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Bruins' top line has Kesler's respect

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  June 3, 2011 04:41 PM

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In Game 1, the Bruins' No. 1 line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton put 13 shots on Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo . . . and absolutely nothing to show for the effort.

Some of the Bruins lamented after their 1-0 loss in Wednesday's Stanley Cup Final opener that the Canucks forced them into taking too many long shots from bad angles.

Ryan Kesler, a dynamic player all over the ice in Game 1 (wasn't he supposed to be injured?), was among the Vancouver players who confirmed that was part of their sound strategy.

"That what we try to do to with every big line," Kesler said. "Keep them to perimeter, keep the shots outside and try to limit their second and third opportunites. When you've got a goalie like Roberto, he does an excellent job of stopping the first puck, and our job is to keep them getting on any loose pucks."

Kesler also expressed respect for the Bruins first line, and it didn't sound like empty platitudes.

"That's a great, great line, no doubt," Kesler said. "Looch is a truck, Nathan has a nose for the net you can't teach, and Krejci, he's about as creative a passer as it gets. They all bring something different to the table, and that makes them hard to prepare for."

Kesler agreed with the suggestion that Game 2 is more crucial than Game 1 because of the chance the Canucks have to put the Bruins in an 0-2 hole -- or for the Bruins to get even heading back to Boston.

"That's exactly what it is," Kesler said. "It's even a bigger game than the other day. They probably came here to get a split at least, and that game tomorrow is going to be huge."

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