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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Canucks Beat Rangers to Stay Alive

NEW YORK -- The Vancouver Canucks stunned the hockey world by staving off elimination, scoring five third-period goals to beat the Rangers 6-3, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. "The bottom line," Canucks captain Trevor Linden said, "was that everybody wrote us off in the news media and on television -- except the 20 guys in the locker room. But we were in this situation before." The Canucks said they fed off the fact they beat the Calgary Flames in the first round by winning Games 5, 6 and 7 in overtime, becoming the 12th team in NHL history to rebound from a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs. In Thursday night's game, they blocked out the New York crowd. They played physically. Coach Pat Quinn juggled his lines, separating Linden and Pavel Bure for the first time in 18 games. And they got a big goal from an unlikely source, lumbering defenseman Dave Babych. It came 29 seconds after Mark Messier's goal at 9:02 of the wild third period capped the Rangers' comeback from a 3-0 deficit and tied it at 3-3. Talking about himself and partner Gerald Diduck, Babych said, "Pat sent us out there and said, 'Try to settle things down a little bit,' and we scored a goal." Babych, 33, began his NHL career as an offensive defenseman but has been in the single digits in goals for the past six seasons. Still, when Bure's speed forced the Rangers' defense to back off, Babych was open in the left faceoff circle to take Bure's feed. "He got one from there against Toronto (in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals)," Canucks right wing Nathan Lafayette said. "I was thinking he was going to bury it." Rangers goalie Mike Richter was slow getting to the near post and Babych slipped a wrist shot past him to make it 4-3. Ensuing goals by Geoff Courtnall at 12:20 and Bure at 13:04 put the game away. But the Canucks said it was Babych's goal that lifted them. Babych said, "I just shot the puck at the net and opened my eyes when the red light went on. It was a good feeling." The Canucks' line changes also seemed to give them a spark. Quinn switched Murray Craven from right wing to Linden's normal spot between Greg Adams and Bure. He switched Lafayette from center to right wing with Linden and Courtnall. "I was prepared to do it in a number of other games," Quinn said. "The way the matchups were going, it seemed (Mike Keenan) wanted to play Messier more against Bure than against Linden. And Craven, Adams and Bure had played well together during the season. I thought it might be a way to spread some things around ... get some offense. It seems like it did work. It did give our team a bit of a different look." The Canucks said they turned the Garden crowd and the hype surrounding the game into a positive for them. "Today," Babych said of the fans, "they expected the Cup. You feel sorry for them for that reason because of the expectations they had. They were going crazy before the game at 4:30 ... (Later), the building was just shaking. We were using that to our benefit, using the energy."