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Tanev scores on birthday, Canucks defeat Flames

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks got a good break early and a good breakout late to beat the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.

After opening the scoring early on a puck Calgary shot into its own empty net, Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev finished it on a 3-on-2 rush with Henrik and Daniel Sedin 18 seconds into overtime to lead the Canucks to a 3-2 win against the Flames.

Vancouver blew a two-goal lead before Henrik Sedin carried the puck over the blue line in overtime as Daniel drove to the net, then spotted Tanev alone trailing on the play. Tanev, celebrating his 25th birthday, beat Jonas Hiller over the blocker.

"We're a very confident group here, but when you blow a two-goal lead," Tanev said. "They were on us pretty good. It just shows how resilient we are."

Calgary coach Bob Hartley talked about his team in similar terms after recovering from the early own goal to force overtime and earn a point for the first time in eight games. Vancouver defenseman Yannik Weber was credited for a goal the Flames shot into their own empty net on a delayed penalty.

"That's the first time I have been involved in a goal like this and that sums up the way it has been going for us," Hartley said. "But credit to our guys, we never quit. It’s too bad we couldn’t get that last goal."

Forward Radim Vrbata ended a long Vancouver power play slump and goalie Ryan Miller made 26 saves for the Canucks (18-11-2), who recovered after blowing the two-goal lead to snap a five-game losing streak.

"It gives the boys a little confidence," Miller said of his first win since Dec. 2. "We were doing a lot right within this streak and we got rewarded with some bounces tonight."

Hansen left early in the second period after a hit from Wideman. Hansen was hunched over and skated off the ice, and remained hunched over as he sat on the bench while play continued.

"It’s a scary moment," Tanev said. "Right away (head athletic trainer Mike Burnstein) said he was OK, so we all knew he was fine. But for the first five or 10 seconds we didn’t know what was going on."

Hansen slumped forward, his body appearing to go limp as teammates caught him and banged their sticks on the boards to get the attention of referees, who stopped play while medical staff rushed out from behind the Canucks net.

Hansen was conscious and on his feet moments later, walking with assistance to the locker room, but did not return to the game as a precautionary measure and was taken to hospital.

"He's at the hospital but everything is checking out," coach Willie Desjardins said after the game. "It’s concerning. He seemed like he couldn’t get his breath there. He kind of went down. When that happens it’s not usual, so you’re concerned. But everything’s checked out at the hospital and everything is fine."

Calgary forward David Jones scored midway through the second period and forward Johnny Gaudreau tied it seven minutes in the third period for the Flames (17-15-2), who have lost their past eight games.

"We felt really good in the third period," Gaudreau said. "That was a heartbreaker to give one up there in OT. We showed a lot of life on our bench throughout that third period."

Jonas Hiller made 30 saves as Calgary recorded a point for the first time in eight games after losing the previous seven in regulation, one short of the franchise record for regulation losses set in 1974-75.

"We talked about our character since the start of the year," Hartley said. "I felt it would have been easy to fold the tent tonight, second game in two nights, but credit to our guys, they battled back."

They had to after Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman scored into his own net.

With Hiller on the bench for an extra attacker on a delayed penalty in the first period, Wideman tried to pass to the point from behind the Vancouver goal line. The pass missed forward Mason Raymond at the right faceoff circle and bounced off the boards all the way down into the empty net 4:40 in.

"I had the puck and tried to bank it back to Mason," Wideman said. "It went in. I don't know what to tell you. It was just a basic pass back to the point that kind of handcuffed him, took a funny bounce off the wall and ran all the way down the ice into the net."

Weber got his stick on the puck as Wideman passed it behind the net, and the referee initiated a review. The NHL Situation Room informed the referee it was not a reviewable play, so the call on the ice stood.

"It was a good goal, the rule is pretty clear. Yes it touched a Vancouver player but he never had control," Hartley said. "Perfect pool shot."

The Canucks put a puck in on their own less than five minutes later.

Forward Alexandre Burrows crashed the net and got several whacks at a rebound in front of Hiller's left pad before it squirted out on the other side for a Vrbata tap-in. It was Vancouver's first power play goal in seven games, ending a 0-for-18 drought with the man advantage.

Jones, a Vancouver native, started the Flames' comeback with 8:31 left in the second period. Defenseman Kris Russell's shot through a screen off the left wall bounced in and out of the glove of Miller and Jones quickly shot the loose puck up past Miller's blocker on the short side to make it 2-1.

Gaudreau tied it 7:05 into the third period after a good shift cycling in the Vancouver end. After working a give-and-go with forward Jiri Hudler, Gaudreau took the return pass just inside the top of the right faceoff circle and quickly shot the puck through the legs of Miller.

"They're playing smart hockey," Miller said of the Flames. "They're on the puck, they're aggressive and it's hard to work around that."

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