Canucks Slip by Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals

Published on June 2nd, 2011

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had a shut-out

by Mike del Tufo

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Canucks won in dramatic fashion scoring with just 18 seconds left in regulation to pull out a 1-0 win.  In this game, Roberto Luongo started in net for the Canucks and Tim Thomas for the Bruins.

The game started out at a furious pace as each team was full of adrenaline at playing in the 1st game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.  The Bruins’ much-maligned power-play got an early chance at 4:03 of the 1st period when Canuck forward Daniel Sedin was given a double-minor for high-sticking.  The Bruins put their huge captain Zdeno Chara in front of the goal during this man-advantage in the hopes of him screening Luongo or pouncing on a fat rebound.  They pressured Luongo and had some chances but could not score in this 4-minute power-play.  The Bruins played a strong period out-shooting the Canucks 17 to 12.  As time expired, Bruins Patrice Bergeron and Canucks Alexander Burrows got into an altercation that took all of the on-ice officials to separate them.

The Bruins got a 5-on-3 just 28 seconds into the 2nd period when Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa took a high-sticking penalty after Burrows had taken an extra roughing call at the end of the 1st period.  The Bruins were sloppy on this power-play and gave the momentum to the Canucks after their strong kill.  The Canucks could not transfer this into any offensive opportunities however going almost 10 minutes without a shot to start the 2nd.  Then the Canucks kicked it into gear and pelted Thomas with a number of shots.  The Bruins in turn had their fair share of chances.  There was a lot of open-ice in the last half of the period but no one could score. 

At 5:01 of the 3rd period, Canucks winger Jannik Hansen had a breakaway but was denied by Thomas.  Both teams were playing cautiously at this point not going all-out for the lead goal.  Thomas made an incredible save on center Maxim Lapierre at 11:34.  Thomas was outstanding but Vancouver finally had the answer for him at 19:41 when Hansen fed Raffi Torres who scored to stun the Bruins.  The Canucks took a 1-0 series lead after scoring this game’s only goal with 18 seconds left in regulation.

On the win, Luongo said, “It’s a four out of seven. We’re happy to be able to get a win tonight. We know it’s going to be a long series, a tough grind.  We’ll take this win tonight, put it in our pocket.  I think once we get to tomorrow, we’re going to start focusing on Saturday.  That’s the way it’s going to be.  We don’t want to get distracted by that.”

Torres on the game-winning goal said, “Well, just obviously Kes (Ryan Kesler) pulling up there, making a heads-up play, holding onto that puck.  For me just seeing that, him throwing it over to Hansen there.  Just got to get open.  Made a great play there to get it over, was fortunate enough to get it in the back of the net.”

The Bruins played a strong road game but have nothing to show for it.  They will have another chance in Game 2 this Saturday at 5pm in Vancouver. 

This season’s Stanley Cup Finals features two teams who have not been this far into the playoffs in a long time.  The Canucks last made it to the Finals in 1994 and the Bruins in 1990.  The winner of this series and the Stanley Cup will be the 8th different team in the last 8 NHL seasons.

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