No. 1 – April 26, 2011 – Vancouver 2, Chicago 1 (OT)
“They slayed the dragon!”
A wild call on a series-clinching goal summed up the greatest game in Canucks history.
In a 2011 quarterfinal matchup against their nemesis – the defending Cup-champion Blackhawks, who had eliminated Vancouver in the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2010 and rebounded from a 3-0 series deficit to force Game 7 in 2011 – an overtime goal by Alex Burrows propelled the Presidents’ Trophy winners to a memorable playoff run. Instead of losing to Chicago, the Canucks advanced to within a win of their first NHL title in a seven-game loss to Boston in the Cup final.
After digging a 3-0 series hole, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews claimed “we’ve yet to expose (the Canucks) for who they really are.” The bravado worked. Chicago won the next three games, and Toews scored on a highlight-reel shorthanded effort with just 1:56 remaining in regulation to tie Game 7.
Burrows, the Canucks’ eventual hero, served a holding penalty in overtime and watched as Roberto Luongo made a spectacular save on Patrick Sharp. And then, it happened. Burrows knocked down a Chris Campoli clearing attempt and ripped a slapshot from the high slot past Corey Crawford at 5:22 of the extra session, resulting in play-by-play man John Shorthouse’s memorable call.
Burrows, who scored both Vancouver goals, will always be remembered for slaying the dragon. “We didn’t make it easy,” he said. “It was devastating when they got that tying goal, but we believed we could get it done, and it felt even better getting it done this way. We told ourselves tonight was our night, and we found a way.”
No. 2 – April 30, 1994 – Vancouver 4, Calgary 3 (2OT)
Pavel Bure used a triple deke on Mike Vernon as the Canucks rallied from a 3-1 series deficit with their third straight overtime win to prevail in seven games.
No. 3 – May 24, 1994 – Vancouver 4, Toronto 3 (2OT)
Greg Adams put a rebound past Felix Potvin to win the conference final in five games and send the Canucks to the Cup final against the Rangers.
GREATEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES OF ALL-TIME
April 11, 2007 – Vancouver 5, Dallas 4 (4OT)
In his first career playoff appearance, Luongo turned aside 72 shots in quadruple overtime as the Canucks outlasted the Stars in the sixth-longest game in NHL history.
Luongo faced the most shots (76) since 1956 when the NHL started tracking the statistic. Kelly Hrudey and Ed Belfour shared the previous mark of 75. Luongo’s 72 saves matched Belfour’s total and was one shy of Hrudey’s record-setting 73-save effort for the Isles against the Caps in the 1987 playoffs. “It was probably the most exhausting thing I’ve ever been part of,” Luongo said.