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Canucks Report - Sundin line shining

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

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Just over a month after joining the Canucks Mats Sundin is making his presence known. The Swedish centre has seven points (4-3-7) in three games and has combined for 22 points in the same span with linemates Ryan Kesler and Pavol Demitra.

Sundin looked strong and sharp last night as he put the Canucks on the scoreboard with two goals in the second pulling the team back into the game. He also made key plays that resulted in Kesler and Demitra’s goals.

“It’s a process for myself, but the last four or five games, the legs and everything is there,” said Sundin. “I don’t feel better or worse after the last 10 or 11 games, but it was nice win. It was tough. We showed a lot of character, and a good win like that can build momentum.”

Alain Vigneault's second line was dominant against St. Louis, combining for seven points last night. Kesler has 10 points (6-4-10) in his last four games  and Demitra has seven points (1-6-7) in three games after missing three with a sore groin.

“It helps a lot playing with both [Sundin and Demitra],” said Kesler. “The calibre of pass, not every player can make that pass Demo gave to me. It’s a special pass by a special player, and it’s a pretty easy goal. And Mats is playing very well, and is in on the forecheck and the first guy back. He’s skating well and strong on the puck down low and scoring for us. That’s huge."

The Canucks found a way to win yesterday, pulling together and battling hard to a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues, a team that is 16-1-1 when leading after two periods. The Vancouver squad twice overcome two-goal deficits before pulling ahead late in the third.

After a January to forget the Canucks have won three consecutive games and earned points in six of their last seven games. The two points gained last night moved Vancouver into seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

“This win means a lot,” said Burrows who tied the game at 4-4 in the third. “Even through that slump we were a confident group. We knew we had the pieces to get it done and now we are putting it together.

“The biggest part is we’re working hard. Even down two, we could have packed it up and moved to Phoenix, but we wanted these two points and we really worked for them. Everybody chipped in and it was a big win for us.”

Jannik Hansen recorded his first career NHL game winning goal, giving the Canucks the 5-4 lead with 4:42 left to play in the third before Demitra found the empty net to put the game out of reach for the Blues.

Goaltender Roberto Luongo did not steal the win for the Canucks, but he was certainly sharp enough to contribute, turning away 28 shots.

"A lot of those goals tonight, a lot of them were bang-bang plays," said Vigneault. "I think [Luongo would] like to have the first one back, but the other ones he was there. Some nights it's going to be that way. For us, finding a way to score coming back is positive and finding a way when Roberto is OK is a positive sign. We know he's going to be OK, the great goaltender he is. He’ll win his share of games.”

The team heads to Phoenix next for a Thursday evening game against Wayne Gretzky’s Coyotes, currently sitting five points behind the Canucks.
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