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Canucks top Panthers in shootout

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Canadian Press
1/8/2007 1:09:41 AM

VANCOUVER (CP) - Josh Green, who has just one goal in NHL regulation time this season, scored in a shootout as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3 Sunday night.

Green was the Canucks' sixth shooter and beat Panther goaltender Ed Belfour to extend Vancouver's unbeaten streak to seven games.

It was the second time in three games that the Canucks were forced into a shootout. They beat Dallas 2-1 on Wednesday and Vancouver is now 3-1 in shootouts.

It was a game that almost got away from the Canucks.

The Panthers tied the score 3-3 on Gregory Campbell's short-handed goal at 11:35 of the third period. He scored on a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle on a play where Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo may have been screened.

The Canucks looked to have the match won when Brendan Morrison scored off the rebound of a Markus Naslund shot for a 3-2 lead midway through the period.

Naslund had tied the game 2-2 at 3:59, scoring from a scramble. The goal broke a 17-game scoring drought and earned the Canuck captain a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 18,630.

Mike Van Ryn had given Florida a 2-1 lead with just under two minutes gone in the third when his sharp-angle shot from the boards went between Luongo and the post.

Trevor Linden also scored for the Canucks on a first-period power play.

Ville Peltonen got the other goal for the Panthers, who lost their third consecutive game. Florida hasn't won a in Vancouver since March 7, 1994.

Vancouver remains on top of the Northwest Division with a 24-18-1 record. Florida is last in the Southeast Division with a 15-20-9 record.

A back injury to Todd Bertuzzi had dampened some of the enthusiasm for one of the most anticipated games of the season.

The match was the first meeting since the June 23 trade that sent Bertuzzi to Florida for Luongo. That deal also saw defenceman Lukas Krajicek come to Vancouver while defenceman Bryan Allen and goaltender Alex Auld went to Florida.

Allen was the only former Canuck who played Sunday.

Bertuzzi, who underwent back surgery in November, has played just seven games this season. Auld, who started the season as Florida's starter, lost his job to Belfour.

The Panthers took the game to the Canucks after a slow start. Florida looked especially strong in the second period, where at one point they had outshot Vancouver 11-1.

The Panthers showed more team speed, quickly moving the play up ice and pouncing on loose pucks.

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