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Perfect Goodbye: Daniel Sedin overtime hero in final game in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — It was the perfect way to say goodbye.

Daniel Sedin scored on a power play 2:33 into overtime with his brother Henrik Sedin earning an assist as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 Thursday night. It was the final game at home for the Sedins who were mobbed by their teammates after the goal.

Fans were on their feet the minute the Sedins went over the boards after Arizona's Richard Panik was called for hooking. The goal came when Henrik passed back to Daniel, who blasted a shot from the blue line.

After the game the two brothers slowly skated around the ice at Rogers Arena, waving at the fans.

The brothers had combined for a goal earlier in the game, with Daniel scoring and Henrik assisting again.

That play began with Henrik making a move along the boards, then dishing the puck to defenceman Alex Edler, who was streaking toward the goal. He passed to Daniel, who shot into an open net to tie the game 1-1.

The Canucks winning the game was just the icing on the cake. Watching the Sedins produce their magic one last time at home was what the fans really wanted to see.

The 37-year-old twins from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, announced Monday they are retiring after playing 17 seasons with the Canucks. Drafted second and third overall in 1997, their final game will be Saturday in Edmonton against the Oilers.

There were loud cheers each time the Sedins stepped on the ice, anticipation whenever they touched the puck.

The fans almost got their wish 18 seconds into the game when Henrik hit the post.

Christian Fischer, Derek Stepan and Dylan Strome scored for Arizona (29-40-12). Jake Virtanen and Brendan Leipsic got the other goals for the Canucks (31-40-10). Both teams will miss the playoffs.

With Vancouver struggling in the standings Rogers Arena has often been a quite building with plenty of empty seats this season. The energy and enthusiasm returned Thursday as a large, noisy crowd jammed into the building to watch the Sedins one last time.

The first standing ovation came when the Sedins stepped on the ice prior to the national anthems. Henrik reminded the minor hockey player joining them to remove her helmet before the anthems. She hugged each brother after.

The fans were on their feet again with 11:50 gone in the first period. Daniel gave a wave.

The third period began with a thunderous roar as the twins stepped on the ice for the opening faceoff. A Daniel shot on net got the fans up again, prompting chants of "go Sedins go" and "hall of fame."

The standing ovations continued after most whistles. Daniel and Henrik acknowledged with waves. There even was a Viking clap.

The brothers were the first players on the ice during the pre-game warmups. Fans lined the boards waving signs and snapping pictures on cell phones. Some bright yellow Swedish national team sweaters stood out among the seas of blue Canuck jerseys. There were Viking helmets and baseball caps.

One woman held up a sign which lit up with the words "congrats Henrik and Daniel."

Prior to the game there was a video tribute. Past Canuck players and coaches talked about the Sedins' history, their contributions on the ice and their work in the community. A tribute mural wall was installed outside the arena for fans to write messages. The lights outside Rogers Arena and in many city buildings glowed Swedish blue and yellow in tribute.

NOTES: Attending the game were the Sedins' parents and two brothers. … The Canucks gave out their team awards with rookie Brock Boeser the most outstanding player, Alex Edler the top defenceman and Derek Dorsett the unsung hero. … The 50/50 draw was worth $1,014,555. The winning ticket earned $507,278. … Vancouver outshot Arizona 15-1 in the third period.

Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

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