VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Given another chance to unleash one of the league's hardest shots, Sami Salo didn't miss.
After not connecting a few seconds earlier, the hard-shooting Vancouver defenseman walked into a slap shot at 4:39 of overtime, overpowering Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom high on the glove side to give the Canucks a 3-2 win over the Wild on Saturday afternoon.
``I knew there wasn't much time left,' Salo said. ``I felt bad on the first three shots so I thought I'd give it a shot and good things happen.'
Especially when you can hit it as hard as Salo, who has won several of the Canucks' annual hardest shot contests with blasts of more than 100 mph.
The Finnish defenseman got the chance to tee one up from the middle of the ice with Dany Heatley in the penalty box for slashing Ryan Kesler's stick in half.
``Not a smart play,' Heatley said. ``That's really all there is to say.'
Kyle Brodziak put Minnesota ahead with 1:49 left in the second period, but Jannik Hansen tied it with a nifty deflection 2:06 into the third.
Then Heatley, who scored the tying goal late in the third period in Edmonton on Thursday, caught Kesler's stick as the Canucks' center got out of his own end.
``You never know if the stick's going to break or not,' Heatley said.
``It's kind of a gray area, too. If the stick breaks every time is it a penalty? I don't even know the rule. But still I can't put myself in that spot.'
Daniel Sedin also scored as Vancouver extended its home win streak over the Wild to eight games.
Backup Cory Schneider, making his third start of the season, finished with 21 saves for the Canucks, who also posted consecutive wins for the first time this season.
They celebrated by announcing a big trade with Florida right after the game, sending Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson to the Panthers in exchange for left wing David Booth, center Steve Reinprecht and a third-round draft pick in 2013.
Devin Setoguchi also scored, and Backstrom made 29 saves for the Wild, who are still looking for consecutive wins under new coach Mike Yeo, but have points in all but two of eight games (3-2-3).
It was the fifth time in six games they have gone past regulation, but still haven't won in Vancouver since Jan. 31, 2009.
``This is twice we've lost games because of 1/8a penalty in overtime 3/8 but I also know he's not trying to be undisciplined,' Yeo said of Heatley.
The Canucks, coming off consecutive 40-shot games, only managed four in the first period of a rare early afternoon home game and fell behind when Heatley made a nice pass to send Setoguchi in alone inside the faceoff circle.
But Vancouver fired 15 shots on Backstrom in the second, and forced a couple of great saves before Sedin tied it on a power play with 3:32 left after a hard pass from behind the net pinballed off Backstrom, defenseman Nick Schultz and in the net.
Brodziak restored the lead less than two minutes later, but Vancouver tied it again after Manny Malhotra pulled up at the blue line and sent a high shot on goal that Hansen tipped down between the legs of Backstrom.
Backstrom made a couple of great saves - and got help clearing loose pucks behind him - during a wild scramble three minutes later.
He also robbed Daniel Sedin on an overtime rebound, but he had little chance when Salo, playing his 700th NHL game, walked into a hard slap shot.
``Everyone in the league knows his shot is good, Backstrom said of his Finnish Olympic teammate. ``It was a good shot from him and too bad for us. I saw it too late, but you have to find a way to see it and find a way to stop it.
Notes: Minnesota LW Guillaume Latendresse, who led the team with five points, did not play because of a lower body injury. D Greg Zanon (groin) was also out, but captain Mikko Koivu played with stitches in his chin and a scary scrape along his neck after getting clipped by Heatley's skate Thursday in Edmonton, forcing him to miss the end of the game.
The Associated Press News Service
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