VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Sami Salo scored on a power play at 2:15 of overtime and the Vancouver Canucks bounced back from blowing a two-goal lead in the final minute to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Sunday night.
Most of the crowd of 18,810 — the 300th consecutive sellout — headed for the exits after Alex Edler scored into an empty net with 55 seconds left to make it 3-1.
But Cody Almond went hard to the net unchecked to deflect in his first goal on Casey Wellman's centering pass with 41.5 seconds left. And Antti Miettinen tied it with 18.8 seconds left, parking at the side of the net alone to snap Andrew Brunette's pass from behind the goal past Roberto Luongo from a sharp angle.
The dramatic comeback ended after Greg Zanon took a high-sticking penalty in overtime and Salo one-timed a pass from Henrik Sedin.
Ryan Kesler, short-handed, and Kyle Wellwood, on a power play, also scored as Vancouver won consecutive games for the first time in three weeks to secure its third Northwest Division title in four seasons under coach Alain Vigneault.
Brunette ended Luongo's shutout bid on a power play midway through the third period, and Niklas Backstrom made 36 saves to keep the Wild in its first game since being officially eliminated from the playoffs Saturday.
Despite the late meltdown, Luongo celebrated his 31st birthday by bouncing back after a career-worst eight goals in Los Angeles on Thursday night, part of a post-Olympic slump that included a .888 save percentage since backstopping Canada to gold.
Pulled from his last two starts against Minnesota, Luongo wasn't tested often in the first half as the Wild failed to record a shot in the first 9 minutes. He made a great glove save off Martin Havlat from close range with 1:14 left in the first period, and a couple great short-handed stops late in the second period.
Luongo slid across his crease to deny Brent Burns on a one-timer and robbed Owen Nolan on the rebound just the first penalty of a lengthy Minnesota two-man advantage expired with 30 seconds left in the period. He got some help from Henrik Sedin, who blocked Guillaume Latendresse's shot at an empty net on a rebound just after the second penalty expired early in the third period.
Vancouver was outshooting the Wild 7-0 when Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa took an interference penalty 4:52 into the game. But before Minnesota could record a shot, Alex Burrows pounced on a loose puck in the Vancouver end and raced down the ice. He cut around Havlat to create a 2-on-1 down low and firing a perfect cross-ice pass to Kesler, who snapped it over a sprawled Backstrom.
It was the NHL-leading seventh short-handed point for Burrows, who has five goals when the Canucks are down a man. Burrows was a big part of a bounce-back game for a penalty killing unit that came into the game ranked 18th in the NHL after giving up seven goals on just 21 chances over the last four games. Instead they killed off the first six Minnesota chances, including a 5-on-3 for 1:16, before Brunette converted the seventh after a favorable bounce off the end boards.
Despite three early power plays, the Wild only had five shots when Wellwood doubled the lead on a Canucks man advantage midway through the second period.
NOTES: Sedin's overtime assist gives him 106 points, four more than Washington's Alex Ovechkin atop the NHL scoring race. ... Vancouver RW Mikael Samuelsson, who has 30 goals and 53 points, returned after missing eight games with a shoulder injury. ... It was the 300th consecutive sellout in Vancouver dating to 2002, the fourth-longest streak in NHL history. Minnesota's active 401-game streak is the third. ... Canucks D Shane O'Brien's exile ended after six days as he returned to practice Sunday morning, but did not play against the Wild. O'Brien, who hasn't traveled or skated with the team since being late to practice last Monday, made a public apology for both the tardiness and gaining too much weight during the Olympic break.