In Game 1, Alexandre Burrows bit a Bruin. Tonight, the Canucks’ forward may have taken a bigger bite out of the Bruins’ championship hopes.
Burrows scored a pair of goals — including a spectacular winner just 11 seconds into overtime — and added an assist as the Canucks defeated the Bruins, 3-2 in overtime, in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final here at Rogers Arena.
There was some sentiment that Burrows shouldn’t have been playing in tonight’s game after biting Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron’s finger during a scrum at the end of the first period in Game 1. On the NBC telecast tonight, Mike Milbury said letting him play was “a disgraceful call by the league … this guy should have been suspended.”
Instead of sitting, he stole the show. The pesky first-line forward who works so well with twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin earned the first star of the game, and largely because of his efforts the Canucks are two wins from their first Stanley Cup in their 42-year history.
Burrows gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead on the power play at 12:12 of the first period, beating Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30 saves) shortside.
The Bruins rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the second period, with Milan Lucic potting his fourth goal of the playoffs at the 9-minute mark, then Mark Recchi giving the Bruins the lead 2:35 later on a much-needed power play goal. Recchi’s tally was his third this postseason.
But Vancouver, just as in Game 1, was relentless in the third period, outshooting the Bruins, 11-5, and after peppering Thomas, Daniel Sedin finally broke through, scoring his ninth of the playoffs on a feed by Burrows.
Not too much later, Burrows got his ninth of the postseason, and the Bruins head home having lost the first two games of this series in agonizing fashion.
FINAL: Canucks 3, Bruins 2: And like that, 11 seconds into overtime, it’s over. Alexandre Burrows makes a sensational individual play after a Bruins turnover following the faceoff. Skating down the left side, he fakes a shot that sends Tim Thomas sprawling, slips around the back of the net, and tucks it around the post on the far side with Zdeno Chara on his back. Burrows finishes with two goals and an assist, and the Bruins will go back to Boston in a 2-0 hole. We’ll be back here with more in a moment.
Awaiting overtime: One stat that Bruins fans will like and probably are already telling themselves: Boston is 4-0 in OT this postseason. You know, Nathan Horton has been pretty quiet tonight so far . . .
End of the third period, Bruins 2, Canucks 2: And we’re going to have some bonus hockey at Rogers Arena, which is not exactly what the Bruins were thinking having entered the period with a 2-1 lead. But Vancouver is a gifted offensive team, the tying goal was well-earned, and Tim Thomas held up well under their tireless attack. As they did in Game 3, the Canucks had more energy in the third period, outshooting the Bruins 11-5 in the frame (and 16-5 since the Bruins took the lead). Boston needs to find its legs and play at a more comfortable pace in OT. Who’s going to be their Raffi Torres?
17:30:Creative move by Krejci, who uses some sleight of hand to deke a Vancouver defenseman but shoots wide shortside on Luongo.
15:10: The Canucks have outshot the Bruins in the third period, 10-5. Vancouver’s third-period energy is starting to be reminiscent of Game 1.
14:07: Adam McQuaid makes perhaps the defensive play of his career, sprawling to break up a 2-on-1 pass from Daniel to Henrik Sedin and smothering the puck when Daniel tried to stickhandle around him.
10:23 third period, Bruins 2, Canucks 2: The Canucks have been relentless, and they finally got their reward. Daniel Sedin ties it on a beautiful feed from the slot by Burrows, who is en route to becoming public enemy No. 1 in Boston. The goal is Sedin’s ninth of the playoffs, and it starts when his brother Henrik wins a battle with Chara for the puck behind the net, then passed out to the blue line to Alexander Edler, who put the puck on net, rebound bouncing to Burrows. It’s what the fans in Rogers Arena were anticipating, and the Bruins can’t let the energy and momentum overwhelm them.
9:16: The Sedin boys and Burrows are absolutely peppering Thomas, with Sami Salo launching the occasional bomb from the point. Vancouver has four shots on goal this period. It feels like about a dozen.
By the way, if you missed it, here’s what NBC’s Mike Milbury had to say about Burrows not being suspended for biting Patrice Bergeron in Game 1: “If I had known in the late ‘70s that it was okay to pig out on human flesh, I would have eaten Guy Lafleur…this is a disgraceful call by the league…this guy should have been suspended. They’re impacting this series by a non-call. It was not very courageous.” Say what you mean, Mike.
6:45: Andrew Ference with the sliding shot-block with Thomas out of the crease. That officially makes up for his mistake on the Canucks’ goal.
4:38: Kevin Bieksa, Vancouver’s energetic defenseman, goes down after appearing to take a whack to the ankle by Rich Peverley. Looked like he was in some pain, but skated off on his own power. With Dan Hamhuis already out, Bieksa is about the last guy the Canucks can afford to lose.
3:07: The Bruins kill it off. Vancouver is 1 for 2 on the power play. Christian Ehrhoff did have a decent bid just after the penalty expired, but Thomas batted it away.
0:52: And like that, the Canucks are on the power play. With eight seconds left in the man-advantage for the Bruins, Seidenberg is called for tripping Lapierre. Important kill here from the Bruins.
Start of the the third period: Bruins have 59 seconds on the power play.
End of the second period, Bruins 2, Canucks 1: A fantastic period all around for the Bruins. They score one on the power play. Recchi and Lucic, perhaps the two Bruins forwards who have struggled the most recently, both find the net, Lucic capturing the intensity of the moment by slamming his stick down after scoring. Tim Thomas stops 10 shots, several of them on golden opportunities for the Canucks. And suddenly, Roberto Luongo is reminded that he’s mortal. The Canucks are relentless, but the Bruins have a minute left on the power play entering the third, and a great chance to build momentum.
18:59: Aaron Rome sent off for his second interference penalty of the game. Can the Bruins score on two power plays in a row?
18:05: While the Bruins have taken a lead and that last power play may at some point regarded as a pivotal moment in this series, the Canucks have not let them seize the momentum. Daniel Sedin nearly tied it a moment ago on a pass from Kesler that slipped through Chara. This team is relentless.
15:29: Tim Thomas has seven saves this period, at least three have been downright spectacular, and at least two have had to be made because of mistakes by his defensemen (the suspects this time are Boychuk and Kaberle). On another chance, Maxim Lapierre had a loose puck waiting for him on the edge of the crease but couldn’t get his stick on it in time before Chara swept it away, Thomas may have given up a soft goal early. But he’s been sensational this period.
11:35, Bruins 2, Canucks 1: The Bruins have scored a power play goal. Repeat: The Bruins have scored a power play goal. Mark Recchi does the honors, ending his own personal playoff drought by scoring the same way he’s scored probably 150 of his 577 NHL goals — with a deflection. The play began with a Bergeron right-to-left pass to Chara, who fired it on net. The puck eluded Tyler Seguin en route, but Recchi was situated perfectly to deflect it past Luongo.
10:26: The Bruins get their second power play of the night when Aaron Rome is called for holding Patrice Bergeron. Let’s see if they can continue the momentum . . .
9:00, second period, Bruins 1, Canucks 1 After nearly 4 1/2 scoreless periods in this series, the Bruins finally break through against Luongo. Milan Lucic gets his fourth goal of the postseason, pouncing on a rebound of a Johnny Boychuk slapper and beating a sprawling Luongo at the left post. The play originated behind the net when David Krejci won the battle for the puck and fed Boychuk with a long backhanded pass. Once again, Andrew Alberts was in the middle of the play, and not in a good way for the Canucks.
6:10: The Bruins are actually outshooting the Canucks, 16-14, and two of their best chances came on the last shift by the first line. Luongo stopped a Lucic blast short-side off a nice pass from Nathan Horton, then Kaberle (really) put one on the goalie from inside the blue line that almost handcuffed Luongo.
3:57: The final tally on the Bruins’ power play: Twenty-two passes. Two shots.
1:03: The Bruins get their first power play when Kevin Bieksa is called for interference. You judge whether that’s a good or bad thing. The Bruins do get a golden chance with Recchi point-blank on Luongo about a minute-and-a-half into it, but somehow the puck doesn’t get past the Canucks netminder. The Canucks kill off the penalty, and the Bruins’ power play goal total this postseason remains stuck on five.
Start of the second period, Canucks 1, Bruins 0: One quick note here as Kesler and Patrice Bergeron await the faceoff. Dennis Seidenberg is a machine, playing nearly half of the first period (9:49, to be exact). And Tomas Kaberle is officially buried, seeing the ice for just 3:15.
End of first period, Canucks 1, Bruins 0: Well, that wasn’t what the Bruins’ were looking for. While the Bruins played with energy, Chara’s penalty, Ference’s mistake, and Thomas’s inability to come up with a save he should have made have the Bruins in a one-goal hole.
Both teams have 11 shots, but the Bruins can’t have more than two legitimate chances, and the Vancouver defensemen have done an outstanding job of poking the puck away from the Bruins’ forwards when it looks like something might develop. The Bruins are still looking for their first goal four periods into the series, and have one in their last seven including Game 7 against Tampa Bay.
18:23: Raffi Torres shaking his hand on the bench after a collision with Daniel Paille.
12:12 first period, Canucks 1, Bruins 0: And the Canucks capitalize. Alexandre Burrows (ol’ chompers himself) scores his eighth goal of the postseason, beating Thomas short-side. Sami Salo made the play, digging the puck out along the boards and preventing Andrew Ference from clearing it. When Thomas is accused of letting in soft goals from time to time, that’s what people are talking about.
10:24:Chara sent off for interference on Kesler. A rare undisciplined play by Z.
9:39: Great chance for the Bruins, thanks in part to old friend Andrew Albers. Michael Ryder breaks in on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Seguin on the left wing after Albers steps up to hit Chris Kelly. Ryder’s shot from inside the right faceoff circle hits Luongo in the mask, knocking it off. The mask-less Luongo covers the puck. Jacques Plante would not approve.
7:53: Shots are 7-3 Vancouver so far as Thomas catches a bid by Victor Oreskovich. Seems about right. Both teams are playing with better flow than in Game 1.
7:14: Keep an eye on Ryan Kesler. He took a wallop on his last shift from Johnny Boychuk and got looked at by trainers on the bench.
7:04: Lots of hits both ways so far. The Canucks’ third line, which played so well in Game 1, has been flying around, Maxim Lapierre got an open look from the slot but the puck trickled off his stick.
4:51: The Canucks nearly get the first one on a Sami Salo rocket from the right point. Thomas stops it, but it deflects over his shoulder and bounces in the crease. Fortunately for the Bruins, Dennis Seidenberg is on the scene and swats it away with Jannik Hansen closing in. Big exhale for the Bruins there.
2:03: Malhotra takes his first shift since his gruesome injury March 16. The crowd approves, loudly
0:30: Marchand nearly gets something started with a nifty move in the right slot, but he can’t get much stick on his shot and Kevin Bieksa dives to cover it.
Pregame: Anthem singer Mark Donnelly turns over the second verse of “Oh, Canada” to the crowd. Extremely impressive rendition.
Starting lineups: Bruins will open with the Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi line, with workhorses Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara paired on defense. Tim Thomas is in net.
Vancouver goes with Chris Higgins-Ryan Kesler-Mason Raymond, with a defense tandem of Sami Salo and Alexander Edler. Roberto Luongo is in net.
Also, Andrew Alberts gets the call to replace the injured Dan Hamhuis on the Vancouver blue line. Keith Ballard, who makes $4.2 million, is scratched in favor of the former BC Eagle and Bruin. Losing Hamhuis is huge for the Canucks. He’s not only terrific defensively, but coach Alain Vignealt said he’s as good as the Canucks have at getting the puck out of the zone against the forecheck.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Bruins and Canucks are a few minutes from dropping the puck for Game 2 here at Rogers Arena.
It’s fair to say there’s no underestimating the importance of this one for the visitors, who are attempting to return home to Boston with a split after losing Wednesday’s Game 1, 1-0, to the heavily favored Canucks.
While one of the Bruins’ endearing characteristics this postseason has been their ability to come back after falling behind in a series — they trailed Montreal, 2-0, in the first round, and lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final to Tampa Bay — a two-game deficit against this outstanding Vancouver team may be too much for even a team as resilient as the Bruins to overcome.
As for lineup news, it appears Manny Malhotra, who hasn’t played since March 16 after taking a shot from Colorado’s Erik Johnson in the right eye, will make his return tonight, centering the fourth line. Malhotra had 30 points in 72 games during the regular season, but his real value is on faceoffs (he was second in the league) and on the penalty kill.
Chants of “Manny, Manny” have filled the arena the last minute or two while an interview with the veteran forward is shown on the big screen. It’ll be interesting to see whether he’s rusty or shies away from physical play because of the injury. His eye still looks terrible.)
There was some thought that Shawn Thornton, scratched during Game 1, would play tonight after the contentious opener, but the Bruins are sticking with the same lineup.
So there you go. Game 2 is about to get underway. Stay right here for our running live updates all through the game, and as always, share your input in the comments..