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Daniel Sedin injured as Canucks win season finale

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks wanted to end a miserable season on a high note, but no one was in the mood to celebrate a 5-1 win against the Calgary Flames after forward Daniel Sedin was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

Sedin scored two goals for the first time in more than a year, but he left the game late in the second period after hitting his head on the glass following an awkward hit from behind into the boards. He was taken to a hospital for "further evaluation and imaging," according to a statement from the Canucks.

Sedin was said to be in "stable condition" and "exhibited signs of movement to his extremities." Coach John Tortorella sounded optimistic as well.

"I believe he's OK," Tortorella said more than half an hour after the game ended. "You are concerned about the guy. I am glad he is OK. When I saw him first go down, it scared me a little bit. That's the most important thing, it's not about the game, it's about the kid, but we've gotten really good reports."

Sedin didn't get up after Calgary forward Paul Byron hit him from behind. He was moving his fingers and nothing else as medical trainer Mike Burnstein came off the bench and quickly called for a stretcher.

"It's never a thing where you see a guy stay down to get a penalty, so I knew right away that something was wrong, especially when you see him lay still and he's just moving his fingers," twin brother Henrik Sedin said. "Then I know he's concerned so that was when I started feeling worried."

Byron was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding. Yannick Weber scored on the ensuing power play to round out the scoring.

"I was trying to finish my check," said Byron, who had 12 penalty minutes before the hit. "I didn't think it was a dirty hit. It wasn't my intention. I just hope he's OK. The game is so fast. You have split seconds to make decisions. When you see a guy lying on the ice it's really scary. You never want to see that."

It put a damper on an otherwise good game for the Canucks, something they haven't had a lot while missing the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado scored his first NHL goal, Ryan Kesler added his 25th of the season, and Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves for his first NHL win since Oct. 11, and first since being acquired from the Florida Panthers as part of the trade for Roberto Luongo on March 4. He watched Eddie Lack play the first 16 games after the trade, but got to start the final three after the Canucks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs last Monday.

"It's nice to go into the summer break with a win," Markstrom said.

Johnny Gaudreau, who signed with the Flames after winning the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's top player Friday, scored in his first NHL game for Calgary, which finished 27th in the NHL and out of the playoffs for a fifth straight season.

"It was good experience to have before next season before I come back to training camp," said Gaudreau, who is 5-foot-7. "During the warm-ups I looked down at the other end. They were a lot bigger guys than I expected. That was a little shocking. It was a little bit faster than I expected. I was a little nervous."

Gaudreau had plenty of time for the nerves to jump.

After a lengthy pregame ceremony to induct former Canucks player, coach, general manager and president Pat Quinn into their Ring of Honor, Daniel Sedin opened the scoring when David Booth's shot bounced in off him 7:14 into the game.

Sedin, who had one goal in 2014 coming into the game, doubled the lead with some nice power play passing with brother Henrik. After moving the puck back and forth between them for close to a minute, aided by a couple of failed clearing attempts, Daniel redirected a slap pass into the slot from Henrik that Ramo stopped with his left pad and then scoped the rebound over the goalie.

It was Daniel's 16th goal of the season, his lowest full-season total since 2002-03, and his first two-goal game since Feb. 24, 2013, a gap of 101 games.

"The last couple games we both felt really good moving the puck again, making plays," Henrik said of playing with Daniel. "It's frustrating. It's a weird feeling when you know you have it but for long periods of time it hasn't been there."

Gaudreau and Bill Arnold made their NHL debut three days after their college seasons ended, and two days after Gaudreau, who had 80 points in 40 games, won the Hobey Baker. Instead, Corrado celebrated the first milestone.

Called up from the American Hockey League late in the season and inserted into the lineup for the final three games, he beat a screened Ramo midway through the second period.

"It's a dream come true and a nice weight lifted off my shoulders," Corrado said.

Kesler scored from the top of the circle less than five minutes later, chasing Ramo after four goals on 20 shots. Joey MacDonald took over but was beaten by Weber on his first shot with 1:05 left in the period.

Gaudreau scored on a deflection at the side of the net with 4:38 left in the second period, a little less than two minutes before Daniel Sedin was hurt.

"I was in the right place at the right time," he said. "I just happened to be standing at the right spot. I just got a nice little tap-in for the goal."

Vancouver won for the second time in its past eight games, but Tortorella didn't want to talk about positives after remaining in 25th place in the NHL standings.

"This game means nothing," Tortorella said. "We're done."

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