Goalie battle turns into Sedin Show
Bailed out: Twins lead Canucks to comeback victory, no matter who their linemate is
When you manage to overshadow Roberto Luongo versus Cory Schneider in this town, you're doing something right.
What began as one of the season's most anticipated duels between two old friends turned into another episode of the Sedin Show.
Luongo made some big saves, but it was the twins who had to carry the mail, driving the Vancouver Canucks uphill with three points in a 3-2 come-from-two-goals-down overtime win.
Jason Garrison played the hero, scoring his third of the season, which whizzed by Schneider 2:18 into the extra period.
But it was the Sedins who got them there.
Really, who else was going to bail out Vancouver after a fluke Patrik Elias goal in the second put the Canucks down two goals for the second consecutive game? There is no fourth line. At least, not one that actually takes regular shifts. The third is in a constant flux. And, other than Saturday's win against Edmonton, Ryan Kesler playing has been a rumour.
It's been on the Sedins to go to work, and they've done it so far in a way people haven't seen since the 2010-11 regular season.
Daniel Sedin now has six points in four games, and 16 shots - all of those in the past three. And Henrik has been better.
"Guys on the bench have just been watching, looking at each other, because when they're at their best it's like nothing you've ever seen before," David Booth said. "It never gets old. I know it's corny to say, but it does inspire guys.
"It's like, 'Man, we gotta get going.
Build on that momentum.' They can change a game in a shift."
In three of four games, they've managed to do that.
The linemates haven't mattered. They've cycled through Jannik Hansen, Mike Santorelli, David Booth, and, way back on opening night, Alex Burrows. Being separated hasn't stopped them. Neither has killing penalties.
There was a lot of speculation about who John Tortorella's arrival would impact the most. The easy choice was Kesler, whose edge and emotion seemed either a good fit with Tortorella, or a pending disaster.
But Kesler's had one great game, and been a non-factor the rest.
The Sedins, meanwhile, have been unrelenting and desperate to prove they can be complete players.
"I think it's good (Tortorella) keeps mixing things up; sometimes you need a spark and you realize (what you're doing) is not good enough," Daniel said. "You get a change like that and you get, I don't know, a new energy.
"The new options does a lot for you."
Elias had scored 7:23 into the second on a bizarre sequence in which the puck first deflected off an official's skate in the corner, redirecting by Dan Hamhuis to the front of the net. Elias tried a pass but the puck caught Dale Weise's skate and slid under Luongo.
It put Schneider and the Devils up 2-0 and in total control.
Schneider had got a standing ovation to start the game, to mark his return here. It was sweet, warm and appropriate.
Not only was he a good, professional teammate, given all the issues he was forced to deal with, he was a great friend to Luongo, and his best advocate.
Over the years, it was marvellous to watch, and so was the ovation. But the fans let Schneider know they have moved on late in the second as they serenaded him with a derisive "Schneider" chant.
Less than two minutes after the Elias goal, the Sedins got their break. A Daniel Sedin wrist shot deflected off Anton Volchenkov and edged by Schneider's sprawled out left toe.
The Sedins carried the momentum into a series of dominating shifts. The one that tied it started with Henrik winning a defensive-zone faceoff, on a line with Chris Higgins and David Booth.
Daniel Sedin replaced Higgins on a change, and Alex Edler blasted a shot off of Ryane Clowe.
Watching Clowe try to limp off the ice was like watching Ketchup. The Sedins pounced on the opportunity. Daniel set Edler up with a beauty pass that cut through the offensive zone, which opened up because Clowe just couldn't get off.
Edler took the pass and went shortside, high on Schneider and tied the game email@example.com twitter.com/botchford
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