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Expect Luongo to get better

<p>The Canucks and the Dallas Stars, after all, combined for only a mere 11 goals in their four games during the entire regular season, matching the lowest goals-per-game average for any NHL squads that met twice.</p>

There weren’t supposed to be many goals Wednesday night.


The Canucks and the Dallas Stars, after all, combined for only a mere 11 goals in their four games during the entire regular season, matching the lowest goals-per-game average for any NHL squads that met twice.


And yet they produced a whopping nine in their series opener Wednesday night, a thriller that ended in quadruple overtime, with the Canucks prevailing 5-4 in the wee hours yesterday morning.


And the truth is, neither the Canucks’ Roberto Luongo nor the Stars’ Marty Turco were bad in their respective nets.


For three overtime periods, in fact, neither allowed a goal, which is what we anticipated.


It was the first playoff game of Luongo’s career, however, and some of his teammates suggested yesterday that he was visibly nervous before and even during the first three periods.


“He’ll calm down,” one of the Canucks said. “And, when he does, we can win this series in four or maybe five games.”


“We played a couple games in one,” coach Alain Vigneault said, “so we got two games under our belts right off the hop. That’s great playoff experience for Roberto and all of us.”





• Bill Berg was a decent NHL player but he’s a better analyst — and that should worry the Ottawa Senators.


Berg, see, suggested yesterday that he didn’t think the Sens — despite a superb effort in their 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday — stand any chance of prevailing when the Sens and Pens line up for the second game of their series tomorrow.


In fact, even though the Sens are heavily favoured over the Pens — and even though CBC luminary Don Cherry thinks Ottawa is en route to the Stanley Cup championship series — Berg is not convinced that the team is for real.


“I think the Penguins will bounce back in Game 2,” Berg said. “I want to see Game 2 because I think that’ll be a true measure of their series.”


History, by the way, is on the Pens’ side. The Sens have never won the second game of a playoff series after taking the opener.




• Pittsburgh’s dynamic duo of Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal, incidentally, became only the third set of teenagers in NHL history to score goals for the same team in a playoff game.



Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier accomplished the feat with the 1980 Edmonton Oilers, while Greg Hawgood and Glen Wesley did it with the 1988 Boston Bruins.



marty.york@metronews.ca

 
 
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