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  • Friday, March 17, 2000

    CANUCKS 6, Sabres 3

    Naslund scores two to lead Canucks over Sabres

  • Summary

     VANCOUVER (CP) -- Brendan Morrison spent many seasons cheering for the Vancouver Canucks while growing up in Pitt Meadows, B.C. Now that he's wearing a Canucks uniform, the fans are cheering for him.

    Morrison, making his debut with the Canucks after being dealt at the trade deadline, recorded a goal and an assist as Vancouver beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-3 on Thursday.
     
     "There's no question I was nervous, but I was excited at the same time," said Morrison, who had a contingent of family and friends at the game. "There were a lot of emotions tonight and I just wanted to go out and work hard and do well. I had a lot of people here and, obviously, growing up in the area and coming down and watching the Canucks . . . it doesn't get much better than this."
     
     Morrison was acquired along with Denis Pederson from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Alex Mogilny.
     
     Morrison was credited with a goal after his centring pass deflected off Jason Hollard's skate and behind Martin Biron for his sixth goal of the season.
     
     "It was a lucky one, but I'll fake it," said Morrison. "The main thing is we won the hockey game. That's the bottom line and we have to keep going and working hard."
     
     Markus Naslund had two goals and two assists while Andrew Cassels added four assists -- season highs for both players. Mark Messier had a goal and two assists.
     
     "(Morrison) reminds me a lot of myself," said Cassels. "He makes good little plays, likes to give-and-go and sees the ice really well. It worked pretty well tonight. He definitely had some good jump and everybody just kind of joined in."
     
     Todd Bertuzzi and Mattius Ohlund also picked up goals for the Canucks. With the win, the Canucks moved to within six points of the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks for the last playoff berth in the Western Conference.
     
     "We've been playing well of late but haven't passed anybody," said Cassels. "To see ourselves above someone in the standings, it shows that we're getting something out of these wins. We just have to keep worrying about ourselves and hopefully getting some help along the way."
     
     Curtis Brown and Doug Gilmour each had a goal and an assist while Dixon Ward picked up a goal for Buffalo, which falls to two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
     
     Vancouver outshot Buffalo 17-4 in the second period and 35-20 overall. "We were awful," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. "We didn't pay a price to play defence at all."
     
     Martin Biron, who leads all rookie goaltenders with 19 wins, had a tough night. He was visibly angry after Bertuzzi knocked the stick out of his hands just prior to scoring Vancouver's third goal of the game late in the first period. Midway through the second, Biron thought he had frozen the puck at the side of the net, but the play wasn't whistled dead and Messier scored.
     
     Then, with less than five minutes left in the second, Biron collided with Matt Cooke going after the puck in the corner and started punching the Canucks forward in the head. That set off a melee and everyone on the ice -- except for Felix Potvin in the Vancouver net -- started throwing punches. Biron was given a two-minute minor for roughing and simply smiled as the fans booed.
     
     Notes: Naslund's two goals and two assists and Cassels' four assists were their best offensive efforts of the season . . . Centre Denis Pederson, acquired with Morrison for Alex Mogilny at the trade deadline, went pointless in his debut . . . Buffalo was playing its second game in as many nights after skating to a regulation tie in San Jose on Wednesday.

    Summary

    -----------------------------	 
    Buffalo              1 1 1--3	 
    Vancouver            3 3 0--6	 
    -----------------------------	 
    
    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Buffalo, D Ward 8 (Taylor), 3:05. 2,
    Vancouver, Morrison 6 (M Naslund, Messier), 4:53. 3, Vancouver, M Naslund
    22 (power play) (Messier, Cassels), 7:14. 4, Vancouver, T Bertuzzi 17
    (Morrison, Cassels), 19:21. Penalties: Smehlik, Buf (interference), 7:00.
    
    SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 5, Buffalo, Brown 18 (Satan, Gilmour), 1:28.
    6, Vancouver, M Naslund 23 (power play) (Cassels, Ohlund), 4:10. 7,
    Vancouver, Ohlund 4 (shorthanded) (Cassels, P Schaefer), 9:07. 8,
    Vancouver, Messier 14 (M Naslund), 10:08. Penalties: Rasmussen, Buf (Obstr
    tripping), 3:10; Cooke, Van (interference), 8:08; Biron, Buf served by
    Varada (roughing), 15:05; Cooke, Van (goalie interference), 15:05;
    Woolley, Buf (high sticking), 19:23; Morrison, Van (high sticking), 19:23;
    Ohlund, Van (holding), 19:41.
    
    THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 9, Buffalo, Gilmour 24 (power play) (Brown,
    Woolley), 7:04. Penalties: Komarniski, Van (holding), 6:11; Potvin, Van
    served by T Bertuzzi (slashing), 19:30.
    
    Shots on goal:
    ---------------------------------	 
    Buffalo               7  4  9--20
    Vancouver            15 17  3--35
    ---------------------------------	 
    
    Power-play Conversions: Buf - 1 of 4, Van - 2 of 2.  Goalies: Buffalo,
    Biron (35 shots, 29 saves; record: 19-18-2). Vancouver, Potvin (20, 17;
    record: 12-23-9).  A:14,491.  Referees: Van Massenhoven, Watson. Linesmen:
    Parker, Wheler.
    
                       INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS
    
    Buffalo                               Vancouver
                   G   A   +/-  Shots                    G   A   +/-  Shots
    Afinogenov     0   0   -1     1       Baron          0   0   +1     1
    Brown          1   1   even   1       Cassels        0   4   +2     1
    C Gratton      0   0   -2     4       Cooke          0   0   +1     2
    D Ward         1   0   even   1       Druken         0   0   -1     2
    Gilmour        1   1   -1     2       Hawgood        0   0   even   2
    Holland        0   0   -1     0       Hendrickson    0   0   even   2
    Mckee          0   0   +1     0       Klatt          0   0   -1     2
    Patrick        0   0   -1     0       Komarniski     0   0   even   1
    R Warrener     0   0   even   0       M Naslund      2   2   even   8
    Rasmussen      0   0   even   0       May            0   0   even   0
    S Barnes       0   0   -1     0       Messier        1   2   +1     1
    Sanderson      0   0   even   2       Morrison       1   1   +2     3
    Satan          0   1   even   3       Ohlund         1   1   +3     3
    Smehlik        0   0   -1     0       P Schaefer     0   1   even   1
    Taylor         0   1   +1     2       Pederson       0   0   even   1
    Tsyplakov      0   0   -1     0       Sopel          0   0   even   0
    Varada         0   0   -1     1       Strudwick      0   0   even   0
    Woolley        0   1   -2     3       T Bertuzzi     1   0   +1     5
    Peca           Shoulder               Aucoin         Finger Injury
                                          Jovanovski     Healthy
    
    
    BUFFALO SABRES VANCOUVER CANUCKS



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