Bertuzzi looking like old self

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

The sleeping giant showed signs of waking up but that wasn't enough.

Vancouver Canucks star Todd Bertuzzi scored his first goal in 10 games last night during a 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

Despite his minor breakthrough, Bertuzzi wasn't in a mood to celebrate his marker.

"I thought we competed better, smarter," said Bertuzzi, who now has three goals this season. "It's just a little frustrating not getting two points out of it."

The 6-ft. 3-in., 245-lb. power forward started the night slowly but sprang to life early in the second period. With his team down 1-0, Bertuzzi grabbed the puck from the corner, walked around defencemen Dion Phaneuf and Roman Hamrlik and flipped a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff on the far side.

Many were shocked Bertuzzi was allowed such liberties in the Flames zone but the big guy wasn't one of them.

"No," answered Bertuzzi when asked if he was surprised how much room he had. "I just grabbed the puck, walked out in front."

Markus Naslund, who scored a pair of his own for Vancouver, was happy to see his linemate get a goal but shared Bertuzzi's lack of enthusiasm after the loss.

"It was great to see him get the goal but it's tough to be upbeat right now," said Naslund, whose Canucks lost the first of two games in Calgary 1-0 Saturday night. "We came in here with the hope we'd at least (win) one here. To play well in both games and end up losing by one goal, that's a tough way to lose."

Bertuzzi did find a bit of silver lining.

"I thought we were moving the puck around better," he said. "We were skating. Our line goes a lot better when I'm skating and have the puck more."

The Flames, meanwhile, were happy they survived Bertuzzi's breakout.

Calgary GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said earlier in the day he knew it was just a matter of time before things brightened for Bertuzzi, then added he hoped it wouldn't happen against his squad. Luckily, the Flames had a breakout of their own.

"Yeah, four goals is huge for us right now," said Flames assistant coach Jim Playfair.

"It will take (Bertuzzi) some time to get himself comfortable out there and when he does, he's a dominating player."


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