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Canucks' power line delivered in Game 5

by Dave Lozo /
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Canucks received a consistent, thorough effort from just one line during Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks. But when that line is arguably the best one in hockey, sometimes that's all it takes.

Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Alexandre Burrows completely dominated the opposition when they were on the ice Tuesday night while the Canucks' other three forward lines spent nearly as much time in their own zone as goaltender Roberto Luongo. But it was enough to give the Canucks a stirring 3-2 victory in double overtime that sent the Canucks to their first Stanley Cup Final in exactly 17 years.

The Canucks were outshot 56-34. Of those 34 shots, 23 came from forwards. Of those 23 shots, nine came from the sticks of Sedins and Burrows. When they weren't putting the puck on net, it seemed as if they were working a power play. They controlled the puck in the Sharks' zone for nearly a minute at a time while at even strength.

The line was plus-6, had a goal, a pair of assists and was on the ice for Ryan Kesler's game-tying goal in the final seconds of the third period that sent the game to overtime. They were also the catalysts for Kevin Bieksa's goal in the second overtime, cycling the puck for what seemed like an eternity before a fortunate bounce off the glass led to the winner.

"We had one line I thought tonight that was really going and it was the twins with Burr," coach Alain Vigneault said. "When Hank's line was on the ice, they controlled the play. They made some unbelievable plays at their end. They did some amazing things with the puck. They're elite players and they proved it again tonight."

Bieksa, the beneficiary of that line's work, said as good that line was in Game 5, it's just an average performance for anyone who has watched them all season long.

"They do this every night. Every night they're this dominant," Bieksa said. "I don't think they get enough credit and enough attention across the League. These guys do this on a day-to-day basis. We just sit on the bench and watch them go at it. They're special players."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said as good as the Canucks' top line was, it wasn't even the trio's best game of the series. With the Canucks' other lines failing to generate any consistent pressure, their performance stood out even more.

"They were without a doubt their best line," McLellan said. "They're tremendous players. They're so in sync, it's almost uncanny how they read off of each other. Obviously, Alex Burrows does a very good job on that line to support it."

Henrik Sedin, who along with his linemates combined for 6 goals and 18 assists in the series, was prepared to play a few more overtimes if necessary.

"We felt as a line really good throughout the series," Henrik said. "We were making plays that we know that we can. We had a ton of fun out there.  We've been working hard for each other.  It makes it easier.  Tonight we felt good again. We felt we could play for another four periods. We never seemed to be tired out there. That's a good feeling to have."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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