VANCOUVER (CP) - Sean Burke sweetened Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford's return to General Motors Place.
Burke made a solid 37 saves in just his second NHL game this season Friday night to backstop the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Crawford led the Canucks to a franchise-record 246 wins behind the bench before they fired him after last season.
Burke was really only beaten on one shot as Vancouver's first goal by Sami Salo bounced in off defenceman Mattias Norstrom's shoulder.
"(My legs) felt pretty good tonight," said Burke, who will celebrate his 40th birthday on Monday.
Burke was claimed on waivers from Tampa Bay and is the fifth goalie used by the injury-depleted Kings this season. In his first start against Phoenix, Burke didn't make it through the third period because of dehydration.
"I had a good (all-star) break where I actually skated and was able to get my conditioning up a little bit," Burke said. "I actually felt stronger as it went along which was a good sign."
Crawford, who downplayed the win in his return to Vancouver, said good goaltending can erase the mistakes by his young club.
"That's what good goaltending does and we've been micro-analysing the crap out of everything here lately because we know mistakes have been costly for our group."
As for winning in Vancouver, "we would have taken the win against Vancouver College boys team if we would have played them here tonight," said Crawford.
Alexander Frolov scored his second goal of the game to give the Kings the win and end a seven-game losing streak.
Frolov, now with four goals in his last four games and a team-leading 25, was alone in front of Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo to fire home the rebound off a shot by Kevin Dallman.
Luongo, who had 40 stops, made a tough pad save on Dallman and had no chance on the winner.
"He had a nice shot on net and I just got the rebound," said Frolov. "Burkie played well for us and made a lot of good saves and really got us going."
Patrick O'Sullivan also scored for Los Angeles.
Trevor Linden scored for Vancouver.
The Kings, with their first overtime win of the season in seven tries, improved to 17-28-6 but remain last in the Western Conference.
Vancouver needed a win to take undisputed possession of first place in the tight Northwest Division but remain tied with the Calgary Flames.
The single point from their first loss in eight overtime decisions left both the Caucks and Flames with 57 points, one ahead of Minnesota.
Frolov and Burke are both looking ahead at a fresh start for the Kings.
"When we came back (from the all-star break) we decided to leave all the bad stuff behind," Frolov said.
Burke, who has 319 wins with nine teams, said his return to the NHL was only a matter of staying with the game.
"I started to think down in (AHL) Springfield that that would be it but I continued to work hard and try to enjoy the game.
"To come to an organization like this ... we're going to struggle to make the playoffs but I tell you, everything I heard about this team was how they battle hard every night and there was proof tonight."
Kings forward Craig Conroy said Burke provided confidence.
"He hasn't played in a while but he looks awesome out there."
Linden, who provided a 2-2 tie after the Canucks surrendered a 2-0 lead on five shots, said Vancouver was too inconsistent.
"We didn't do a good job away from the puck," he said after steering in Kevin Bieksa's centring pass for his eighth goal of the season. "We gave them way too many chances."
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said his club got too comfortable after Linden's goal.
"We made it 2-2 and maybe for some reason thought it was going to be an easy game and there are no easy games in this league. I thought they were the better team and deserved to win."
NOTES: The contest was the first of a four-game homestand for Vancouver while the Kings play seven of their next eight on the road ... a sore groin kept Willie Mitchell off the Vancouver blue-line ... Yannick Tremblay was recalled from AHL Manitoba to replace him ... Canuck centre Tommi Santala is practising again after being sidelined by a knee injury since early December.