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Canucks keep perfect road trip alive

Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a second period goal against the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game at Arena on March 8, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.

Christian Petersen/2011 Getty Images

Dan Hamhuis is positive that he's had a two-goal game before.

Just not in the NHL. Nor in junior. None that he can remember anyway.

"Minor hockey, there was a few in there," the Vancouver Canucks defenceman said after potting the overtime winner in a 4-3 comeback victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. "I played single-A, so there were a lot of goals then."

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The Canucks rallied from a 2-0 deficit for their third straight victory and are now 3-0 - and assured of a winning road trip - during this five-game stretch away from Rogers Arena. It continues Thursday in San Jose.

Sami Salo and Henrik Sedin, on the power play, also scored for the visitors, and Roberto Luongo made 31 saves, 14 of them in the middle period, in a splendid performance.

Each Sedin finished with three points, and Daniel (with 84 points) now leads the league by 5 points over his brother Henrik and Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Henrik won the scoring championship, and the NHL MVP award, last season.

It's a good thing Hamhuis scored, too, because the Canucks were in danger of blowing this game at least twice.

Alex Burrows was awarded a rare penalty shot in overtime after being hauled down on a breakaway, but he lost control of the puck in front of Ilya Bryzgalov and squandered a game-ending opportunity. The Canucks also held a 3-2 lead late in the second frame, until Lauri Korpikoski evened matters with 43 seconds remaining.

"We knew we were playing well," Luongo said of the dressing room mindset after 40 minutes. "Obviously, you never want to give up a goal at the end of a period like that, but we knew if we came out and had a strong third, things would take care of themselves."

It was Vancouver's first win this season when trailing after one period. The Canucks had been 0-7-4 when down after 20 minutes.

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The Coyotes built a 2-0 lead on goals from Eric Belanger and Shane Doan, but Hamhuis scored just 17 seconds later to instantly turn it into a one-goal, no-margin game.

"Defensively, we could've been a little tighter," head coach Alain Vigneault said about myriad chances for Phoenix. "We had to comeback, and we did."

The crowd at Arena was announced at 12,843 and many were clad in Canucks' blue and green. Minus the interlopers, who filled entire sections of the lower bowl, it would have been the perfect example of what plagues the woebegone Coyotes franchise.

As it was, there were still scores of empty seats, and hope is running out for a team that could very well be in Winnipeg next season if a proposed sale to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer is scuttled by the Goldwater Institute.

Vancouver played without second-line left winger Mason Raymond, who was out with a right shoulder injury.

He was replaced in the lineup by Victor Oreskovich, who took a needless tripping penalty in the third period but later got a shift, suggesting that Vigneault trusts him more than his last stint with the Canucks. Jeff Tambellini subbed for Raymond on the second line.

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About the Author
B.C. sports correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Matthew spearheads the Globe's sports coverage in B.C., and spends most of his time with the NHL Canucks and CFL Lions. He has worked for four dailies and TSN since graduating from Carleton University's School of Journalism a decade ago, and has covered the Olympic Games, Super Bowls, Grey Cups, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA Finals. More

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