Henrik Sedin regains scoring lead, Daniel Sedin gets hat trick as Canucks cruise
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Henrik Sedin didn't have to look far to find help in his quest to win the NHL scoring title.
The Vancouver forward regained the league scoring lead with four assists, including three on identical twin brother Daniel's hat trick, and the Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 7-3 on Saturday night.
"He made some unbelievable plays and [Alex Burrows] did too and they really opened up things for me," Sedin said after setting a franchise record with 112 points. "Look at Danny's three goals, they are all individual efforts."
The passes that led to those goals weren't bad, either.
After Henrik and Daniel combined to set up the first of Kevin Bieksa's two goals 7:44 into the game, it was the Henrik-to-Daniel show the rest of the way.
It started with a cross-ice pass that hit Daniel in stride, allowing him to cut behind Jay Bouwmeester and lift a shot over Miikka Kiprusoff's glove. That moved Henrik into a tie with Pavel Bure for the club record of 110 points. He blew past that mark with two assists early in the third period.
He set up Daniel on a 2-on-1 rush 3:27 into the final frame and then made a blind backhand touch pass to set up a goal by his brother on the next shift. Daniel finished the play by pulling the puck -- and his stick -- back between his legs in tight and flicking the puck over Kiprusoff's blocker.
"Some of those passes, through the leg or a cross-ice saucer seven feet in the air and it lands perfectly, that's the kind of player he is," Burrows said. "The way he was playing with confidence and wanted the puck and wanted to make plays out there, it was a special night.
Chants of "MVP, MVP" followed Sedin's fourth assist -- a league-best 83rd. But he has to wait until Sunday to see if Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who is three points behind, can catch him on the final day of the regular season.
"He's one of those players that can put up five points any given night, so we'll see," said Henrik, who played a season-high 25 minutes, 24 seconds. "I'm going to look back and be proud of what the team has done and our line and personally. So from now on everything is a bonus."
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa ended a long offensive drought with two goals, Rick Rypien and Ryan Kesler also scored, and Roberto Luongo made 38 saves as the Canucks ended the regular season by matching a franchise record with 49 wins.
But the focus was clearly on Henrik Sedin's push for the first scoring title in Canucks history.
"It's tough to believe, but he's been good the whole season," Daniel, whose four-point night gave him a career-high 85 points despite missing 18 games with a broken foot, said of Henrik. "He hasn't had a lot of letdowns."
Niklas Hagman had two goals, and Rene Bourque also scored for Calgary, which lost its final four (0-3-1) and missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. Kiprusoff stopped 15 of 21 shots before being pulled after Daniel's third goal 3:47 into the third period.
Calgary coach Brent Sutter praised Kiprusoff, who asked to start, and said he was the only Flames player who showed up.
"You didn't want to finish this way and wanted a better effort and more compete level, but it's been a tough few days on everybody around here," Sutter said. "For me, I just expected a little bit more for the front of that jersey."
Vesa Toskala replaced Kiprusoff and was beaten by Bieksa s one-timer with 2:28 left. It was the first multigoal game for Bieksa, who scored his first since opening night 7:44 in to end a 53-game drought.
Daniel Sedin's four-point night gave him a career-high 85 points despite missing 18 games with a broken foot. ... It was the first goal in 33 games for Rypien. ... Canucks D Evan Oberg played in his second NHL game after being called up from the AHL when Sami Salo was injured at practice Friday. ... Calgary finished with the fewest goals (205) in the Western Conference, and the third lowest total in franchise history. ... Canucks RW Michael Grabner was a healthy scratch four games after recording a hat trick in Anaheim.
Regular Season Series
Series tied 3-3
- Brad Meier
- Kevin Pollock
- Mike Cvik
- Ryan Galloway