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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Canucks Snatch First Final in OT

NEW YORK -- Vancouver goalie Kirk McLean was unbelievable in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, holding on just long enough for the Canucks to upset the New York Rangers, 3-2, on a goal by Greg Adams with 33.1 seconds to play in overtime. Seconds earlier on Tuesday night, Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch hit the crossbar with a shot and got caught in the Canucks' zone, leading to a two-on-one break for Vancouver. Canucks superstar Pavel Bure took the puck down the left wing, drew the defender to him and passed to Adams, who beat Mike Richter for the winning goal. McLean had 17 saves in the extra session and 52 for the game, as he repeatedly repelled Rangers such as Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Alexei Kovalev and Steve Larmer. The Rangers appeared headed to victory in regulation, but with one minute left in the third period, Vancouver's Martin Gelinas directed a shot by Cliff Ronning through Rangers' goaltender Mike Richter's legs to force overtime. Alexei Kovalev had scored at 8:29 of the third period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead before Gelinas tied the game with his fifth goal of the playoffs. Before that, New York and its fans were momentarily stunned when their first-period 1-0 lead suddenly evaporated on a goal by Bret Hedican 5:45 into the third period. Hedican had scored one goal in his NHL career and gone 144 regular-season and playoff games since scoring that one on April 14, 1992, at the end of his rookie season with the St. Louis Blues. After sending a physical message to the Rangers in the first period, the Canucks increased their hitting in the second. Center Sergei Nemchinov limped to the locker room with less than three minutes left. The Canucks were still behind 1-0, but Vancouver is in this series for the long haul. If the Canucks can physically take a toll on the Rangers, they are ahead of the game. But it was also some physical play by Vancouver right wing Trevor Linden that got the Canucks in trouble in the first period. He was called for tripping 2:26 into the period, while the Canucks still had 1:20 left on their own power play, setting up a 4-on-4 situation that the Rangers were able to take advantage of 1:06 later. Alexei Kovalev carried the puck into the Vancouver zone and passed to Brian Leetch. Canucks goalie McLean made the initial save, but Steve Larmer was able to take a poke at the rebound. The puck hit the post and then ricocheted into the net off the back of McLean's leg for a 1-0 lead with 16:28 left in the period. The Rangers will attempt to even the best-of-7 Stanley Cup finals series in Game 2 in New York on Thursday night before the series shifts to Vancouver for Games 3 and 4.