Calgary at Vancouver

Canucks' top line has big night, Luongo shuts out Flames

CBSSports.com wire reports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Alexandre Burrows and Roberto Luongo started the season fighting back tears. They finished the opening game with a good reason to celebrate.

After taking part in an emotional pregame ceremony to honor Luc Bourdon, the Canucks defenseman who died in a motorcycle accident in May, Burrows scored twice and Luongo made 25 saves, leading Vancouver to a 6-0 victory against the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

"It was not easy, that's for sure, especially seeing Luc's family there, that was the toughest thing," said Luongo, who joined Burrows in presenting the jersey worn by the 21-year-old defenseman in his last game to Bourdon's family and former girlfriend, who made the cross-country trip from Shippagan, New Brunswick.

That was followed by Canadian rock legend Tom Cochrane singing his hit song Big League while a video tribute to Bourdon, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft, played on the scoreboard screen overhead.

"Seeing him wearing the Canucks jersey in the video, you fight back tears watching those things," said Luongo, the new Canucks captain. "You try to take that emotion and carry it over to the game and change it into positive energy."

Steve Bernier added a goal, Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist, and Daniel Sedin had three assists as Vancouver's new top line combined for six points. Mattias Ohlund and Rick Rypien, on a short-handed breakaway with 5:18 left, rounded out the scoring as the Canucks won despite being outshot 25-23.

Burrows, who was Bourdon's closest friend on the team, pounced on a long rebound to give the Canucks a 3-0 lead two minutes into the second period, then added his second goal of the game 2:48 into the third, one-timing a pass from Ryan Johnson past Miikka Kiprusoff.

"I almost cried a little bit on the ice and had to stop watching it," Burrows said of the video for Bourdon, which he had already seen 10 times in an effort to prepare for the emotional tribute. "It was tough but once the puck dropped it was time to focus on the game and try to be professional about it. Once I got my first shift under my belt, that's when I started feeling good and my legs were going pretty good tonight, so maybe Luc was out there helping me."

The Flames were without defenseman Robyn Regehr, who left in the afternoon when his wife, Christina, went into labor. He is expected to rejoin the Flames on Saturday when the teams complete a season-opening home-and-home series in Calgary.

"It doesn't help; he's one of our best defenseman," coach Mike Keenan said. "But on the other hand, you have to overcome."

The Flames struggled to overcome a failed 5-on-3 midway through the first period.

Henrik Sedin opened the scoring after a failed 2-on-1 with twin brother Daniel late in the first period. Daniel Sedin, the puck and a Flames' defenseman all ended up behind the net after a pass across was blocked, but Henrik Sedin was left alone at the top of the crease to lift his brother's pass over a sprawled Kiprusoff.

Bernier, added in a summer trade from Buffalo to play with the Sedins, scored his first goal with the Canucks 23 seconds into the second period, finishing off a passing play down low from Daniel and Henrik. Kesler's long shot off the wing caromed off Kiprusoff's blocker straight to Burrows on the other side only 1:34 later.

"It was a tough game," said Kiprusoff, who was beaten three times on the first seven shots, finished with 16 saves. "There wasn't too many shots, but I think we have to be smarter playing in our own end."

It was the 39th career shutout for Loungo, moving him into a tie with Jocelyn Thibault for fifth among active goalies.

"We've been playing well," Luongo said of the Canucks' franchise-best 6-0-1 preseason record. "We're a confident group and we got a lot of momentum."

Notes

  • The Canucks unveiled a Wall of Dreams in honor of Bourdon earlier Thursday and will wear a sticker with his initials on their helmets throughout this season.
  • Seven Canucks were making their debut with the team, which lost 11 players from last year's opening lineup.
  • Vancouver D Shane O'Brien played ahead of D Rob Davison despite not arriving until Tuesday after a trade from Tampa Bay, which happened right after he returned from the Czech Republic with the Lightning.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Alexandre Burrows' fourth season with Vancouver gets off to a smashing start with two goals.  (AP)
Alexandre Burrows' fourth season with Vancouver gets off to a smashing start with two goals. (AP)

Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Calgary (0-1-0)0000
Vancouver  (1-0-0) «1236
Three Stars
A. Burrows
VAN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Luongo
VAN


Saves: 25
Save Pct.: 1.000
M. Ohlund
VAN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
16:25Henrik Sedin (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Sedin, Kesler
2ND PERIOD
23.0Steve Bernier (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Sedin, Sedin
01:57Alexandre Burrows (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Kesler
3RD PERIOD
02:48Alexandre Burrows (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Johnson
10:27Power Play - Mattias Ohlund (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Pyatt, Sedin
14:42Short - Rick Rypien (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Ohlund
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:00Vandermeer, 2 min, Roughing
04:36Pyatt, 2 min, Interference
07:21Cammalleri, 2 min, Roughing
10:05Kesler, 2 min, Cross-Checking
11:03Rypien, 2 min, Hooking
17:56Johnson, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
05:54Phaneuf, 2 min, Roughing
11:39Bertuzzi, 2 min, Interference
19:06Iginla, 2 min, Roughing
3RD PERIOD
03:29Roy, 2 min, Slashing
06:21Langkow, 2 min, Roughing
06:21Hansen, 4 min, Roughing
08:40Primeau, 2 min, Hooking
13:47Phaneuf, 5 min, Fighting
13:47Bernier, 2 min, Roughing
13:47Bernier, 5 min, Fighting
18:41Aucoin, 2 min, Hooking
19:36Primeau, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
 123T
Calgary910625
Vancouver571123
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Calgary0-for-0
Vancouver1-for-2
 
Other Games
Ana 1 Final
SJ 4
Tor 3 Final
Det 2
Bos 5 Final
Colo 4