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Nashville Predators' Ryan Suter, right to left, celebrates his goal with teammates Jerred Smithson and Martin Erat, of the Czech Republic, against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period of game 2 of an NHL Western Conference semi-final Stanley Cup playoff hockey series in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, April 30, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward


Matt Halischuk scored with 5:09 left in the second overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night to tie the Western Conference semi-final series 1-1.

Halischuk took a pass from Nick Spaling and ripped a shot over the glove of Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Nashville defenceman Ryan Suter forced overtime with just 67 seconds left in a third period where the Predators had attacked in waves. It was the Predators' first goal of the series, after losing Thursday's opening game 1-0.

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"Game 1 was a wake-up call," said Halischuk. "We came out hard today. We stuck to our game plan. In Game 1 we kind of got away from that. Everyone gave a hard effort."

Suter's shot from behind the net went off Luongo's left skate and into the net. An angry Luongo slammed his stick on the ice.

It was the first goal Luongo had allowed in 1:26:11. It was also the second time in three games Vancouver couldn't hold onto a one-goal lead in the final two minutes of a game.

"Sometimes it happens," said Luongo. "Obviously, you don't want to give up a goal late. Sometimes it happens."

The Canucks took two penalties in overtime. In the first overtime Vancouver was called for too many men. In the second, defenceman Kevin Bieksa was sent off for delay of game.

Alex Burrows scored a short-handed goal for Vancouver.

The game was the longest in Nashville's history.

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The Canucks came close to winning the game with 2:14 left in the first overtime. Daniel Sedin fed a perfect pass to a charging Bieksa. But diving Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped the shot with his chest.

The Predators outshot Vancouver 15-5 in the third period and 36-15 over 60 minutes.

The best-of-seven series shifts to Nashville for games Tuesday and Thursday.

Earlier in the third, Luongo stopped Jordin Tootoo on a breakaway and blocked a Shea Weber blast from the point. Both brought loud cheers from the sellout crowd of 18,860 at Rogers Arena.

Burrows' goal came early in the second period.

With the Canucks on the penalty kill, Burrows gobbled up a turnover by Nashville's Sergei Kostitsyn in the neutral zone. He fed the puck to Ryan Kesler as the two broke in on Rinne.

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Kesler fed the puck back to Burrows who snapped a shot that hit defenceman Weber. The puck came back to Burrows who knocked it behind Rinne.

It's been an eventual week for Burrows, who has four goals in the last four games.

He scored twice, including the overtime winner, in Vancouver's thrilling Game 7 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night. On Wednesday night his wife gave birth to a baby daughter, the couple's first child.

The Predators had promised a better showing in Game 2 after looking flat in Thursday's first match.

Nashville showed more energy. The Predators controlled the puck, won faceoffs, outhit the Canucks, and peppered Luongo with shots. The Canucks weathered the storm until the dying minutes of the third period.

Both Luongo and Rinne are finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL's top goalie.

During a first-period scramble, one of the Predators blasted a shot that Luongo stopped laying across the front of the net.

Later, he stuck a pad on a Mike Fisher shot during a Nashville power play, then stopped Fisher on a 3-on-1 breakaway.

Luongo also got a little help from his friends. In the third period, a diving Ehrhoff broke up a 2-on-1 breakaway with Kostitsyn ready to pull the trigger.

Rinne flashed his glove to grab a Mikael Samuelsson shot in the second period and slid across his crease to block a Kesler wrap-around attempt.

Some hard licks were handed out. Canuck defenceman Alex Edler pasted Patric Hornqvist into the boards. Tootoo flattened defenceman Keith Ballard.

There were some anxious moments in the second period when a Weber shot struck teammates Martin Erat on the side of the head. Erat, who just returned from an injury, lay crumpled on the ice for several minutes. He skated back to the bench and later returned to action and earned an assist on the tying goal.

Prior to the game, rocker Elvis Costello performed his hit song Pump It Up with local Vancouver band Odds. Costello, wearing a hat and sunglasses, was shown performing on the video screen on the scoreboard.

Costello is married to jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall, who was born in Nanaimo, B.C.

Notes: The Canucks scored 17 goals in the first eight games of the playoffs. ...The Canucks have a 6-2 record in series when they post a shutout. ...Since the NHL switched to the conference playoff format the team that wins the first game of a series has a record of 39-25.

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