VANCOUVER, CANADA // Henrik Sedin became the Vancouver Canucks captain last night in a ceremony before their season-opening game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Sedin takes over from goalie Roberto Luongo, who relinquished the role almost four weeks earlier.
The 30-year-old Swedish centre led the NHL in scoring with 112 points and was voted league MVP last season. Identical twin brother Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler, a two-time finalist for the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward will serve as alternate captains.
After a lengthy ceremony to kick off the Canucks' 40th NHL season that included most of the first Canucks team from 1970-71 gathering at centre ice, original captain Orland Kurtenbach presented Sedin with his new jersey with a "C" on the chest.
In 2008, Luongo became the first NHL goaltender in 60 years to captain a team, but league rules prohibited him from wearing the "C" or acting as captain on the ice by talking to referees. Instead of the usual set up of two alternates and a captain, the Canucks used three alternates.
The match itself saw Anze Kopitar and Jack Johnson score shoot-out goals for Los Angeles, which rallied late for the win. Defenceman Justin Williams levelled Christian Ehrhoff's opener on a power play with 4:05 left in regulation, and the Kings had a glorious chance to win it on another advantage late in overtime.
In selected other matches Derek Stepan became the fourth player to score three times in his NHL debut as he led the New York Rangers to a season-opening 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres, the Washington Capitals routed the New Jersey Devils 7-2 with Alex Ovechkin beating Martin Brodeur with a penalty shot to complete a four-goal second period for Washington, while at Tampa Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist to help new Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher win his NHL debut against Atlanta.