VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It took a little longer than 17 years ago, but the result was the same, as Kevin Bieksa scored at the 10:18 mark of the second overtime to lead the Canucks to a 3-2 win, sending Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Canucks were just about finished, down 2-1 in the late stages of the third period, but with 14 seconds left in the game, Ryan Kesler tipped in a point shot that beat San Jose goalie Antti Niemi to tie the game and send it to the extra session.
Bieksa’s goal was a weird one, as the puck seemed to have eyes of its own. The puck took a funny bounce off the partition, bouncing out front and somehow fooled Antti Niemi.
Roberto Luongo was the star of the show, making 54 saves to lead the Canucks to a Western Conference championship.
The win was exactly 17 years to the day to when Greg Adams scored 14 seconds into double-overtime to send Vancouver to the Cup final, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games of the 1994 Western Conference Final.
The Canucks have reached their third Stanley Cup final in franchise history. Vancouver now awaits the winner of the Eastern Conference Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins. Boston leads that series 3-2.
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