In a moment of chaos, the puck fell directly to Kevin Bieksa's stick as the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks were deadlocked in double-overtime. A fluke bounce off the boards came straight to Bieksa at the point and as players from both teams threw their hands up and wondered where the puck went, he unleashed a shot on net. Antti Niemi
The fact Vancouver even made it to double-overtime took a bit of luck, and another odd bounce, in the first place. Trailing by one and with time winding down in regulation, the referees missed a deflection at center-ice that would have negated a late icing on the Sharks. It was nearly impossible to see on replay, but setup the game-tying goal as the Canucks drew a face-off in the San Jose end. With 13 seconds to go, Ryan Kesler beat Niemi, tying the game and forcing overtime.
It was just one of those nights where the puck bounced the right way for Vancouver. And 17 years to the day after the Canucks secured their last trip to the Stanley Cup Finals -- with a double-overtime, Game 5 win -- they were back. Call it a fluke, call it fate or call it being in the right place at the right time. Whatever you call it, the Canucks, and their NHL-best regular season record, are four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup after one of the more bizarre games in recent memory.
For more on the NHL's Western Conference Final, check in with our Sharks vs. Canucks series hub, as well as our blogs: Fear The Fin covering the Sharks and Nucks Misconduct covering the Canucks. You can find more local coverage at SB Nation Bay Area and Battle of California.