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Late Salo goal lifts Canucks in Game 1

SAMI Salo scored with 1:13 left as and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Thursday in the National Hockey League semifinals series opener after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.

After Nikolai Khabibulin made a sliding save on Steve Bernier's one-timer, the trailing Salo was all alone to tap in the rebound.

Patrick Kane scored twice for Chicago, and David Bolland tied it with 5:29 left.

Ryan Johnson scored into an empty net with 15.5 seconds left to wrap up the victory. Pavol Demitra scored on a powerplay, and Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler added even-strength goals for Vancouver. Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo made 28 saves.

Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal series is also in Vancouver tomorrow.

After Chicago rallied twice from three-goal deficits in its six-game victory over Calgary, Kane got the Blackhawks' rally started 1:01 into the third period, pouncing on a loose puck in the slot off a rush and roofing a quick shot over Luongo's shoulder. Kane scored on a powerplay rebound, and Bolland tied it on another rebound.

Khabibulin made 22 saves, including three great ones to keep it close early in the third period. Kyle Wellwood added two assists and drew 10 minutes in penalties for the Canucks, but didn't get credit for his best play, a long pass to start the late 3-on-1 rush that led to the winning goal.


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