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Canucks rally to take opener of West final

VANCOUVER — Kevin Bieksa tied it 7:02 into the third and Henrik Sedin scored on a power play 1:19 later as the Canucks came back to defeat the Sharks 3-2 Sunday in Game 1 of the West final.

Roberto Luongo made 27 saves for the Canucks.

San Jose, which was swept by Chicago in last season's West final, took a 2-1 lead into the third thanks to goals by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. But after failing to finish several chances late in the second, Vancouver converted in the third.

Alex Burrows got behind Dan Boyle on a left wing rush and fed a pass across and back to Bieksa atop the right faceoff circle. The defenseman's wrister beat Antti Niemi.

Dany Heatley took an elbowing penalty 32 seconds later. And the Canucks' power play, which led the league during the regular season but did not get a shot on goal on two of its first three chances, converted.

Christian Ehrhoff fed Sedin, whose only other goal in these playoffs was into an empty net.

"We're here to score goals and produce. That's tough do in the playoffs," Sedin said. "I think a lot of games we played well and had our chances but pucks haven't gone our way. We started out being minus-1 after the first two (periods). That's a tough start, but we battled back."

The Sharks were coming off Thursday's Game 7 victory over the Red Wings.

"We didn't spend enough time in their end," Heatley said. "We didn't do a very good job of keeping it in their end and making them play down there for very long."

Canucks 0 1 2 3
Sharks 1 1 0 2
Canucks 0 1 2 3
Sharks 1 1 0 2

First Period1, San Jose, Thornton 3, 18:47. PenaltiesMurray, SJ (high-sticking), 9:09; Eager, SJ (interference), 13:16.

Second Period2, Vancouver, Lapierre 1 (Hansen, Torres), 1:49. 3, San Jose, Marleau 4 (Boyle, Thornton), 8:44 (pp). PenaltiesHuskins, SJ (hooking), 3:52; Raymond, Van (holding), 7:44.

Third Period4, Vancouver, Bieksa 2 (Burrows, H.Sedin), 7:02. 5, Vancouver, H.Sedin 2 (Ehrhoff, Kesler), 8:21 (pp). PenaltiesHeatley, SJ (elbowing), 7:34; Boyle, SJ (holding), 17:36; Lapierre, Van (diving), 17:36. Shots on GoalSan Jose 10-12-7—29. Vancouver 11-14-13—38. Power-play opportunitiesSan Jose 1 of 1; Vancouver 1 of 4. GoaliesSan Jose, Niemi 7-6-0 (38 shots-35 saves). Vancouver, Luongo 9-5-0 (29-27). A18,860 (18,810)

Boogaard death: Derek Boogaard's family donated his brain to researchers. The Rangers wing was found dead Friday. An autopsy is expected to take several weeks. Boogaard's agent said his client was previously approached by researchers because he fought often. Bob Probert, who fought often during his career, died last year at 45. And researchers found in him evidence of the degenerative brain disease that is associated with cognitive and behavioral problems and causes dementia.

Canucks rally to take opener of West final 05/15/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 16, 2011 12:25am]
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