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Canucks Report: Back at it

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

The Vancouver Canucks are down a game to the Calgary Flames in their best-of-seven Western Conference Quarter-Final series because of how the Flames finished Game 1.

Calgary scored with roughly 30 seconds left to take a 2-1 lead and steal the win; Vancouver was back on the ice at UBC Thursday morning having moved past a disappointing first game.

There's a lot of series remaining for the Canucks and Flames.

“We have to take what we can from that one and use it tomorrow,” said Chris Tanev. “We have to come out firing and make sure we put together a 60-minute effort.”

Kevin Bieksa was the lone Canucks player who did not practice on this day, but coach Willie Desjardins said he expects the rugged defenceman back for Game 2.

That was the only significant update from Desjardins, who was questioned on everything from the ice time the Sedins received to Sam Bennett’s playoff debut for the Flames.

STATS ATTACK

In NHL playoff history, the team that wins the first game of a best-of-seven series has gone on to win the series 427 out of 622 occasions, a .686 winning percentage, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

What does that mean to the Canucks?

Diddly-squat.

Including Wednesday night, Vancouver is now 23-20 to open a playoff series and of the 43 series the Canucks have competed in, winning the first game has only resulted in 12 series wins.

Win Game 2 and the series becomes a best-of-five with the Canucks holding home ice advantage.

“We should have scored two or three goals last night,” said Henrik Sedin, disappointed he, Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows couldn’t pull the trigger. “Give Hiller credit, he played a great game and we have to find a way to beat him in Game 2.”

“We can be better in that department for sure,” added Daniel Sedin. “We need more shots and traffic and after that things can open up. But they’re in the playoffs for a reason, they’re a very good team, they skate well and get their Ds involved; every game we played against them this year was tight and we didn’t expect anything else.”

BO STEPS UP

Despite losing Game 1, Bo Horvat was in a noticeably jovial mood Thursday, either because it’s a beautiful day in Vancouver, or because he scored his first playoff goal in his first playoff game.

“I’m smiling for both,” laughed Horvat.

The 20-year-old was a standout on offence for the Canucks and had three great scoring chances (one of which he converted). He’s looking to give Vancouver that same spark during Game 2 Friday.

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