After months of rumors, speculation, self-imposed deadlines and waiting, Mats Sundin finally took the ice on Wednesday night, making his debut with the Vancouver Canucks. The 37-year old Sundin played 24 shifts and logged 15:02 in ice-time, as the Canucks beat Edmonton, 4-2, snapping a two-game losing streak.
For nearly two periods it was a defensive battle, until the two teams had an offensive outburst combining for four goals in the final six minutes of the second period, including a pair from Vancouver's Steve Bernier just 12 seconds apart. With the game tied, 1-1, Bernier ripped a slap shot behind Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson at the 17:20 mark, and then tapped in a one-timer on a feed from Alexandre Burrows to give the Canucks a 3-1 lead heading to the third period.
After Erik Cole scored his eighth goal of the season for Edmonton, cutting the deficit to 3-2, Pavol Demitra added an empty net goal with 36 seconds to play, clinching the win for Vancouver.
Bernier and Burrows each finished with three points for Vancouver, while Jason LaBarbera stopped 23-of-25 shots to pick up his second win as a member of the Canucks.
Canadiens 6, Rangers 3: Rough night at the Garden for the Rangers, as they lost for the fifth time in their past seven games, dropping a 6-3 decision to Montreal, despite firing 39 shots at Jaroslav Halak. The game was actually tied, 2-2, heading to the third period, until Andrei Markov scored his sixth goal of the season to give the Canadiens a 3-2 lead. Robert Lang added three goals over the final 16 minutes, helping lead Montreal to its third straight win, and fifth in its past six games.
And just because there were only two games on the schedule Wednesday night, here is a random commercial featuring Mats Sundin and Wayne Gretzky selling Big Mac's.
Newsmakers in the NHL: Mats Sundin Makes His Vancouver Debut originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Thu, 08 Jan 2009 01:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.