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Rookie leads Canucks in win

Brandon Reid has already gotten the hang of playing on the league's top-scoring team.

In his second NHL game, the 22-year-old Reid scored his first two goals and added an assist as the Vancouver Canucks beat the visiting Nashville Predators 7-3 on Thursday night.

"I've got to give a lot of thanks to my linemates," said Reid, who skated on a line with Matt Cooke and Trevor Letowski. "In their zone, with the speed we had, they couldn't handle that and I couldn't be happier."

The 5-foot-9 speedster, called up from Manitoba of the AHL on Wednesday, made an immediate impact for Vancouver, which leads the NHL with 241 goals. Reid had six of his line's 14 shots and won nine of 12 faceoffs.

"I find playing in the NHL is a lot easier," said Reid, who had an assist in his only other NHL game earlier this month. "Guys make the simple plays, they find you in the open ice, and there's not much cheap shots going on. It's just a lot faster and that's the kind of game I have to play."

The win gave Vancouver 97 points and moved the Canucks within one point of Detroit for first place in the Western Conference. They also are six points ahead of Colorado in the Northwest Division.

"I think the key is, with Colorado winning, we're keeping up and a game like this might look easy on paper, but it isn't," Markus Naslund said. "We did a great job playing the way we're supposed to."

Todd Bertuzzi scored his 43rd goal 7:55 into the first period to take over the NHL's goal lead, but Naslund matched him before the period ended. Both were happy to share the spotlight with Reid.

"He was really a great addition tonight," Naslund said. "It's great to see the young kids coming up and playing with confidence and making a difference because, in my mind, he was our best player."

Trent Klatt and Trevor Linden also scored for the Canucks.

Denis Arkhipov scored twice and Karlis Skrastins added a goal with 30 seconds left for the Predators, who have lost four straight.

"I didn't think we were ever in the game," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "This team's got a lot of character and heart, and tonight when we fell behind I thought we showed poor character."

AVALANCHE 2, SHARKS 0: At Denver, Patrick Roy made 29 saves in his fourth shutout of the season, and 65th of his career, as Colorado beat San Jose in a game that was postponed a day because of a snowstorm.

ISLANDERS 6, CANADIENS 3: At Montreal, Alexei Yashin scored twice and had his fifth career five-point game to lead New York, which got its 78th point to tie idle Boston for seventh place in the East.

Donald Audette, Andreas Dackell and Jason Ward scored for Montreal, which lost its third straight and is winless in its last seven home games. The Canadiens fell eight points behind the Islanders with seven games — one less than New York — left.

Fans at Bell Centre booed during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the game in an apparent display of their displeasure with the U.S.-led war against Iraq.

CAPITALS 4, FLAMES 1: At Calgary, Alberta, Sergei Gonchar scored two goals to lead Washington.

Michael Nylander and Sergei Berezin also scored for the Capitals, who are 7-1-1-2 in their last 11 games and are one point behind first-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division.

LIGHTNING 2, KINGS 2: At Los Angeles, Martin St. Louis scored early in the third period and assisted on Vaclav Prospal's power-play goal as Tampa Bay tied Los Angeles and extended its unbeaten streak to seven games.

Tampa Bay reduced its magic number to three points for clinching the franchise's second playoff berth in 11 years.

FLYERS 4, PENGUINS 2: At Philadelphia, John LeClair scored twice, including the go-ahead goal in the third period, as the Flyers moved into a first-place tie with idle New Jersey in the Atlantic.

BLUES 3, MIGHTY DUCKS 2, OT: At St. Louis, Pavol Demitra scored twice, including the winning goal 2:22 into overtime.

Doug Weight also had a goal and Chris Osgood made 24 saves to improve to 3-0 with St. Louis, which has won six straight at home.

COYOTES 3, OILERS 2, OT: At Phoenix, Teppo Numminen scored with 2:07 left in overtime to lift the Coyotes past Edmonton.

Daymond Langkow and Branko Radivojevic scored first-period goals for the Coyotes, who have won three straight and moved within eight points of the Oilers for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

BLUE JACKETS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3, OT: At Columbus, Ohio, Tyler Wright scored his third goal off a give-and-go from Ray Whitney with 43.8 seconds left in overtime.

Owen Nolan sent it to the extra period with 1:12 remaining for Toronto, which is 2-0-2-2 in its last six.