Bruins Tie Up Canucks

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With Byron Dafoe's contract dispute behind them, the Boston Bruins are finally living up to expectations.

Steve Heinze scored his sixth goal of the season at 7:47 of the third period, to lift Boston to a 2-2 tie against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday afternoon.

"We have the nucleus," Heinze said. "The contract dispute was a distraction, and once we got it settled, we gained more confidence as a team."

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  • The Bruins have a three-game unbeaten streak and are 11-2-2 in their last 15 games.

    "We have a better team now then we had coming out of camp," Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque said. "We feel we are capable of beating anyone."

    Garth Snow made 34 saves for the Canucks, including three in overtime, in just his fifth appearance of the season.

    "We were on survival mode in overtime," said Vancouver coach Marc Crawford. "Snow was really focused tonight, and despite getting banged around he kept his composure."

    Heinze rebounded a shot by Dave Andreychuk and slid the puck through the pads of Snow to give the Bruins the tie.

    The Bruins had their best chance to win with three minutes remaining in overtime, but Heinze was stopped twice by Snow.

    Brad May took a cross-ice pass from former Bruin Greg Hawgood, and beat Boston goaltender Byron Dafoemidway through the first period, to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead.

    "Thornton let them skate by on the first goal," said Bruins coach Pat Burns. "He sat the rest of the period and still has a lot of learning to do."

    Andrew Cassels gave Vancouver a 2-0 advantage when he backhanded a shot over the left shoulder of Dafoe at 14:21.

    Just over one minute later, Boston scored a power-play goal to cut the lead to 2-1 when Jason Allison skated around Canucks defenseman Ed Jovanovski, and slid the puck inside the right post.

    "We get a lead and then we sit back," said Canucks forward Steve Kariya. "We stop doing the things that make us successful and give us a chance to win."

    Dafoe made 15 saves for the Bruins, and is now 6-2-1 since ending his holdout earlier in the season.

    Vancouver's leading goal-scorer Alexander Mogilny left the game late in the first period with a back injury, and is expected to at least miss one game.

    "I felt a pop in my lower back," Mogilny said. "I tried to keep playing, but I got hit again, and it hurt bad."

    Joe Thornton added an assist for Boston, his team-leading 22nd point.

    The Canucks are unbeaten in their last four visits to Boston, despite having a 6-36-6 all-time record on the Bruins' home ice.

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