Today in 2011, a slapshot goal scored by Kevin Bieksa gave the Vancouver Canucks a berth into the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 17 years.
But first, how they got to that game. Vancouver had their best regular season in organization history posting a 54-19-9 record scoring the most goals in the league, 262, and allowing the least with 185.
Vancouver met Chicago in round one beating them in seven games before dispatching the Nashville Predators in six games in the second round.
And Vancouver met the San Jose Sharks in the third round building a 3-1 series lead heading into the fifth game at Rogers Arena.
Alex Burrows got Vancouver out to an early lead at the 8:02 mark of the first before the Sharks answered with two of their own. Dan Boyle notched a powerplay tally at 9:57 before Devin Setoguchi gave San Jose a 2-1 lead.
With the game on the line, Ryan Kesler scored with 14 seconds left in the game to send it to overtime. The first overtime frame couldn’t solve the game and thus, a second OT was required.
And at the 10:18 mark of that frame, a long, fluttering self-described “ugly goal” scored by Kevin Bieksa sent the Canucks to the promised land.
“I just tried to put it on net. That’s the first thought. When it went in, I just yelled ‘Let’s go to the Cup.’ It’s a good feeling. Obviously it feels unbelievable. To go to the Stanley Cup finals is a dream come true. ” – Bieksa after the game
Vancouver ended up squaring up against the Boston Bruins, who the Canucks lost to in seven games.
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