The Vancouver Canucks will play in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, the first time they have advanced to the championship round since 1994. And on quite a dramatic play midway through the second overtime period of the game:
Alexander Edler received the puck by the boards and then knocked it off the side to places unknown. All the players appeared to believe it was behind the net, but it was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, the players turned their attention to the net only to see that a goal had been scored.
As it turned out, Edler sent the puck up the boards, off the glass and then the stanchion. That redirected the puck to the middle of the ice for Kevin Bieksa, who put the puck past Antti Niemi for the 3-2 victory.
The Canucks also were lucky in the third period, which began tied at one. But Devin Setoguchi put one past Roberto Luongo (54 saves on 56 shots) 24 seconds into the period for a 2-1 Sharks lead. With only 13 seconds left in the period, Ryan Kesler tied the game and sent it to overtime.
The Canucks have lost their previous two Stanley Cup Finals appearances, 1994 to the New York Rangers and 1982 to the New York Islanders. Interestingly, in 1994 the Canucks also needed a double-overtime victory to advance to the finals. In 1982, the Islanders swept Canucks, while the Rangers needed seven games to send them to defeat in 1994.
The Canucks will play the winner of Boston-Tampa Bay. The Bruins lead, 3-2, heading into Wednesday's game.