VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -Ryan Shannon's spinning shootout goal gave the Vancouver Canucks a much-needed win.
If you ask the Chicago Blackhawks, it shouldn't have even counted.
Markus Naslund tied the game with 1:18 left in regulation and Shannon scored the only shootout goal with a controversial spin-o-rama after bumping goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, lifting the Canucks to a wild 3-2 win over Chicago on Sunday night.
"I don't think it matters how pucks go in the net, as long as they do, said Shannon, who was playing in just his second game since being called up from the American Hockey League but said he used the same move against Dallas goalie Marty Turco while playing for Anaheim two seasons ago. "I was just trying contribute to the team, and I figured that would be a good way to start things off. I came out wide and saw he came with the poke-check, so I put on the brakes and put it into the open net."
Shannon made contact with Khabibulin as he spun back across his body and tucked the puck in on his backhand, drawing complaints from the Blackhawks, and a shot to the back of the head from the stick of the Chicago goalie.
"I guess there's no such rule against it, so if there's no rule I guess he can do it," said a visibly upset Khabibulin. "But he's going to pay the price. Show me one goaltender that is going to be happy if he stays in the blue and somebody bumps him. I don't care if it's a penalty shot or whatever."
|Vancouver Canucks right wing Ryan Shannon comes in on Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on a shootout attempt on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, in Vancouver. (Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Canucks)|
The game had a bit of everything, including third-period comebacks by both teams.
There was even a penalty shot with 2:07 left in overtime after Chicago defenseman Brent Sopel knocked the net off with the Canucks on a 3-on-1 rush. But Daniel Sedin lost the puck trying to deke to his backhand and didn't even get a shot.
Chicago trailed 1-0 going into the third period, but Patrick Sharp tied it at 5:44, and Cam Barker gave Blackhawks the lead on a strange bounce with 4:05 left.
Barker threw the puck at the net from the blue line, then watched as it bounced off a Canucks player in front of him and arced high into the air, just clearing goalie Roberto Luongo's head before landing on the goal line and bouncing in.
It looked like the Canucks, missing injured defensemen Willie Mitchell (back), Kevin Bieksa (calf), Aaron Mitchell (foot) and Lukas Krajicek (shoulder), were about to lose after having the lead after two periods for the first time this season (20-0-0).
But Naslund tied it with Luongo on the bench for an extra attacker, parking himself at the side of the net and redirecting Mattias Ohlund's bouncing point shot past a helpless Khabibulin.
"It was nice to come back, said Naslund after scoring his 20th goal for a team-record ninth straight season. "We played a strong game. Unfortunately we got some bad bounces, like when you see that puck going over Louie, but we responded and got the win and that's all that matters. I think we deserved the win."
The Blackhawks clearly disagreed, at least with the way it ended.
"To me that's interference," Chicago coach Denis Savard said.
"Goalies should be able to get bumped. What's the difference if a guy goes right at the goalie and runs him right out, goes straight at him 100 miles an hour? I don't think there's any difference. That's what they're going to see if they don't fix it. The league has to look at that and try to fix that."
Alexandre Burrows also scored and Luongo stopped 16 shots through overtime and Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Sharp in the shootout as the Canucks bounced back from a 6-2 drubbing by Colorado the night before to win for the second time in three games and stay a point behind Nashville and Calgary for eighth place in the Western Conference.
"Habby kept us in the game," Savard said of Khabibulin, who made 32 saves through overtime as the 14th-place Blackhawks lost for the sixth time in seven games.
"We're not satisfied with a point," said Toews, who had an assist in his first game back after missing 16 games with a sprained left knee. "It's unfortunate we couldn't take advantage of that lucky bounce in the third."
Chicago lost winger Martin Havlat, who left the game after just one shift in the second period because he was feeling ill. But Toews, who is fourth in team scoring with 32 points and second among all NHL rookies with 15 goals despite missing a month, jumped back onto the top line with fellow rookie Kane and Sharp.
The trio almost combined on the first goal early in the second period, but after Sharp snapped a pass from Toews off the inside of the post, Henrik Sedin took the long rebound and sprung Burrows for a breakaway. Burrows deked to his backhand and lifted the puck just over Khabibulin's glove 1:43 into the second period.
"Our main goal is to shut the other team's top line down," said Burrows who plays on the checking line. "It's a bonus if we can score."
Notes: Canucks C Byron Ritchie and Chicago RW Adam Burish dropped the gloves and fought two seconds into the game. Sharp extended his point streak to four games (four goals and one assist). Havlat only played six shifts and 4 minutes and had his personal four-game point streak snapped. Canucks LW Brad Isbister was back after being a healthy scratch the past five games. Chicago has two games left on a seven-game road trip: in Columbus on Wednesday and Nashville on Thursday.