Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Vancouver leads 3-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 30th
Canucks3Final
Kings1
Game 2: Monday, December 22nd
Kings4Final
OT
Canucks4
Game 3: Thursday, January 8th
Canucks3Final
Kings1
Game 4: Wednesday, March 24th
Kings0Final
Canucks1

Kings 4

(16-11-3, 39 pts)

Canucks 4

(18-8-2, 44 pts)

10:00 PM ET, December 22, 2003

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
LA 2 2 0 04
VAN 1 2 1 04

Top Skaters

Los Angeles: Z. Palffy - 2 G, 4 SOG, +2

Vancouver: J. Ruutu - 1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2

Canucks play fifth straight OT at home

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Jarkko Ruutu knows good things usually happen when you drive to the net.

Ruutu scored with 3:54 left in regulation to complete Vancouver's comeback from a three-goal deficit and give the Canucks a 4-4 tie with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Ruutu, who ended a 26-game goal drought in his previous game, scored his third of the season by charging the crease and shoving the puck and Kings goalie Cristobal Huet into the net.

"We talked about taking the puck to get net and not trying to be too pretty," Ruutu said. "I knew (Artem Chubarov) was in front of the net so all I tried to do is just kind of fake that I'm going there and just take the puck to the net, crash the net, and try to get a rebound. They're not pretty but it's effective when you go to the net."

There was a slight delay signaling a goal as the puck trickled over the line, but it stood despite Huet's protests.

"I have to see it again, but I guess there s a rule you can push the goalie, said Huet after making 40 saves. "The guy pushed my pads so I tried to yell at the ref."

Ziggy Palffy scored his second goal of the game on a short-handed breakaway to give Los Angeles a 4-1 lead with 3:20 left in the second period.

But defenseman Brent Sopel responded with two seconds left on the same power play, and Chubarov made it 4-3 just 33 seconds later as Vancouver rallied to earn at least a point for the 10th time in 12 games.

Chubarov's goal ended a 20-game drought, and Sopel's was his first in 25 contests as the Canucks moved five points ahead of Colorado and Calgary for the Northwest Division lead.

Todd Bertuzzi also scored, and Dan Cloutier made 24 saves for the Canucks, who have played overtime in five straight home games.

"It was the third- and fourth-line guys that did the bulk of the work and got us back in the game," Canucks captain Markus Naslund said. "We're happy to get that point. We made some mistakes and we were a little sloppy on the power play and it ended up in the back of our net."

Alexander Frolov also scored on a short-handed break, and Luc Robitaille added a power-play goal for the Kings, playing without Martin Straka. Already missing 11 regulars to injury, Straka returned to Pittsburgh for the birth of his first child.

The Kings have recorded at least one point in 11 of 13 games to stay atop the Pacific Division, two points ahead of San Jose.

"We need points every night we play and we scraped a point out of here, but we left a point on the table being up 4-1," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "With our lineup we just scrape through and I think we've lost two games in regulation in our last 13 or 14 with 35 players."

Huet, starting his seventh straight game in place of the injured Roman Cechmanek (hip), finished with 40 saves.

Bertuzzi opened the scoring on a power-play rebound, ending a six-game drought with the man advantage for the Canucks.

They gave it right back on the next power play when Ed Jovanovski got caught flat-footed at the Kings blue line and Frolov blew by him before beating Cloutier on a breakaway.

Robitaille made it 2-1 with a power-play goal that bounced in off Mattias Ohlund's skate during a scramble in front of the net.

Palffy, who extended his point streak to seven games, scored his first goal on a rebound 12:32 into the second period. He added his second four minutes later after Ohlund tripped trying to keep the play onside.

Palffy outraced everyone down the ice, and beat Cloutier. He has six goals and four assists during his point streak. But the Kings couldn't hold on.

"We didn't keep it up, we just get two minutes soft and they scored a goal on the power play and then they got the third goal," Palffy said. "We can't do anything about it now, but we have to win these kind of games because in the end we're going to need those points."

Game notes


The Kings came into the game with 246 man games lost. Their injury woes extended into the press box when TV color commentator Jim Fox had to undergo emergency surgery Sunday for a staph infection in his elbow. Fox, who finished the game Saturday night with an ice pack on his swollen arm, flew to Vancouver on Monday in time for the broadcast. ... Canucks LW Matt Cooke, who missed 11 games after developing a similar blood infection while rehabilitating a shoulder injury, is expected to return after the Christmas break. ... It was former Canucks player Trent Klatt's first game in Vancouver since leaving for Los Angeles as a free agent this summer.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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