the second straight night, gave up the first nine shots to Vancouver and were outshot 34-17 overall. But Roloson was sharp, stopping Daniel Sedin and Todd Bertuzzi from in close during an early power play.

"He was really big for them on the first power play," Bertuzzi said. "We were moving the puck real well and had a lot of top-notch chances. He set the tone."

Brandner opened the scoring 6:57 in on Minnesota's first shot. He spun off a soft check by Bryan Allen at the side of the net and beat Hedberg with a high wrist shot on the glove side.

It was the third straight game Minnesota has scored in the opening 10 minutes.

"As soon as they get the first goal they're going to sit back and try to shut it down," Hedberg said. "We kept playing our game and finally got rewarded."

After giving up two third-period goals in Friday's 2-1 loss to Calgary -- the first time in 47 games Minnesota blew a lead after two periods -- the Wild did a better job shutting things down in the third.

They allowed just three shots before Linden finally scored to tie it.

"The guys decided to work a lot harder tonight," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I'll take a point any night against them. This is a team among the elite in the NHL."

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