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St. Louis Blues 0, Vancouver Canucks 2 FINAL @NHLdotcom

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ With the clock ticking down and the St. Louis Blues pressing in front of his net, Vancouver Canucks goalie Johan Hedberg was relieved to hear a referee's whistle.

Then he found out why it was blown.

With the Canucks up 2-0 and 3.4 seconds left to play, Vancouver defenseman Bryan Allen had dislodged his own net behind Hedberg, giving the Blues an automatic penalty shot.

``I was surprised they called a penalty shot, I didn't know that was the rule,'' Hedberg said.

Hedberg made a sprawling glove save _ his 31st of the game _ off Pavol Demitra to preserve both his shutout and a 2-0 win over the Blues on Saturday night.

``It was an interesting end to the game,'' Hedberg added. ``I made him make the first move then hoped to make the save.''

Demitra's first move was a strong deke to his backhand, but Hedberg did the splits and stretched his glove out over his left pad to pick Demitra's shot out of the air.

``I was thinking I got him but his glove was right there,'' Demitra said. ``He was quick.''

Artem Chubarov scored on a lucky bounce 4:54 into the second period, and Mattias Ohlund added a power-play goal with 4:05 left as the Canucks swept their three-game homestand. Vancouver moved within a point of Colorado atop the Northwest Division.

``It's a good thing to win home games and give us a boost,'' Chubarov said.

Hedberg, making his first start in two weeks, had his second shutout this season and ninth of his career.

Hedberg robbed Demitra twice in the first period on one-timers from point-blank range, and dove across head first to take an empty net away from Keith Tkachuk in the second, stopping the puck with his mask.

``I just tried to get it off as quick as possible and wanted to make sure I got it up and it hit him right in the helmet,'' Tkachuk said. ``That's just the way the night was going. We get a guy we want on a penalty shot at the end and he couldn't score either.''

Chris Osgood finished with 27 saves for the Blues, who are winless in four games and remain two points behind Calgary for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

The Blues' biggest problem is scoring. St. Louis has failed to score more than two goals in 21 of 28 games in 2004. This was the fifth time the Blues have been shut out in that time.

``We had our opportunities. We generated a lot of shots and you've got to give him credit _ Hedberg played real well,'' Tkachuk said.

So did Osgood, who couldn't be faulted on either of Vancouver's goal.

Chubarov scored an unassisted goal four seconds after leaving the bench on a line change and skated right to a loose puck just inside the St. Louis zone. He simply threw a soft wrist shot at the net, and Blues center Doug Weight, lifting his leg in an attempt to avoid the puck as he cruised through the top of the crease, kicked it past a helpless Osgood.

``It hit Dougie in the leg and went up into the top of the net,'' Osgood said ``They had a good line change and came off the bench fast and caught us. We only had three guys in the zone.''

Osgood was at his best killing off the first six Vancouver power plays, including a lengthy two-man advantage midway through the second period in which he stopped Sami Salo on three separate shots from the point.

He kept it close in the third with a couple of close-range stops off the stick of Canucks captain and leading scorer Markus Naslund before Ohlund finally beat him with a screened point shot on Vancouver's next power play.

``You roll the dice against their power play that many times, they re going to score,'' Osgood said.

St. Louis was blanked on four power-play chances as Hedberg, a deft stick handler, cleared the zone several times on his own.

``Johan had a huge game for us,'' Ohlund said. ``He's so good playing the puck, especially against a team like St. Louis. It takes the forecheck away a little bit.''

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