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Alex Burrows scores twice as Canucks defeat Flames in season opener

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Alex Burrows scores twice as Canucks defeat Flames in season opener

The Canadian Press
By:

VANCOUVER - Alex Burrows scored two goals and goaltender Roberto Luongo stopped 25 shots for the shutout as the Vancouver Canucks opened their NHL season with a 6-0 win over the Calgary Flames Thursday night.

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist while newcomer Steve Bernier scored his first goal in a Vancouver uniform on a night where the Canucks honoured defenceman Luc Bourdon who died in a motorcycle accident in May.

Burrows, a close friend of Bourdon, pointed up to the sky after his goal at 1:57 of the second period gave the Canucks a 3-0 lead. He made it 4-0 at 2:48 of the third with a shot from the edge of the faceoff circle.

Defenceman Mattias Ohlund, on the power play, and Rick Rypien, short-handed, also scored for the Canucks. Daniel Sedin collected three assists.

The two teams don't like each other and it didn't take long for the bad blood to heat up. Flames defenceman Jim Vandermeer punched Bernier in the face with a gloved fist in the first period. Canucks forward Ryan Kesler slammed his stick into the boards after taking a high-stick in the face from Michael Cammalleri.

Things boiled over in the third when Calgary's Daymond Langkow threw a punch at Luongo during a scrum in front of the Vancouver net. Defenceman Alexander Edler dropped his gloves and went after Langkow while all the other players on the ice squared off.

Bernier later became a home-town hero when he came to Henrik Sedin's aid and went toe-to-toe with Dion Phaneuf. The sellout crowd of 18,630 chanted "Bernier, Bernier."

Bourdon's last game-worn jersey was presented to his family prior to the match. A heart-warming video showing pictures of Bourdon as a child, him playing junior hockey and his days with the Canucks, was played on the big screen. Tom Cochrane and Ken Greer of the band Red Rider played a live version of their hit song Big League.

Bourdon's mother, grandmother, uncle, aunt and girlfriend attended the emotional ceremony.

Vancouver players will wear LB on their helmets this year in memory of Bourdon.

Earlier in the day, the Canucks unveiled the Luc Bourdon wall of dreams at GM Place. Its centrepiece is a large photograph of a smiling Bourdon holding up the puck from his first NHL goal.

The Flames played without defenceman Robyn Regehr, who returned to Calgary after his wife went into labour.

The game also was the first for former Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi in a Flames uniform. Bertuzzi was greeted with a mixture of cheers and jeers during the introductions.

The Flames had some good chances early, especially during a two-man advantage in the first period. Luongo was equal to the challenge, stopping Jarome Iginla after a feed from Bertuzzi, then dragging a leg in front of a David Moss shot.

Henrik Sedin got the first Canucks first goal at 16:25 of the first period. Flame goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff stopped Daniel Sedin on a two-on-one break. Daniel got his own rebound behind the net and flipped it out to Henrik who notched the first Canuck goal of the season.

Vancouver took control of the match in the second with goals 94 seconds apart.

Bernier, obtained in a trade from Buffalo over the summer, scored his first goal as a Canuck 23 seconds into the period off a pass from Henrik. Burrows then blasted a shot over Kiprusoff's leg after a pass from Kesler.

Notes: The two teams play again Saturday night in Calgary, which opens a six-game road trip for Vancouver. ...The Canucks have 11 different players on the roster from the opening game of last season. ...The last time Vancouver missed the playoffs the team rebounded to win the Northwest Division with a team record for points.

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Alex Burrows scores twice as Canucks defeat Flames in season opener