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Canadian Press
11/20/2006 1:55:10 AM

VANCOUVER (CP) - It was only his first goal in 35 games but it almost seemed like a hat trick of sorts Sunday for winger Josh Green of the Vancouver Canucks.

First, he gave teammate Alex Burrows seven points on the Grey Cup game and the B.C. Lions beat that spread with a 25-14 win over the Montreal Alouettes.

He also won a second bet with Burrows, a Montreal native, by accurately predicting Markus Naslund would score the first goal of the Vancouver Canucks' 2-1 NHL win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

His luck didn't run out when he had a chance to bury the winner.

``It was nice to get a lucky break tonight.'' said Green, who admitted the drought-ending goal lifted a load off his mind. ''It feels nice, especially when the team wins.''

Green, a six-foot-three, 215-pound fourth-liner from Camrose, Alta. who signed as a free agent with Vancouver in 2005, showed good anticipation when he parked in front of the net as Patrick Coulombe shot from the Chicago blue line.

``I knew the shot was going to be coming from the right side,'' said Green who celebrated his 29th birthday on Thursday. ''I tried to find an area where there was nobody standing and I just got some luck.

``The puck jumped right on my stick and I was able to jam it in.''

It was almost as good as winning wagers from Burrows.

``It was a tough day for Alex,'' Green said. ''I'm sure he's happy for me but I know he's disappointed in the Als' losing but that's the way it goes sometimes.''

Naslund scored on an early power play when Daniel Sedin's back pass found its way through sticks in front of Chicago netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

''It was beautiful,'' Naslund said of the set-up. ''I was hoping that he saw me and he did. It was just a great play.''

The goal was Naslund's third in two games and a team-leading tenth as the Canucks swarmed around the Blackhawks' net.

''Khabibulin played great for them,'' Naslund said. ''We did a lot of good things and created a lot of opportunities. One of these days they're all going in.''

The Canucks are still goal-starved as they begin a three-game road trip Wednesday in Detroit. The have scored two or fewer goals in eight of their last nine games.

Tuomo Ruutu gave Chicago a 1-1 tie by firing Radim Vrbata's centring pass past goalie Roberto Luongo after a turnover in the Vancouver zone.

Then it became a duel between two of the highest paid netminders in the NHL but Khabibulin, who made 42 saves in a 4-3 shootout win Friday in Anaheim, was the busiest as the Canucks outshot the Blackhawks 39-23.

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