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."
|Alexandre Burrows' fourth season with Vancouver gets off to a smashing start with two goals. (AP)|
|Vancouver (1-0-0) «||1||2||3||6|
Save Pct.: 1.000
|16:25||Henrik Sedin (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Sedin, Kesler|
|23.0||Steve Bernier (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Sedin, Sedin|
|01:57||Alexandre Burrows (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Kesler|
|02:48||Alexandre Burrows (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Johnson|
|10:27||Power Play - Mattias Ohlund (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Pyatt, Sedin|
|14:42||Short - Rick Rypien (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Ohlund|
|04:00||Vandermeer, 2 min, Roughing|
|04:36||Pyatt, 2 min, Interference|
|07:21||Cammalleri, 2 min, Roughing|
|10:05||Kesler, 2 min, Cross-Checking|
|11:03||Rypien, 2 min, Hooking|
|17:56||Johnson, 2 min, Hooking|
|05:54||Phaneuf, 2 min, Roughing|
|11:39||Bertuzzi, 2 min, Interference|
|19:06||Iginla, 2 min, Roughing|
|03:29||Roy, 2 min, Slashing|
|06:21||Langkow, 2 min, Roughing|
|06:21||Hansen, 4 min, Roughing|
|08:40||Primeau, 2 min, Hooking|
|13:47||Phaneuf, 5 min, Fighting|
|13:47||Bernier, 2 min, Roughing|
|13:47||Bernier, 5 min, Fighting|
|18:41||Aucoin, 2 min, Hooking|
|19:36||Primeau, 2 min, Interference|
|Shots On Goal|
|Power Play Conversions|