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Canucks Report - Memorable homecoming

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks


The Canucks end their cross-Canada road trip with a game in Montreal Tuesday night. Coming off their latest victory, a shootout decision over the Maple Leafs, the Vancouver squad head into Canadiens territory to face off against a team looking to even the score after a 4-2 loss to the Canucks at GM Place on February 15th.

Sami Salo was absent from the team practice today at the Bell Centre in Montreal, but will play tomorrow. Darcy Hordichuk will stay in Vancouver with his wife following the birth of his first son. Jannik Hansen also remains out of the lineup with a broken finger.

With Hordichuk and Hansen out, Manitoba Moose call-up Alexandre Bolduc will dress for Tuesday's game.

The Canucks are 3-0-0 on this four-game road stint, having won games against Calgary, Ottawa, and Toronto. Canuck captain and Montreal native Roberto Luongo is excited to end their successful trip with a game in one of his favourite road cities.

"This is another exciting game on this road trip," said Luongo. "I'm going to try to take advantage of it and get some time to spend with my family and friends. Any time you can do that its special.”

Luongo was recently in Montreal for the NHL All-Star Weekend, having just returned from a groin injury that sidelined him for 24 games.

"My game is exactly where I want it to be right now," said Luongo. "Bad goals are going to happen whether you are on top of your game or not. We're all human beings, we all make mistakes."

The last time Luongo visited Montreal with the Canucks was two years ago. He took a puck to the throat at practice the day beforethe game and spent a night in the hospital. Despite the ordeal, Luongo suited up for the game and turned away all 30 shots to lead the Canucks to a 4-0 victory.

The Canucks are excited for a memorable game to end their road trip and will likely have some crowd support. Bolduc, Alex Burrows, and Steve Bernier all hail from Quebec.

Burrows' family has taken advantage of the winger playing on the Eastern coast, and have attended the last two games in Ottawa and Toronto. The winger who has seven points (2-5-7) in his last four games, has not disappointed, with goals in both games and a three point effort (1-2-3) against the Senators.

"I always put pressure on myself to play well and contribute," said Burrows. "But right now, playing with the twins, I need to get more offence into my game than before. Those guys are going to make it happen for me. Right now, I'm getting bounces so it's a lot of fun."

Burrows' goal against Toronto came in the dying minutes of regulation and tied the game at 2-2, pushing overtime and setting the stage for Mats Sundin's shootout winner.

Sundin made his first appearance at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto since joining the Canucks after 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs. He received a standing ovation from fans following a touching video tribute during a break in the first period.

The veteran Swede, playing through the flu, capped an emotional evening with a heroic effort for his new team, netting the shootout winner and earning the first star of the game.

"With 13 years with the Leafs and in the city and with these fans, with everything going on this summer and not knowing really what [the reception] was going to be like, it was very special -- a memory for life," said Sundin.
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