Canucks
Sharks
4 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Ohlund's OT goal gives Canucks Northwest title

Apr 8, 2007 - 4:15 AM SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Joe Thornton made a great play to get the San Jose Sharks to overtime. He made an ill-advised one in the extra session that ended his team's hopes of winning a division title.

Defenseman Mattias Ohlund scored a power-play goal 34 seconds into overtime, lifting the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Sharks.

With the win, Vancouver (49-25-7) captured its second Northwest Division crown in three seasons.

"There is no satisfaction yet for me," said Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, who will be making the first postseason appearance of his career. "The biggest challenge is up ahead, and for me, it's important to get focused for that and enjoy every minute of it."

"We could not do it at home (on Thursday), so we wanted to do it tonight," Ohlund said. "It would have been nice to do it in regulation, but we got the two points we needed."

Conversely, the overtime loss by San Jose (41-26-5) sealed the Pacific Division title for Anaheim (48-20-14), which made things academic with a victory over Columbus on Saturday evening.

"We were hoping to at least put some pressure on (Anaheim) to go out and win," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "Obviously, we are disappointed about that."

After setting up the game's first goal, blue-liner Kevin Bieksa gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead seven minutes into the third period with a man-advantage tally. The goal stood up until the final minute, when Thornton made a pass from the right side of the net that caromed off the skate of Milan Michalek and to Jonathan Cheechoo, who got around defenseman Sami Salo and whacked in the puck from the crease with 33 seconds remaining.

"We made some great plays to give ourselves a chance to win," Cheechoo said. "It's too bad it did not work out."

The assist was the league-leading 92nd for Thornton, who quickly turned into the game's goat in overtime. Just 20 seconds into the extra session, the veteran center was called for tripping while attempting to break up a 2-on-1 rush by Vancouver.

"That happens," Cheechoo said of the penalty. "That was a play where they got a 2-on-1, so if he doesn't make that play, then that guy has a goal anyway. So that's a penalty you want to take."

The Canucks wasted little time cashing in on Thornton's miscue as Ohlund unleashed a shot from above the left faceoff circle that first deflected off a stick, then off a defender's body in front before getting past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov 14 seconds into the power play.

"It was one of the most intense games we have played this year," Luongo said. "You could feel it in the air, it was a great game to be a part of. Unfortunately, we gave up the tying goal at the end, but we came back in overtime and got the win."

Defenseman Sami Salo collected two assists and Luongo made 27 saves for Vancouver, which will face Dallas in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

"We are going to focus on playing Phoenix (on Sunday)," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Then we will get ready for Dallas."

Thornton had a goal and two assists and Cheechoo also set up a tally for the Sharks, who will open the playoffs on the road against the Nashville Predators for the second straight year. San Jose won the quarterfinal series last season in five games.

"You would like to have home-ice advantage, but when you can't, you just go with hit," Cheechoo said. "I've seen a lot of upsets and lower seeds winning in the playoffs, so anybody can win. You just have to be prepared, and I think whoever is better prepared wins."

Matt Cooke gave the Canucks the lead 1:56 into the game, when he chipped a rebound over the right shoulder of Nabokov. Taylor Pyatt doubled the advantage less than three minutes later, tipping in Salo's wrist shot from the blue line for his third goal in five contests.

San Jose battled back in the middle session, using its power play to pull even. From in front, Thornton got off a shot that caromed off Luongo's stick and Michalek's body before entering the net 48 seconds into the period.

With 4:18 remaining, captain Patrick Marleau's slap shot from the left circle during a 5-on-3 sailed wide and bounced off the end boards to Thornton, who tapped the puck into a vacant right side of the net to forge a 2-2 tie.

"Their first two goals were lucky," Luongo said. "There is not too much you can do. You are going to get some bounces sometimes, and the main thing is, we stuck with it and played a complete game."

Bieksa put Vancouver back in front at 7:01 of the third, ending a 14-game goalless drought with a one-timer from the left point. Luongo made it stand with 10 1/2 minutes to go, making a spectacular stick save on rookie Ryane Clowe from alone in front while sprawled on the ice.

"His mission was to get his first appearance in the playoffs, and he did that in great fashion," Vigneault said. "He did that with a solid performance and the guys in front of him playing real hard to finish in first place in our division."








  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 2 0 1 1 4
    SAN JOSE 0 2 1 0 3 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT COOKE 10 (KEVIN BIEKSA, BRENDAN MORRISON) 1:56
    VAN - TAYLOR PYATT 23 (SAMI SALO, DANIEL SEDIN) 4:38
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 26 (JOE THORNTON, JONATHAN

    Apr 7 6:48 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 4
    SAN JOSE 3
    OT: VAN - (PP) MATTIAS OHLUND 11 (SAMI SALO, DANIEL SEDIN) 0:34

    Apr 7 6:47 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 4
    SAN JOSE 3
    OT: VAN - (PP) MATTIAS OHLUND 11 (SAMI SALO, DANIEL SEDIN) 0:34

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 6:47 PM


  • ------------------------------------
    Vancouver
    2 0 1 --3
    San Jose 0 2 1 --3
    ------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Vancouver, Matt Cooke 10 (Kevin Bieksa,
    Brendan Morrison), 1:56. 2, Vancouver, Taylor Pyatt 23 (Sami Salo,
    Daniel Sedin), 4:38. Penalties: J Thornton, San (slashing), 5:54; B
    Sopel, Van (slashing), 8:45; T Santala, Van (roughing

    Apr 7 6:42 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 37 (JOE THORNTON, PATRICK MARLEAU)
    19:28

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 6:40 PM
  • 65
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 65 roots

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 6:40 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: VAN - (PP) KEVIN BIEKSA 12 (BRENT SOPEL, MARKUS NASLUND) 7:01

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 6:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 2 0 2
    SAN JOSE 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT COOKE 10 (KEVIN BIEKSA, BRENDAN MORRISON) 1:56
    VAN - TAYLOR PYATT 23 (SAMI SALO, DANIEL SEDIN) 4:38
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 26 (JOE THORNTON, JONATHAN
    CHEECHOO) 0:48
    SAN - (PP) JOE

    Apr 7 5:49 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) JOE THORNTON 22 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI)
    15:42 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 5:40 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    SAN JOSE 1 19:12 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 5:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 2 2
    SAN JOSE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT COOKE 10 (KEVIN BIEKSA, BRENDAN MORRISON) 1:56
    VAN - TAYLOR PYATT 23 (SAMI SALO, DANIEL SEDIN) 4:38
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VAN 9 9
    SAN

    Apr 7 4:49 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: VAN - TAYLOR PYATT 23 (SAMI SALO, DANIEL SEDIN) 4:38

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 4:18 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 1
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT COOKE 10 (KEVIN BIEKSA, BRENDAN MORRISON) 1:56

    Canucks vs. SharksApr 7 4:15 PM