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Naslund nets winner

12/15/2003

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Markus Naslund is learning to
like overtime.

Naslund scored with 47 seconds left in the extra period to give
the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on
Sunday night.

It was the fourth straight overtime game for the Canucks and the
10th in their last 14 games. It also was the second time in the
last three that Naslund scored the winner.

"It's fun to play when it opens up a little bit," said
Naslund, who also scored in overtime against Pittsburgh two games
ago. "But we'd like to win in regulation."

Against the tight-checking Hurricanes, Vancouver was fortunate just to score in regulation, tying it on Trevor Linden's
goal 3:17 into the third period.

Naslund then scored the winner after Todd Bertuzzi, on a rush he
started behind his net, sent him in on a partial breakaway with a
nice flip pass at the Carolina blue line.

"I tried to skate down pick up a little speed and find a hole
and Todd put it in a good spot and I could skate right in," said
Naslund, who faked a move to the middle, then lifted a shot over
goalie Jamie Storr's blocker.

"These guys play a game where you have to be careful not to
fall asleep and let them get their chances. We didn't play the best
of games, but came up with key plays at the right times and ended
up getting two points."

Rookie Eric Staal scored his sixth goal of the season for
Carolina, which concluded a four-game Canadian trip at 1-2-0-1. The
Hurricanes, who were shut out 1-0 in Calgary on Thursday night,
have scored one goal or less in six of the last seven games.

"It's frustrating. I thought we played well," Stall said. "I
don't know what it is we're just not able to bear down on our
chances and put them into the back of the net."

Kevin Weekes made 22 saves for Carolina before leaving 8:48 into
the third because of leg cramps. Weekes, who played parts of two
seasons in Vancouver, blamed the lack of a place to dry his wet
equipment between periods.

"The equipment's heavy enough when it's dry and it's that much heavier when it's wet," Weekes said, adding most rinks have a place to dry things out. "I noticed it after the first and it just continued to get worse."

Storr made eight saves, allowing only Naslund's 16th goal.

"I was sitting in (the locker room) because there's no room on the bench and the trainer came in and yelled at me," Storr said.

Rookie Alex Auld, making his second straight surprise start
after being called up from Manitoba of the AHL on Tuesday, finished
with 30 saves, including four in overtime, to help the Canucks wrap
up a five-game home stand at 2-1-2-0.

Auld got the nod in net after regular backup Johan Hedberg, who
was scheduled to start, re-injured his left wrist during the
morning skate.

"Mentally it's easier than having been here for a week and
sitting on the bench and getting thrown in," said Auld, who was
playing regularly in the minors before being recalled after No.1
goalie Dan Cloutier injured his groin.

Game notes
Vancouver C Mats Lindgren will remain out of the lineup at
least another six weeks after having back surgery Friday for the
second back time in the last two months. ... Cloutier will join the
Canucks when they leave Monday for a three-game road trip and
expects to be ready for the first game in Nashville on Tuesday
night. ... Vancouver rookie RW Jason King, tied for second on the
team with 11 goals, was a healthy scratch for the second time this
season after scoring only once in the last 11 games. The Canucks
dressed seven defensemen, including Jiri Slegr, who has been
scratched 13 of the last 14 games.