April 24, 2007
Canucks in 7th heavenVancouver shoots down Stars
By TERRY JONES -- Sun Media
VANCOUVER - Finally the Vancouver Canucks defeated their demons.
Finally, after six consecutive failures at putting a team away when they were one win away from capturing a series, the Vancouver Canucks did it here last night.
Finally they scored on a power play. Twice if you can believe it.
Called out by coach Alain Vigneault for failure to compete in Game 6 in Dallas, the Canucks didn't really start to compete until the second period of Game 7 of their series against the Dallas Stars here last night.
But when they did, oh, how they did.
In the end it was a 4-1 with two empty-net goals to do it.
"Players are sometimes like your kids," said Vigneault. "They need tough love.
"Sometimes you have to tell them things they don't like to hear.
"It's like I said. All I wanted was our guys to play hard. That's all I wanted. In the beginning our team played a little nervous but in the second and third periods they played with no fear.
"It wasn't about me challenging them. They understand what they had to do. They did it for their team-mates, for each other. They did it for all the right reasons."
Instead of being dead ducks as usual, it's a Canucks-Ducks series in the second round. Today they fly to Anaheim for Wednesday's Game 1 of only second time Vancouver has made it to the elite eight since 1996.
The Stars, who could have become the first team in the history of their franchise to come from behind a 3-1 series deficit dating back to their days in Minnesota, ended up shaking hands with a group which would have become the second Canuck team to blow a 3-1 lead in the last four seasons.
From the end of regulation in Game 1 until the start of Game 7, Turco had a .077 goals against average and a .972% save percentage.
He only was required to handle five shots in the first period, none of which were particularly difficult.
The shot which gave the Stars a 1-0 first period lead came off an innocent play when Joel Lundqvist found himself the only Star on the Vancouver side of centre ice. He used Kevin Bieksa as a split-second screen and fired a quick shot which caught Luongo off-guard.
Outshot 9-6 in the second period, the Canucks came out in the second and threw everything they had at the Stars - outshooting Dallas 15-4, breaking the outage on their power play and ending Turco's chance of becoming the first netminder in Stanley Cup history to win a series with four shutouts.
Henrick Sedin, who hadn't scored since 18:06 of the fourth overtime period in Game 1, parked to the side of the net unprotected and slapped a pass from his brother Daniek behind Turco before he could come across the crease.
The goal, which came with Jon Klemm serving a crosschecking penalty, came at 15:12 of the second period and ended the span between Vancouver goals at 167:05.
The Canucks were 1-31 - including an 0-26 stretch - on the power play before Sedin scored the equalizer.
Turco also had to handle a Daniel Sedin chance beside the net in the second minute of the period and a long low drive from Brendan Morrison midway through the sandwich session.
Trevor Linden tipped a Mattais Ohlund shot on a play set up by Henrik Sedin for a second power play goal of the night - the series winning goal.
"Trevor did what I expected, what his team-mates expected," said Vigneault of the 36-year-old he called out for taking a stupid penalty on his first shift in Dallas in Game 6. Empty net goals by Taylor Pyatt and Bryan Smolinski settled it.