VANCOUVER, B.C. – Sami Salo’s power-play goal 2:27 into overtime gave the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.
The goal made a winner of goaltender Curtis Sanford as he replaced injured Canucks captain Roberto Luongo. Sanford made 32 saves while the Canucks were outshot 34-24. Taylor Pyatt and Daniel Sedin also scored for the Canucks. The Canucks outshot the Wings 8-0 in overtime.
Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored for the Wings.
Salo returned to action after missing two games with what coach Alain Vigneault has described as the flu.
The Canucks received a rare overtime power play as Johan Franzen was penalized for interference 1:36 into the extra session.
Luongo injured his groin Saturday in Pittsburgh. The club has listed him as week-to-week.
Sanford, a 29-year-old journeyman from Owen Sound, Ont., had not appeared in three straight games since about this time last year, when Luongo was also out with an injury.
After the morning skate, Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters he was concerned his club could reduce their intensity because Luongo was not playing. But he didn’t have to worry, because the Wings limited the Canucks to just nine shots in the first 40 in the first 40 minutes.
Sanford was tested early as he stopped deflections by Franzen and Samuelsson.
But Samuelsson made good on another chance 9:22 into the game as he opened the scoring on a backhand to Sanford’s short side.
Vancouver winger Steve Bernier was injured as he missed a hit on Red Wings defenceman Brad Stuart behind the Detroit net moments before the Wings went up ice and scored. The burly winger suffered a shoulder injury and did not return.
A few minutes later, Sanford foiled Datsyuk after a Willie Mitchell giveaway in the slot. The puck almost trickled through Sanford’s legs as he dropped to his knees and the goaltender looked behind him while bending backwards.
The Canucks almost got the equalizer in the final two minutes, but Salo’s shot through traffic clanged off the post and Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood robbed Jannik Hansen as he tried to put a rebound off the end boards into the open net.
Pyatt created a 1-1 tie at 2:27 of the second period after Kyle Wellwood checked Jiri Hudler off the puck in the Detroit zone. The big Vancouver winger made no mistake as he quickly snapped the puck over Osgood.
But the Red Wings controlled the play for the rest of the period as they outshot the Canucks 11-3 in the middle frame. Despite looking unsure of himself at times, Sanford stopped everything he faced and the Canucks killed a pair of Detroit power plays to keep the score tied 1-1 after 40 minutes.
Sanford appeared to injure his collarbone with 3:57 left in the third period but stayed in the game after a Canuck trainer briefly checked him. Moments later, Datsyuk gave Detroit a 2-1 lead as he rang a wrist shot in off the post on a power play at 16:25.
But Daniel Sedin tied the game 1:10 later as he deflected Salo’s point shot in mid-air and the puck bounced past Osgood.
The goal gave Sedin 400 points for his career, beating his twin brother Henrik to the mark. Henrik has 399 career points but was not involved in the goal.
In overtime, the Canucks threatened early as Mitchell’s shot hit Ryan Kesler and then rolled into the post while Pavol Demitra swiped at it.
NOTES – Detroit’s Derek Meech, usually a defenceman, played on the wing as forwards Thomas Holmstrom (back) and Daniel Cleary (scratched eye) remained out with injuries . . . Monday marked the first time goaltender Cory Schneider, 22, Vancouver’s first-round-draft choice in 2004, dressed for a Canucks regular season game as he backed up Sanford. Schneider was called up from Manitoba of the AHL over the weekend following Luongo’s injury.