VANCOUVER — Kevin Bieksa scored 10:18 into the second overtime as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 Tuesday night to advance to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 17 years.
The game was won on a strange play. The puck took a funny bounce off the back boards, and several of the Sharks were standing looking around when Bieksa fired a shot that beat San Jose goalie Antti Niemi.
Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo raised his stick in celebration as the rest of the team poured on the ice. Confetti fell from the roof as the sellout crowd of 18,860 chanted “we want the Cup.”
The Canucks won the best-of-seven series 4-1.
Ryan Kesler scored with 13.2 seconds left in the third period to force the overtime. The gritty centre tipped a shot by Henrik Sedin past Niemi.
The Sharks outshot the Canucks 16-9 in the first overtime. Luongo kept Vancouver in the game by making a glove save of a Kyle Wellwood shot and blocking a deflection off the skate of Ian White.
Vancouver was outshot 56-34.
The game was played exactly 17 years after Greg Adams scored in double overtime to give Vancouver a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1994 Western Conference final. The Canucks would lose the Stanley Cup final in seven games to the New York Rangers
The Canucks await the winner of the Eastern Conference final between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins lead that series 3-2 with Game 5 tonight.