The Canucks’ best playoff overtime winning goals


Alex Burrows, right, celebrates with Henrik Sedin after scoring the game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 26, 2011 at Rogers Arena.

Alex Burrows, right, celebrates with Henrik Sedin after scoring the game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 26, 2011 at Rogers Arena.

Photograph by: Rich Lam, Getty Images

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1. Bure buries Flames, Saturday, April 30, 1994

2. Burrows buries Blackhawks, Tuesday, April 26, 2011

3. Adams rakes Leafs, May 24, 1994

4. No way, San Jose — thanks to Bieksa, May 24, 2011

5. Nill nixes Blackhawks hopes, April 27, 1982

6. Burrows makes quick work of Bruins, June 4, 2011

7. Adams rakes Rangers this time, May 31, 1994

8. Linden backhands Flames back to Calgary for Game 7, April 28, 1994

9. Overtime, over and over, until Henrik brings win, April 11, 2007

10. Ronning and Roman sting Blues, May 15, 1995

Kevin Bieksa’s overtime tally two springs ago won the Vancouver Canucks a playoff series and catapulted “stanchion” up the hockey-vernacular ladder

Alexander Edler’s attempt to dump the puck into the right corner at Rogers Arena hit one of the partitions that keeps the glass on the boards in the place — the stanchion — and ricocheted absurdly to Bieksa at the middle of the blueline. Bieksa’s knuckleball grounder sneaked past a startled Antti Niemi and into the San Jose Sharks’ net at 10:18 of the second extra session.

The goal put the Canucks into the Stanley Cup final, securing a five-game series win over the Sharks. It also made “stanchion,” a more familiar term for some fans. (For what it’s worth, Wyatt Arndt, AKA The Stanchion, is one the Province’s Canucks bloggers. Check him out at

It’s a good story, but where does that rank on the list of the Canucks’ all-time greatest overtime goals? Take a look.The goal is embedded in the minds of the most pedestrian of Canuck fans — Jeff Brown going tape-to-tape with Pavel Bure from one blueline to the other, and Bure holding off Zarley Zalapski before faking out Mike Vernon to the forehand for a 4-3 win at 2:20 of the second overtime period in Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinal in Calgary.

That jump-started Vancouver’s run to the Stanley Cup finals that season.

What some may forget is that Vancouver was the No. 7 seed and Calgary was No. 2, and the Canucks needed three straight overtime victories to overcome a 3-1 series deficit.

Canuck captain Trevor Linden told reporters that night: “I didn’t know what to do when Pavel scored. You just think of all the battles and hits, and the hits you took to get here. Calgary’s been such a rival since the series in ’89 when they beat us in OT and they beat us up for a couple years after that. I don’t know how anything else could top this.’’The Chicago Blackhawks had knocked the Canucks out of the previous two playoffs, and they had rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to force a seventh game in the Western Conference quarterfinals against a Vancouver team that had won the President’s Trophy as regular season champions.

If Alex Burrows doesn’t knock down a Chris Campoli clearing attempt at the Chicago blueline with his right glove and then drill one past Corey Crawford’s blocker at 5:22 of the first overtime for a 2-1 win at Rogers Arena, who knows what happens to the team? Who survives to return to Vancouver the next season?

As play-by-play man Jim Hughson said on CBC as Burrow was mobbed by his teammates: “Finally … after three seasons and 19 playoff games against Chicago … for Vancouver … it’s a wonderful day for an exorcism.”

And, of course, it started a Canucks run to the finals.Greg Adams grabbed a rebound off a point shot and tucked a backhander underneath Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Felix Potvin 14 seconds into the second overtime to give the Canucks a 4-3 win, a five-game victory in the Western Conference final and a spot in the Stanley Cup finals against the New York Rangers.

Toronto had trailed 3-0 in that game at the Pacific Coliseum, so it looked for a time that the series was going to be extended.

Adams told reporters afterwards: “I’m numb right now. It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’ll need a couple of days to rest up after this. The coach has been saying that if the puck goes back to the point that we should drive to the net to get rebounds. I was just trying to go in on the net. When it went in, I don’t remember how it felt.”

People forget that injuries and inconsistency limited Adams to 13 goals in 68 regular-season games that season after four straight campaigns of 21 or more.Bieksa’s aforementioned tally gave Vancouver a 3-2 triumph and put them into their first Stanley Cup final exactly 17 years to the day of the Adams’ marker against Toronto.

It was a goal that caught more than a few people off guard. In the live feed on CBC, Bieksa isn’t even in the camera shot when the puck goes in the net.

Bieksa explained to the media: “I just wanted to make sure I didn’t flub it into the corner … just put it somewhere on net, and luckily it got there … barely. It took a couple of bounces. If it was maybe a couple of more minutes later in the period and more snow was on the ice, it might not have got there.”Jim Nill sneaked at shot past Tony Esposito at 8:58 of the second overtime period in Chicago for a 2-1 win in Game 1 of Campbell Conference championship.

Richard Brodeur, who was so much of the story of that first run to the Stanley Cup final, made 46 saves and has since called that his best game of those playoffs.

He told “Murray Bannerman got hurt and Tony Esposito got in goal and he was an idol of mine when I was young. He was right in front of me and I just said, ‘OK, let’s go.’ He played great that night and I didn’t give up at all.”

The game stood as the Canucks’ longest playoff encounter for 22 years, and it was the game before the famed Towel Power matchup.Burrows gave Vancouver a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup final against the Bruins when he tallied just 11 seconds into the extra frame for a 3-2 home win. Burrows burst down the left wing, faked a shot to freeze netminder Tim Thomas, and then beat him to the far post on a wrap- around.

The marker tied for the second fastest in NHL history, behind the Brian Skrudland’s nine-second tally for the Montreal Canadiens versus the Calgary Flames in a 3-2 decision on May 18, 1986.

“The first few years of my career I was on the bench for those kind of moments,” Burrows was quoted as saying that night. “You have to pay your dues. I think I’ve worked hard to be there for those kind of moments.”The Canucks won six overtime games during their 1994 run, the last coming when Adams one-timed a Cliff Ronning feed past Mike Richter at 19:26 of the overtime to give Vancouver a 3-2 road win over the New York Rangers in the first game of the Stanley Cup finals.

Adams had tallied to beat the Maple Leafs in the series clincher a week earlier.

The game was arguably the best of the playoffs for Vancouver goaltender Kirk McLean, who made 52 saves.

“Obviously, it’s a good feeling to score the winning goal again,” said Adams. “We were fortunate to be in overtime. Kirk was the guy who held us in there and gave us the opportunity to win the game.”Linden shovelled a backhander home off a Bure rebound at 16:43 of overtime to give the Canucks 3-2 home-ice win over the Flames in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

That forced the series back to Calgary for Game 7 and, of course, Bure’s heroics.

Geoff Courtnall had scored at 7:15 of overtime for a 2-1 win in Game 5.Henrik Sedin slipped a shot past Marty Turco with 1:54 to go in the fourth overtime period to give the Canucks a 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The 78:06 of overtime remains the sixth-longest game in NHL history. The Detroit Red Wings’ 1-0 win over the Montreal Maroons in 1936 that needed 116:30 of OT stands up as tops.

Roberto Luongo made 72 saves in the Vancouver net, one shy of the NHL record Kelly Hrudey’s 1987 mark for most stops in an NHL game, and told CBC ‘s Scott Oake after the game: “I went up to the referee and told him he should have disallowed the goal because Henrik kicked it in. I wanted to break the record.”Roman Oksiuta sprang Cliff Ronning and he outwaited Jon Casey before scoring at 1:48 of overtime to give Vancouver a 6-5 road win over the St. Louis Blues and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal.

Vancouver, the sixth seeds, went on to dispatch the third-seeded Blues in seven games.

The Canucks spent the first 1:11 of the period short-handed, due to a Linden penalty in the waning moments of the third period.

Coach Rick Ley said: “It was a roller-coaster ride. There was a lot of grit and a lot of determination in that hockey game tonight. It was a big win for us. It turns the momentum around. There have been a lot of momentum swings in this series.”

Vancouver was swept by the Blackhawks in the next round.

Alex Burrows, right, celebrates with Henrik Sedin after scoring the game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 26, 2011 at Rogers Arena.

Alex Burrows, right, celebrates with Henrik Sedin after scoring the game-winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 26, 2011 at Rogers Arena.

Photograph by: Rich Lam, Getty Images

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