for this game

Bernier, linemates overshadow Sundin's debut

Jan 8, 2009 - 7:13 AM
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- The Vancouver Canucks acquired Mats Sundin to give the offense a boost. It was the club's third line that made the difference on Wednesday.

Steve Bernier scored two goals in a 12-second span late in the second period, leading the Canucks to a 4-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers.

Bernier also had an assist, Alexandre Burrows netted a goal and set up two others and Ryan Kesler added a pair of assists for Vancouver.

"I know that line (Bernier, Burrows, Kesler) was anxious to have a game like this and they won the game for us," Kyle Wellwood said. "The rest of us got a nice break."

While that trio provided the offense, Sundin was eased into the lineup during his first game with the Canucks. He had just over 15 minutes of ice time, but did join fellow Swedes Daniel and Henrik Sedin on a pair of power-play chances.

"I talked to him in the third on the bench as the game was on the line and asked him how he felt and he felt fine, so I gave him a little more ice time," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneult said. "I wanted to give him between 12 and 15 minutes and I think it was 15:02, so I misjudged it by 2 seconds."

After spending the previous 13 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sundin became a free agent and spent the offseason waffling about his future before finally signing with Vancouver on December 18.

The 37-year-old Sundin, who had 32 goals and 78 points last season, spent the majority of the game centering the second line between former teammate Kyle Wellwood and Mason Raymond.

"It felt exactly like where you are at the start of the season where you are trying to get that back," Sundin said. "The only way you get it back is to play games. You don't get into those competitive situations in practice."

Another recent addition to the Canucks, Jason LaBarbera made 23 saves to improve to 2-0-2 since coming over from the Los Angeles Kings in a December 30 trade.

Robert Nilsson and Erik Cole scored and Dwayne Roloson turned aside 18 shots for the Oilers, who failed to pick up their third straight win.

With the score knotted at 1-1, Bernier took a pass from Kesler and fired a slap shot past Roloson with 2:40 left in the middle session.

For a player who'd been called out by the coach earlier in the week, it was a play late in the first that got Bernier some more minutes. He blocked a slap shot by Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray, who blasted a 106.7-mile per hour shot in the team's skills competition last weekend.

"I figured if he blocked that shot he could play a little more," Vigneault said of Bernier. "I was really happy with how he stepped up his play."

Bernier wasted little time adding to the advantage, notching his ninth goal of the season 12 ticks later by one-timing a pass from Burrows past Roloson just before the net was knocked off its moorings. The play was reviewed and upheld.

"That was my first time that's happened to me," Bernier said. "I didn't know if it was going to count or not. I just saw the puck go through the net. I've been lucky."

After Cole halved the deficit at 8:48 of the third, Bernier nearly completed a hat trick halfway through the period but his attempt hit the goalpost.

"If we had started the way we played the third, we would probably win the hockey game and be feeling pretty good about ourselves right now. But we didn't," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 0 3 1 4
    EDMONTON 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: VAN - ALEXANDRE BURROWS 9 (STEVE BERNIER, RYAN KESLER) 14:07
    EDM - (PP) ROBERT NILSSON 6 (ANDREW COGLIANO, SHELDON
    SOURAY) 15:37
    VAN - STEVE BERNIER 8 (RYAN KESLER, ALEXANDRE BURROWS) 17:20
    VAN - STEVE

    Jan 8 12:29 AM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 4
    EDMONTON 2
    3RD PRD: VAN - (EN) PAVOL DEMITRA 12 (DANIEL SEDIN) 19:24

    Canucks 4, Oilers 2  3rd - 0:36Jan 8 12:27 AM
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    RUWTbot Took away 15 roots

    Canucks 4, Oilers 2  3rd - 0:36Jan 8 12:27 AM
  • 25
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Canucks 3, Oilers 2  3rd - 2:06Jan 8 12:23 AM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    EDMONTON 2
    3RD PRD: EDM - ERIK COLE 8 (STEVE STAIOS, SHAWN HORCOFF) 8:48

    Canucks 3, Oilers 2  3rd - 11:12Jan 8 12:08 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 0 3 3
    EDMONTON 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: VAN - ALEXANDRE BURROWS 9 (STEVE BERNIER, RYAN KESLER) 14:07
    EDM - (PP) ROBERT NILSSON 6 (ANDREW COGLIANO, SHELDON
    SOURAY) 15:37
    VAN - STEVE BERNIER 8 (RYAN KESLER, ALEXANDRE BURROWS) 17:20

    Jan 7 11:39 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    EDMONTON 1
    2ND PRD: VAN - STEVE BERNIER 9 (ALEXANDRE BURROWS) 17:32

    Canucks 3, Oilers 1  2nd - 2:28Jan 7 11:32 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    EDMONTON 1
    2ND PRD: VAN - STEVE BERNIER 8 (RYAN KESLER, ALEXANDRE BURROWS) 17:20

    Canucks 2, Oilers 1  2nd - 2:40Jan 7 11:30 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 1
    EDMONTON 1
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) ROBERT NILSSON 6 (ANDREW COGLIANO, SHELDON SOURAY)
    15:37

    Canucks 1, Oilers 1  2nd - 4:23Jan 7 11:28 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 1
    EDMONTON 0
    2ND PRD: VAN - ALEXANDRE BURROWS 9 (STEVE BERNIER, RYAN KESLER) 14:07

    Canucks 1, Oilers 0  2nd - 5:53Jan 7 11:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 0 0
    EDMONTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VAN 8 8
    EDM 8 8
    GOALIES: VAN - JASON LABARBERA
    EDM - DWAYNE ROLOSON

    Jan 7 10:43 PM
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    Canucks vs. OilersJan 7 9:30 PM
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    Canucks vs. OilersJan 7 2:07 PM