Henrik Sedin records 1,000th career point, Canucks edge Panthers
Vancouver captain reaches milestone against former teammate Luongo
Henrik Sedin couldn't have scripted his milestone moment any better.
The Vancouver captain recorded the 1,000th point of his NHL career on a goal in the second period before Luca Sbisa scored the winner in the third as the Canucks defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Friday night.
With the Canucks down 1-0, Sedin won a faceoff in the defensive zone as part of a sequence that eventually resulted in Alexander Edler finding Henrik's twin brother Daniel in stride for a 2-on-1 rush.
With his 36-year-old legs churning, Henrik Sedin took a pass from Daniel and moved in alone on Florida goalie and former Vancouver teammate Roberto Luongo before sliding a backhand through the five-hole.
"When I got the breakaway I didn't really know what to do," said Sedin. "I think Lu thought I was going to go upstairs, but it was nice to see it go in."
The Canucks spilled over the boards to mob their leader as the crowd at Rogers Arena roared its approval with 5:50 gone in the second, a noise level not heard in the building for quite some time.
"When I saw my teammates come on the ice, I lost it a little bit," said Sedin. "It was very special. If I retired today, I think that was the most memorable moment for me as a player."
Luongo, who played in Vancouver from 2006 to 2014, then stopped Sedin to offer his congratulations as the fans continued their salute.
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"It was awesome to see that play — Eagle to Danny to Hank ... on Lu," said Canucks goalie Ryan Miller, who finished with 34 saves. "It was a beautiful play to kind of cap it off."
Sedin is the 85th player in NHL history record 1,000 points, and just the 38th to accomplish the feat with one franchise.
"It was unreal," said Sbisa. "That's the stuff dreams are made of. That's what I dream about when I go to bed. Maybe in my next life I'll get 1,000 points."
Fans dust off 'Luuuuu' chant
Jaromir Jagr had the goal for Florida (20-19-9), which got 30 saves from Luongo.
"I didn't know how to feel," Luongo said of Sedin's goal. "Obviously I was happy for Hank, but not too happy for myself that I let that in."
Daniel Sedin, who sits at 968 points, had a chance to get one closer to 1,000 himself, but his uncontested shot at the empty net with 40 seconds left hit the post. Vancouver still managed to hold on from there to pick up a second consecutive victory after going 0-1-3.
Playing their third game in four nights, the Panthers entered Friday's action on a 1-2-1 run following a 4-3 overtime loss to Edmonton on Wednesday, and grabbed a 1-0 lead at 3:45 of the second. Jared McCann followed up his own rebound with a slick pass out front to Jagr, who buried his ninth of the season, and the 758th of his career.
After Sedin got his 1,000th point to tie it up in the second, Sven Baertschi had a chance give Vancouver its first lead later in the period only to be denied by Luongo. The Florida goalie then stopped Sbisa on a short-handed chance after getting caught out of position.
Fans dusted off the old "Luuuuu" chant during the game, a chorus that often rang around the building during the netminder's tenure with the Canucks.