Canucks win opener against Blues

Terry Jones, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:11 AM ET

VANCOUVER – The twins and the twineminder.

How many times has that been the combination for success for the Vancouver Canucks?

It was in Game 1 of the Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff series lid lifter as Daniel and Henrik Sedin led the scoring and Roberto Luongo did the stopping in a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

If nothing else, the Blues managed to score on Luongo.

Bobby Loo, as he's better known in these parts, had a shutout streak of 184 minutes and 32 seconds going when it happened.

And Luongo, who had stopped 88 of 89 in his previous three games, the last two of which were shutouts, coming into the post season lid lifter, almost made the save with his outstretched stick as he dived across the crease having stopped the first 19 in this one.

But Brad Boyes scored the power play goal late in the second period of Game 1 between the two hottest teams going into Stanley Cup season this year to stop the streak.

“I was close,” said Luongo of the dive and the outstretched goal stick. “Not close enough, obviously.

“It was a kind of a weird play. It was a shot and a tip and it's tough to get those.

“I just try to make every save. I've been playing well and the guys are doing a good job in front of me,” said the first star of the game.

“It felt great. This is what we play for and there was great atmosphere in the building tonight.”

With Daniel Sedin scoring in the first period and both twins, Daniel and Henrik, drawing assists on a Sami Salo power play goal early in the second period which turned out to be the winner, Vancouver took a 2-0 lead in Game 1 of the series.

Two periods into the playoffs and the Sedins already had one more point than the two had between them in the last playoff series in which they played two years ago against the Anaheim Ducks.

Daniel said he was not aware of that stat.

“That was two years ago,” said the Swede who along with his brother is in the final year of his contract headed to unrestricted free agency.

Sedin said if the Canucks are successful this time around there will be a few 2-1 wins.

“That's the game we have to play. We wanted to play a tight game tonight.

That's the way it's going to be. There are not going to be a lot of goals.”

Vancouver was not lacking for playoff atmosphere for openers this Stanley Cup season.

With fans taking over the singing of O Canada from Mark Donnelly, most of the crowd wearing the various jerseys from the Canucks colorful (jersey wise) history and waving towels, GM Place had everything but much of an actual playoff game for the first half of the opening period.

The Blues had four shots on goal and the Canucks two with no real scoring chances until Daniel redirected a pass from the boards by Pavol Dimitra to give Luongo, all the lead he required to win the last two games of the regular season.

By the end of the period it started to look a little more like the series people expected by the Canucks (23-7-6) and Blues (21-7-6) who were the league's two hottest teams coming down the stretch to claim their playoff positions from off the pace, the Blues from last place, this season.

There was no scoring in the third as the Canucks outshot the Blues 15-6.

“That's the game we want to play every night,” said Luongo of getting a lead and shutting it down.

“We'll still get chances. When all was said and done that third period we played tonight was a pretty good third period.”

Game 2 is set for Friday night here with the series switching to St. Louis, where there hasn't been a Stanley Cup playoff game since spring of 2004, for games Sunday and Tuesday.


Videos

Photos