DETROIT – The Vancouver Canucks knew they needed to play their best game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
Alex Burrows scored 27 seconds into overtime to give the Canucks a 4-3 victory over the Red Wings on Thursday night. Burrows also had an assist and Jannik Hansen, Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond also scored for Vancouver. Willie Mitchell had two assists and Roberto Luongo made 32 saves.
“We know how many good players and how much talent Detroit has,” said Burrows. “So we knew we had to work hard all night.”
Tomas Holmstrom, Brian Rafalski and Dan Cleary had Detroit’s goals. Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom each had two assists and Chris Osgood stopped 25 shots.
“We just kept turning the puck over and that’s the reason things went the way they did,” Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall said.
Detroit had 13 giveaways and the Canucks only three.
“Bottom line, we were not nearly as good as we should have been,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We spent too much time in our zone.”
Burrows knocked in his own rebound off the backboards from the bottom of the left circle for his third goal.
“I just wanted to get off a shot on net and it went wide,” he said. “And I just went after it and I got through the defenceman (Brett Lebda) and I just wanted to get a quick shot off. I think I surprised Chris Osgood, I think it went under his arm.”
Raymond tied the score at three at 2:23 of the third period when put in a rebound.
“I think everybody was excited to be playing against the Stanley Cup champs,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. “Even though they were down by a goal after two, I though we were outplaying them.”
Detroit scored twice in the second period to take a 3-2 lead. Rafalski’s power-play goal at 3:42 tied it. He beat Luongo with a one-time shot from the right circle.
Cleary gave the Red Wings the lead with 8:53 left in the middle period when he scored on the rebound after Luongo stopped him on a breakaway. Cleary, who had just stepped out of the penalty box, took a pass from Datsyuk.
Hansen opened the scoring for the Canucks when he put in Burrows’ carom off the backboards 5:08 into the game. Holmstrom’s power-play goal tied it at 6:55. His tip-in wasn’t ruled a goal until Rafalski got an interference penalty eight seconds later. Replays showed that Holmstrom deflected Datsyuk’s shot off the middle back post of the net and not the crossbar for his fourth goal.
Kesler’s second goal restored the Canucks’ lead. He tipped in a shot from the point with 9:23 left in the opening period.
Notes: Detroit C Henrik Zetterberg didn’t play because of a sore groin. Darren Helm was recalled from the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids to replace him. G Jimmy Howard was removed from the injured list and assigned to Grand Rapids. … Kesler is from the Detroit suburb of Livonia. … Detroit D Brad Stuart was helped off the ice with a little bit more than seven minutes left in the third period after taking a shot by Vancouver’s Sami Salo off his left knee. He’ll be re-evaluated on Friday.