Canucks 4, Flames 2

Mikael Samuelsson scored the two most important goals just 2:40

apart, and was more interested in talking about his teammates.

Samuelsson scored twice through screens midway through the

second period, Alex Burrows added his second into an empty net and

the Vancouver Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 on Saturday

night.

Tim Jackman and Curtis Glencross scored 2:06 apart early in the

second to put Calgary ahead. But Samuelsson tied it with a shot

through Ryan Kesler’s screen at 10:40, and scored again with a

power-play one-timer from the point through Daniel Sedin’s screen

less than three minutes later.

”My second goal would never go in,” Samuelsson said of Sedin

parking himself in front of Miikka Kiprusoff. ”It’s not about only

the goal scored. That’s even more important, get in front or finish

hits or whatever it is. It’s not all about the points and the

goals.”

Samuelsson has plenty of both lately, with seven goals and 14

points in his last eight games, after recording just one assist in

the previous 14 contests.

Part of the resurgence, Samuelsson said, has to do with being

moved back to the second line with Kesler and Mason Raymond, who

had two assists. Part of it is manning the point on the first

power-play unit in place of the injured Alex Edler. Part of it is

being over a nagging leg injury.

And part of it is not worrying too much when the points weren’t

coming.

”I’m not only here to score goals, but when it doesn’t go in

for you, what are you going to do?” he said. ”You gotta stick

with it and believe in yourself. Everybody is important to the team

and not everyone puts points up.”

That was especially true of the penalty killers Saturday.

Burrows opened the scoring on a power play that went 2 for 3,

and helped kill off three straight Calgary power plays in the third

period as the Canucks bounced back from a 4-3 loss to Anaheim on

Wednesday – just their third in regulation in more than two

months.

”Our penalty kill has been good all year and come up big in

crucial situations and no different tonight, said Roberto Luongo,

who made 24 saves to remain unbeaten in regulation since Dec. 5

(16-0-5).

Vancouver moved four points ahead of Philadelphia atop the NHL,

and nine up on Detroit in the West.

Kiprusoff finished 29 saves for the Flames, who were coming off

an overtime loss to Anaheim on Friday night.

Calgary lost in regulation for the first time in 11 games

(8-1-2). It jumped from 14th to eighth in the Western Conference

with the run, but the losses dropped it back to ninth, a point

behind Minnesota for the final playoff spot.

”It was a playoff game where you give up a couple power-play

goals and don’t get any, that was the difference in the game,”

Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. ”In our last 23 games that’s

what, four regulation losses, so it’s been a pretty good run here

and now we just get recharged.”

Calgary had three chances to tie it on the power play, but

couldn’t convert against a defense that lost Keith Ballard (knee

sprain), Dan Hamhuis (concussion) and Edler (back surgery) in the

last two weeks. Veteran Sami Salo did play his first NHL game since

tearing his Achilles’ tendon in July, but he was in the penalty box

for one of the Flames’ third-period advantages.

”Obviously special teams were key tonight when they had their

biggest push,” Salo said. ”Once I started to play solid minutes I

felt a little better.”

Rene Bourque did hit the post on a backhand from the slot late

in the second chance. But that was the closest the Flames came to

beating Luongo, who forced Brendan Morrison wide on a partial

breakaway, robbed Olli Jokinen twice with his blocker and stuffed

Matt Stajan on a 2-on-1 in the final 10 minutes.

”We didn’t think it was over going into the third,” Luongo

said.

NOTES: Burrows extended his point streak to nine games (eight

goals, three assists) – the longest active run in the NHL. …

Glencross scored for a fourth straight game. … Calgary LW Alex

Tanguay missed a third straight game with a neck strain. …

Canucks C Manny Malhotra assisted on both Burrows goals, his first

points in 20 games. … Veteran Calgary D Steve Staios played a

second straight game ahead of Brendan Mikkelson after missing

almost two months with injury and sitting out three games as a

healthy scratch.