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Henrik Sedin shines with four assists

by Dan Rosen / NHL.com
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Alex Burrows didn't even see the puck after it went under Antti Niemi's pads, and yet he still scored the goal. That's how accurate Henrik Sedin was with his passing Sunday afternoon at HP Pavilion.

"He's been criticized for not shooting and he showed why he shouldn't shoot," brother Daniel joked about Henrik following the Canucks' 4-2 victory over San Jose in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. "He should pass instead. It was awesome."

Henrik dished out a Canucks' playoff record four assists, including three primary helpers, to help Vancouver grab a 3-1 lead in this series, which shifts back to Vancouver for Game 5 on Tuesday. He now leads all NHL players with 19 points in these playoffs, including 10 in four games against the Sharks after he had only 4 in six games against Nashville and 5 in seven games against Chicago.

It truly is amazing what getting away from the hard-checking Predators and having those five days off between the Conference Semifinals and Finals did for the reigning Hart Trophy winner. He's a different player in this series and the Canucks are not surprisingly a different offensive machine.

"I think he needed some time off and it paid off," Daniel said. "He's playing a lot better now and it shows. He's more confident, too. I think (the rest) did good for him."

Henrik sidestepped a question about how he feels now opposed to the Nashville series, when it was generally assumed that he was battling some type of injury.

"We're living in the moment now," Henrik said. "We're in this series. We're looking forward to the next game. We don't have to look back at other series. This is where we are."

They are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final thanks in large part to No. 33's remarkable passing.

"He's able to make those quality passes all over the ice and he has a great awareness of where everybody is," said Burrows, who scored his goal Sunday in the third period thanks to Henrik's pass through Niemi's pads. "He is able to give it to you backhand, forehand, saucer, through legs -- everything."

Burrows said all he needed to do was have his stick5 on the ice to make it 4-0 Canucks with 14:17 to play.

"I didn't even see that one and it went in so that tells you how good of a pass it was," he said. "I lost sight of it. Good thing my stick was on the ice and it was just able to go off my blade and into the net."

"I was looking for Burr all the way," Henrik said. "I had nothing left but to sneak through (Niemi's) five-hole."

Sami Salo scored his two 5-on-3 goals by one-timing perfectly placed passes from Henrik into the back of the net. Salo also dished off one of Henrik's passes so Ryan Kesler could blast a one-timer from the left circle by Niemi's stick side.

"I don't think it matters who is playing the point when he has the puck," Salo said.

It doesn't matter who is on the ice with Henrik right now. He seems to be making everyone look good, including himself.

"That's the kind of player Henrik is," Burrows said.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

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