A big win for the Vancouver Canucks tonight as Brendan Morrison's overtime marker gave the Canucks a much needed win on home ice. A possible playoff preview had the Stars and Canucks play a tight checking, hard hitting affair at GM Place. Dan Cloutier making a number of key saves to keep his team in the game during the third period.
The good news for the Canucks was the lack of panic that seemed to envelope them in the games since the first week of March. Tonight, they didn't appear to get rattled when Dallas would pull ahead on the scoreboard, or put a bit of pressure on them in their own end. Another promising sign was the re-emergence of Markus Naslund's offensive touch, he was in the flow of the game much more tonight, getting a number of chances to score. Also finding their game returning a bit were the Sedin's, who had a number of chances to score, only to be thwarted by a fairly solid Ron Tugnutt in the Stars net. Henrik finally got his first goal in 14 games scoring a tying goal in the first period. Dallas took the lead in the second with a Pierre Turgeon marker, Geoff Sanderson answering that goal at 9:38 of the third. The rest of the third was all Canucks as they buzzed around the Stars end of the ice, coming up just short of winning in regulation time.
Tied 2-2 after three they went to overtime, Morrison scoring the winner just forty seconds into the extra period. With the win the Canucks climb closer to the Colorado Avalanche in the hunt for first place in the Northwest Division.
The game was not without it's losses though, Bryan Allen and Brad May both left the game and did not return. Allen apparently holding his shoulder as he left the ice, May suffering what is called a lower body injury, received when he was hit into the boards by Brendan Morrow. Despite the injuries, which aren't wanted heading into the playoffs, Marc Crawford must have been pleased with the effort of his club, especially the third period which had all the Canucks involved in the play. If he can keep that work ethic up for the next week, the playoff run may not have to be deferred to another year. A game like tonight's' will go along way to giving them both team and individual confidence, a tonic for the uncertainty they've shown during their free fall of the last two weeks.