Series (Game 4 of 4)

Vancouver leads 3-1

Game 1: Wednesday, November 20th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 17th
Game 3: Friday, January 17th
Game 4: Monday, February 10th

Blackhawks 1

(23-20-3, 59 pts)

Canucks 2

(32-16-0, 72 pts)

10:00 PM ET, February 10, 2003

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 T
CHI 0 0 11
VAN 0 1 12

D. Cloutier (Canucks - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: .957

T. Klatt (Canucks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Lindgren (Canucks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Naslund notches league-best 11th game-winning goal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Markus Naslund didn't want to give the Chicago Blackhawks any chance at a comeback.

 Markus Naslund

Naslund scored his NHL-leading 37th goal 1:40 into the third-period as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Blackhawks 2-1 Monday night.

"It was nice to get that second goal," Naslund said of his league-leading 11th game-winner. "We didn't want to take a step back and invite them back into the game."

Trent Klatt scored in the second period and Dan Cloutier made 22 saves as Vancouver extended its unbeaten streak to seven games. The Canucks have blown three multiple-goal leads that resulted in ties during their unbeaten stretch.

Naslund, who was robbed by Thibault and by the inside of the goalpost four minutes into the game, made sure it didn't happen again. His shot from the right circle bounced off Steve Poapst's stick and fluttered over Thibault's shoulder.

"We ve had letdowns, losing leads that have cost us, but we re working on it," said Naslund. "When you re up 1-0 and they pull the goalie you never know what might happen."

What happened was Mark Bell spoiling Cloutier's shutout bid with 42 seconds left, but it didn't bother the goalie. He was more concerned with picking up his 27th win and helping Vancouver move seven points ahead of surging Colorado in the Northwest Division.

"Sure it's nice to get one once in a while, but you play the games to win the games and it's a huge two points, especially the way Colorado and other teams are playing in the Western Conference," Cloutier said of the playoff race.

Chicago hurt its chances for the postseason by failing to take advantage of a chance to catch Anaheim for eighth place. The Blackhawks wrapped up a seven-game road trip with a 2-4-1 record and have just two wins in the last 11 overall.

"I hate losing, especially recently, because we ve been playing hard," goaltender Jocelyn Thibault said. "It's not like we don't give a darn, we battled hard, but we can't score."

Thibault made 29 stops and appeared poised for a second straight shutout before some hard work paid off for Vancouver's fourth line of Klatt, Mats Lindgren and Darren Langdon.

Lindgren and Langdon kept the puck in the Chicago zone with a couple of great second efforts along the boards and a bouncing puck eventually hopped over the stick of Blackhawks defender Poapst in the crease to Lindgren at the left side. He quickly sent a backhand pass to Klatt for a tap-in at the opposite side of the net.

"I didn't do any work," insisted Klatt. "Mats and Darren are the ones that deserve all the credit. I really don't deserve any credit for it.

Todd Bertuzzi drew an assist to extend his points streak to 11 games, the longest active streak in the league. He has five goals and eight assists during his streak, which also ties him for the third longest this season, two games short of the top mark set by Ottawa's Marian Hossa and matched by Colorado's Milan Hejduk.

Game notes
The Blackhawks had the only two power plays of the first 40 minutes, but their NHL-worst power play managed just one total shot and is now 2-for-33 over the last 10 games. ... Vancouver didn't get its first _ and only_ power play until 6:21 of the third period. ... The Canucks recalled D Bryan Allen after he spent the weekend with the AHL Manitoba Moose, but he didn't play. ... Vancouver, coming off a three-game road trip after the All-Star break, is 6-2-2 in the first game back after a road trip this year. ... The Canucks played in front of their 21st consecutive sellout. The crowd of 18,514 was 92 higher than the early in the season after new luxury suites were opened on the fifth level.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press