ALSO ON SLAM!
Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Flyers 3, CANUCKS 2 (OT)
Burt's first downs Canucks in overtime
VANCOUVER (AP) -- It was a curious reversal of roles for a pair of Philadelphia Flyers.
Forward Mark Recchi, the Flyers leading scorer, made a game-saving -- and controversial -- defensive play.
Meanwhile Adam Burt, who went 122 games without a goal, scored with 2:26 left in overtime, lifting the Flyers to a 3-2 win Wednesday night over the Vancouver Canucks.
In the process, the Flyers improved to 7-0-4 in their last 11 visits to Vancouver, a streak that dates back to Jan. 17, 1989.
Burt felt that his goal drought lasted just as long.
"The floodgates are open now," said a laughing Burt, who's last goal was March 6, 1998. "I told our backup goaltender Brian Boucher that I was gunning for him on the scoresheet. I think I passed him today."
Burt capped a nifty passing play. Daymond Langkow, from the side boards, fed Gagne in front. Instead of shooting, Gagne dropped a pass back to Burt, who scored from the slot.
The goal came a few minutes after Recchi broke up a golden Vancouver scoring opportunity, when he hooked and hauled down Mark Messier from behind on a clear breakaway, preventing the Canucks captain from getting a shot off.
Recchi said he understood why the Canucks questioned the non-call by referee Bill McCreary.
"We'd feel the same way. But I didn't hook him, I didn't do anything," Recchi said. "I just put my stick across his arms and pushed him so he couldn't get a shot away."
Messier refused to blame McCreary for not calling a penalty, saying it was a tough situation for the official.
"(Recchi) actually hit me in the jaw and knocked me out a bit. But I don't think he meant to, it was an accident," Messier said.
The Canucks, 1-8-1 in their last 10 games, can't seem to get any breaks.
"You've got to make your own breaks," Messier said. "We needed a game like tonight desperately. ... I thought we played a good game against an excellent club that's playing very well."
Rookie Simon Gagne led the Flyers with a goal and two assists. Jody Hull also scored for Philadelphia, which maintained its top spot in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of New Jersey.
Donald Brashear and Todd Bertuzzi scored for the slumping Canucks, who squandered a pair of one-goal leads and went 1-5-0-2 during their six-game homestand.
Gagne forced overtime, scoring with 9:54 left in the third period, ending an 11-game scoring drought.
Brashear gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead 15:09 into the first. After Vanbiesbrouck poked the puck off of Brashear's stick, Brashear got the puck back and shot it into the open side.
Hull, set up by Gagne's pass from behind the net, tied the game midway through the second period, one-timing a shot from in close.
Bertuzzi, snapping a nine-game goal drought, put the Canucks ahead 2-1 with 4:26 remaining in the second. The goal came on the power play, only the Canucks' second in 33 opportunities.
"I definitely don't think we brought our A-game today, but lately we've been playing a strong enough third period to pull games out," Burt said.