- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ST. PAUL, MINN. (AP) - Henrik Sedin scored with a minute left in overtime and Roberto Luongo stopped 33 shots, leading the Vancouver Canucks over the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Former Wild forward Pavol Demitra scored Vancouver’s regulation goal late in the second period and Marian Gaborik tied it at 5:14 of the third for the Wild.

The Canucks needed Luongo’s dominance because they did not have a shot on goal the entire third period. It was the first time Minnesota held an opponent without a shot in a period since Oct. 29, 2000.

Daniel Sedin was credited with the assist on his brother’s winner, a slap shot that beat Niklas Backstrom high.

The win was Luongo’s 30th this season, giving him 30-plus wins for four straight seasons. Only four other goalies in the league have such active streaks.

Vancouver finally managed a shot on goal with 1:30 left in overtime.

Both teams have a lot to play for late in the season.

The win vaulted the Canucks over idle Calgary for first place in the Northwest Division.

The loss seriously damaged Minnesota’s already slim playoff chances. Minnesota is 11th in the West, and will need a lot of pieces to fall into place to overcome the three teams it trails with five games left on the schedule.

Demitra, playing against his former team for the first time, was credited with the game’s first goal when his centering pass bounced off Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson and into the net.

Gaborik made it 1-1 when he beat former linemate and fellow Slovak Demitra deep in Vancouver’s zone and slipped a back-hander by Luongo.

The Wild were without defenseman Brent Burns and forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard, both out indefinitely with concussions.

Notes:@ C Rick Rypien returned to Vancouver’s lineup for the first time since late October. Rypien missed 64 games with a sports hernia. … Minnesota signed Cody Almond, a fifth-round draft choice in 2007, to an entry-level contract Monday. … Five of Vancouver’s last six games are at home, including against Calgary on April 7.

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