Sports News: Canucks Reach Stanley Cup Final, The 1st Time Since '94 in 2OT Win Over Sharks

Kevin Bieksa was screaming at the top of his lungs and confetti was already falling from the ceiling by the time anyone else realized the defenseman had scored to send the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup finals.
Roberto Luongo made 54 saves before Bieksa scored a strange and fortuitous goal 10:18 into the second overtime that put the Canucks into the finals for the first time in 17 years.

Bieksa gave Vancouver a 3-2 win and eliminated the San Jose Sharksin Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night.

“Probably the ugliest goal of my career, but the biggest,” Bieksa said. “It was just a knuckleball that I barely got enough wood on it to get it on net. It was a hard puck to shoot. Just put it on net was my first thought, but when it when in I just yelled out, ‘Let’s go to the Cup baby.’”

They will face either the Boston Bruins or the Tampa Bay Lightning when they get there and will host Games 1 and 2. The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-2 and can advance with a Game 6 win at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. If necessary, Game 7 would be in Boston on Friday.

Ryan Kesler got the Canucks into overtime on Tuesday when he tied the game with 13.2 seconds left in regulation, while Luongo was on the bench for an extra skater.

Bieksa ended it after Alexander Edler’s dump-in caromed awkwardly off the glass on the sideboards and out to the defenseman just inside the blue line. Bieksa’s quick shot beat Antti Niemi inside the right post before the goalie — or mostly everyone else on the ice — could find the puck.