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Mikael Samuelsson gives Canucks 3-2 OT win

Mikael Samuelsson

Vancouver Canucks’ Mikael Samuelsson, of Sweden, celebrates after scoring against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Saturday, March 13, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)


Mikael Samuelsson had a great 30-goal season even despite missing some time, but that might just be a mild appetizer if his first playoff game as a Vancouver Canuck is any indication.

The Swedish center has been one of the main beneficiaries of the quantum leap the Sedin twins made this season. I mentioned this on Twitter already, but I must ask again: can you think of any other player(s) who performed so well after signing a big contract? Specifically, someone in hockey who actually became better after losing that monetary carrot?

Anyway, Samuelsson scored from the slot after Henrik Sedin sent the puck his way. The goal came shortly after both Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Quick made some amazing saves. The Canucks won the game 3-2 in the first overtime, joining the Phoenix Coyotes as the only two teams to win their first game at home (to be fair, Chicago is late to the party with a Saturday game 1).