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Published: Friday, 12/5/2008

Red Wings rally late to defeat Canucks

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Red Wings' Derek Meech celebrates scoring a third period goal as Canucks goalie Curtis Sanford reacts Thursday night. The Red Wings' Derek Meech celebrates scoring a third period goal as Canucks goalie Curtis Sanford reacts Thursday night.
PAUL SANCYA / AP Enlarge

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings got the two points they wanted.

And they sure weren't style points.

Jiri Hudler and Dan Cleary each scored twice and Detroit broke a tie with a three-goal outburst early in the third period in a 6-5 victory over the Vancouver Canucks last night. Nicklas Lidstrom added a goal and two assists, Derek Meech scored his first career goal for Detroit and Chris Osgood made 20 saves.

"That was exciting, post-lockout hockey, wasn't it?" Detroit coach Mike Babcock asked. "Last shot wins."

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist, and Taylor Pyatt, Kyle Wellwood, Mason Raymond and Alex Burrows added goals for Vancouver in the Canucks' fourth loss in a row. Shane O'Brien added two assists, and Curtis Sanford made 27 saves before being pulled in favor of Cory Schneider, who stopped all five shots he faced.

Meech, Lidstrom and Cleary scored 2:45 apart early in the third period.

Meech beat Sanford on a wrap around backhand shot 3:23 into the period for his first NHL goal.

Lidstrom added his third goal - from the bottom of the left circle - at 4:13, and Cleary capitalized on a rebound on a power play at 6:08 for his second goal of the game and fourth of the season.

Cleary's goal sent Sanford to the bench.

"It seems like they were coming at us in waves at the beginning of the third," Sanford said.

Henrik Sedin scored on a rebound for his fourth goal at

8:20 for the Canucks, and Burrows added a goal, his seventh, with Schneider pulled for a sixth attacker with 1:25 remaining.

"Not much panic sets in among the players," Cleary said. "But when you're up 6-3, you've got to tighten up. We can let teams get back in and get a sniff of it."

Cleary's first goal, 9:34 into the second period, tied it at 3. He tipped in Lidstrom's shot from the left point for his third goal.

Vancouver scored twice in the first five minutes of the second period to take a 3-2 lead.

Wellwood's power-play goal at 1:22 tied it at 2. He scored his 11th goal by beating Osgood from the bottom of the left circle. Raymond put in a carom off the back boards for his seventh goal at 4:43.

Pyatt opened the scoring just 1:35 into the game as Detroit surrendered a goal on its opponent's first shot for the third consecutive game. Pyatt got his fourth goal when he beat Osgood from the inside edge of the right circle.

Hudler tied it with his first goal, at 5:04. He beat Sanford from the bottom of the right circle. The goal was set up by Wellwood's giveaway along the boards in the Vancouver zone.

Hudler gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 9:55 remaining in the opening period with his 11th goal. Andreas Lilja's pass from one of the circles in the Detroit zone sprung Hudler for a breakaway and he beat Sanford high on the glove side.

NOTE: Detroit RW Tomas Holmstrom missed his eighth game because of back spasms.



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