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Category: Stanley Cup finals

Stanley Cup finals Game 6: Boston 4, Vancouver 0 after two periods

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The second period was scoreless. The only suspense centered on whether Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas would be able to earn his second shutout of the finals and whether any nasty incidents would erupt in such a one-sided game.

Through two periods, the Bruins had 27 shots and the Canucks had 22.

Vancouver has scored only one goal in eight periods of play in nearly three full games at Boston -- but the Bruins have scored only twice in three games at Vancouver.

Check back later for more coverage at www.latimes.com/sports.

--Helene Elliott, in Boston

Photo: Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk upends Canucks left wing Tanner Glass during the second period of Game 6 on Monday night in Boston. Credit: Jonathan Hayward / Associated Press

Stanley Cup finals Game 6: Bruins 4, Canucks 0 after one period

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The Bruins set a record for the fastest four goals by one team in a Stanley Cup finals game, setting the record in a span of 4 minutes and 14 seconds in Game 6 tonight at TD Garden in Boston. That eclipsed the previous mark of 5:29, set by the Montreal Canadiens against the Detroit Red Wings on March 31, 1956.

The tone for the Canucks was somber from the first minute, when a hit by Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk sent Vancouver winger Mason Raymond awkwardly into the boards. Raymond was bent over and facing the boards when Boychuck shoved him and fell awkwardly, causing a stoppage 20 seconds in. He was slow to get up and needed help to leave the ice.

The Bruins announced early in the second period that he had been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of an undisclosed injury.

Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, so busy analyzing goaltending styles the other day, probably should have paid more attention to his own performance than to the work of Boston's Tim Thomas. Luongo looked bad on the Bruins’ first two goals and was replaced by Cory Schneider after the third, a power-play goal.

Brad Marchand got the rampage going at 5:31, firing a shot into the upper-right corner of the net from the right circle. A nifty behind-the-back pass by Rich Peverley set up Milan Lucic to shoot a rolling puck past Luongo from the right circle at 6:06.

Boston scored again while Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler was serving a boarding penalty. Andrew Ference was credited with the goal, which appeared to deflect before it eluded Luongo.

Schneider replaced Luongo after that goal, at 8:35, on Boston's eighth shot. But he didn’t have much better luck. He was beaten at 9:45 by Michael Ryder’s redirection of a shot by Tomas Kaberle.

Check back for more at www.latimes.com/sports.

--Helene Elliott, in Boston

Photo: Bruins left wing Mark Recchi, left, celebrates a first-period goal by Andrew Ference against Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff . Credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Vancouver's Lapierre finds success to the max after leaving Ducks

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If you blinked, you might have missed Maxim Lapierre’s Ducks career.

Lapierre, known as an agitator and trash-talker but valued as a third- or fourth-line player, was acquired by the Ducks from Montreal last New Year’s Eve for defenseman Brett Festerling and a fifth-round pick in the 2012 entry draft. Born in the Montreal neighborhood of Saint-Leonard and unhappy about leaving the Canadiens, he never seemed effective and didn’t bring much of his infamous edge to Anaheim.

The Ducks traded him to the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 28 with prospect MacGregor Sharp for Joel Perrault and a third-round pick in 2012. In between, he played 21 mostly unremarkable games in which he picked up three assists and nine penalty minutes.

But Lapierre found a good fit with the Canucks, who on Monday were one victory over the Boston Bruins away from winning the Stanley Cup.

Continue reading »

Stanley Cup finals, Game 6: The morning skates

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Greetings from Boston, where the Stanley Cup will be in the house Monday night and will be awarded to the Vancouver Canucks if they defeat the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

“I don’t want to see it,” Bruins winger Shawn Thornton said, knowing that if he does see it Monday it will be as a member of the losing team.

The Cup hasn’t been won by a Canadian team since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Kings. The Canucks, who entered the NHL as an expansion team for the 1970-71 season, lost in their two previous Cup finals appearances, in 1982 and 1994.

If the Bruins win — and the home team has won each of the previous five games in this series — the Cup will remain in its packing case to be shipped to Vancouver, where it would be awarded on Wednesday at Rogers Arena.

Reports have floated around the Internet that the Canucks had tried to sell the broadcast rights to a Stanley Cup parade later this week and that they were rebuffed by the NHL, but those reports have not been confirmed by the league or the team.

Continue reading »

Times guest blogger Bobby Ryan breaks down Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals

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It was another goaltender battle in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals, a 1-0 victory for Vancouver over Boston. Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo was obviously the star of the show. He certainly deserved to be first star of the game. He made some big saves and anytime you pitch a shutout in the Stanley Cup finals, it’s huge.

Game 5 went exactly as I thought it would go. The pace of the game was very good. Vancouver and Boston didn’t trade chances as much as in previous games. It was definitely more of a reserved, defensive-style game than earlier in the series. Since Vancouver got blown out twice in Boston, I thought they would recover and play the style of game that they did.

The thing that surprised me most was that the Maxim Lapierre line had numerous chances throughout the game and dominated their matchups. I was happy for Max when he scored early in the third period. He’s looked good throughout the series and played a reserved, quiet game. He went about his business and got rewarded for it. Even though he was in Anaheim for just a short period of time earlier this season, it was cool to see him contribute in a big way.

The Bruins have to find a way for their depth lines to provide more offense. They have to solve Luongo, like they did in Games 3 and 4 at the TD Garden in Boston. The big thing for the Bruins is to get more traffic in front of the net and make him uncomfortable. Luongo is a goalie who could become unsure of himself at times. But he looked so calm and steady last game; if he plays like that again, it’s going to be scary for Boston.

Home ice didn’t seem like much of an advantage early in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it has meant everything in the finals with the home team winning the all five games of the series. The distance between Vancouver and Boston is a huge factor and those are two very tough buildings to play in. The fans can really rally around their team when things are going well and momentum is in their favor. I’m not surprised to see the home team winning as much as they are, though I think Game 6 is going to be different.

Luongo is going to be confident heading into Monday’s game. Vancouver closes it out in six.

--Bobby Ryan

The Times is pleased to have Ducks winger Bobby Ryan blogging for us, along with Ducks teammates Corey Perry and George Parros, during the Stanley Cup finals.

Photo: Bobby Ryan. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Stanley Cup finals Game 5: Boston 0, Vancouver 0 after two periods

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Like the opening period of Game 5, the second period was scoreless as the tension mounted and fans held their breath on every Canucks scoring chance. Vancouver had an edge in shots, 12-9, in the period but neither team could finish anything off.

The Canucks had the best chance about 12 minutes and 40 seconds into the period. That’s when defenseman Chris Tanev, inserted into the lineup in place of Keith Ballard, made an excellent pass that put Tanner Glass in alone deep on the left side. Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was out of position and the net was probably half empty for Glass, but he fanned on the shot while fans groaned in frustration.

Each team had surges when it exerted some pressure but neither managed to succeed. The Bruins had one power play during the period and the Canucks had two.

Check back for more coverage at www.latimes.com/sports.

--Helene Elliott in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (3) knocks down Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) in the second period of Game 5 on Friday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Credit: Jason O. Watson / US Presswire

Stanley Cup finals Game 5: Boston 0, Vancouver 0 after one period

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The first period of Game 5 was scoreless but lively because of the furious pace and consistent physicality. The Vancouver Canucks got the game’s first three penalties but escaped unscathed, to the delight of a pumped-up crowd at Rogers Arena.

Each team had a player sent to the box with 33 seconds remaining in the period, after Boston’s Milan Lucic tripped Vancouver’s Alex Burrows and both were penalized. The call on Lucic was tripping and the call on Burrows was unsportsmanlike conduct for embellishing the trip, and both were correctly made by officials who wisely exerted their authority before anything stupid could happen.

A few moments earlier Vancouver’s Maxim Lapierre had taken a mild jab in the ribs from Boston’s Zdeno Chara and tried to sell it as an offense worthy of life imprisonment, and the officials clearly didn’t want to see any more antics.

The Bruins outshot the Canucks, 12-6, with Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo regaining fans’ affection by making several excellent stops. He had a point-blank stop on a shot by Patrice Bergeron during Boston’s third power play and drew roars from the crowd. The Canucks were credited with 23 hits, including five by defenseman Alexander Edler. Boston was credited with 13 hits.

More coverage later at www.latimes.com/sports.

--Helene Elliott in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Canucks right wing Maxim Lapierre, right, checks Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference in the first period of Game 5 on Thursday night in Vancouver. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press

Stanley Cup finals Game 5: Looks like Chris Tanev will replace Keith Ballard for Canucks

Chris1 Greetings from Vancouver, where the Canucks had a well-attended morning skate in advance of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins on Friday at Rogers Arena. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis, injured in Game 1, again didn’t skate but Coach Alain Vigneault said Hamhuis will accompany the team back to Boston for Game 6 on Monday.

Vigneault almost never discusses lineup decisions, but based on who came off the ice early and who stayed out to skate with the players who are usually scratched, it appears Keith Ballard will be out of the lineup and Chris Tanev will be in on the Canucks’ defense in Game 5.

Ballard struggled in Game 4 and was -2 defensively. Asked about Tanev, who has appeared in only two playoff games and bounced between the Canucks and their Manitoba farm team this season, Vigneault was careful not to give away his intentions.

“When we've used Chris this year he's real steady, can make a first pass at the forecheck,” Vigneault said. “He's a kid that was playing in Manitoba, and we got in injury trouble and he came up and did a real solid job for us.”

Tanev, 22, played one season at the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology, whose program was elevated to Division I in 2005.

“He’s has had a great year for us and came kind of out of nowhere. Came from a great program at RIT,” teammate Kevin Bieksa said, drawing laughter from reporters who surrounded him.

Continue reading »

Times guest blogger Corey Perry breaks down Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals

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Hello from London, Ontario! Well, it’s a best-of-three now after last night’s 4-0 shutout for the Boston Bruins. I think Boston came out and dominated right from the start. They’ve been the more physical team and I think it’s starting to wear down Vancouver. It’s the Stanley Cup Final and everything’s on the line. Everyone is playing with their hearts on their sleeves.

It was great to see Rich Peverley come out and get those two goals. I played with him over at the World Championships last year and he’s just a great guy. He’s a guy that gets it…he goes out there and does whatever he can to win. He battles hard and puts everything on the line. It showed last night. Those are the bounces you’re going to get if you go to the greasy areas. He has found a way to step up his game. Missing a guy like Horton is obviously a huge blow to their team – but there are guys in their dressing room that are going to step up.

I heard that Peverley got the “team jacket” after last night’s win – and it must have been extra special that Horton was the guy that handed it to him. Those are team-building things that guys look forward to. You want to be the guy at the end of the game getting that jacket because you want to go out there and do whatever you can to help your team. It’s great when your teammates notice that.

I think Tim Thomas has really stepped up as well. He got a lot of criticism for the overtime goal in Game 2, where he came out and challenged Burrows. But that’s his style of play and he’s going to use it to his advantage. He’s an acrobatic goalie and he fights for every puck and every rebound.

Continue reading »

Question of the Day: The NHL series is tied 2-2; who's going to win the Stanley Cup?

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Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss the Canucks-Bruins series. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and feel free to weigh in with a comment of your own.

Harvey Fialkov, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Despite the last five Stanley Cup champions going 14-2 at home in the finals, unless the Rogers Arena ice morphs into an extra skater, this 2-2 series is over after Boston’s utter domination of Vancouver at TD Garden. Even with that extra skater, Vancouver’s top-ranked power-play unit has vanished under Boston’s smothering penalty kill, going 1-of-22.

Why?

Because a gimpy Ryan Kesler has gone from MVP to MIA.

Because the Sedin twins, the last two NHL scoring champions, have a combined two points.
Because Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo has snatched LeBron James’ shrinkage tag to such an extent he’ll need a shrink after allowing 12 goals in five-plus periods.

Conversely, fellow Vezina finalist Tim Thomas is a flopping, stick-flailing wall in giving up five goals in four games.

Finally, the spirit of a concussed Nathan Horton has rallied the Bruins, who since 2004 will give Beantown a four-sport championship sweep. 

[Updated at 1:27 p.m.

Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune

After what transpired in Games 3 and 4 in Boston, conventional wisdom would point to the Bruins riding the wave of momentum and capturing their first Stanley Cup championship since 1972. Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is a mess after yielding 12 goals in the last two games and has a wobbly .887 save percentage in the series while his counterpart, Tim Thomas, has been rock solid and is threatening to win this series practically on his own.

The Canucks found themselves in a similar situation in the Western Conference quarterfinals when the Blackhawks got into Luongo's head and set up residency for three games and nearly pulled off a startling comeback before the Vancouver netminder and his teammates righted the ship. Expect more of the same as the Canucks will take advantage of home ice in Game 5 and regain control of the series against a Bruins squad that is motivated by the loss of Nathan Horton to injury, but will also miss his offense when the games again tighten defensively.

It won't be nearly as easy as it appeared following the first two games, but the Canucks will turn things around and, when the dust settles, celebrate their first Stanley Cup.]

[Updated at 1:37 p.m.

Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times

If the Boston Bruins go on to win the Stanley Cup -- and it's tough to pick against them now after they outscored the Vancouver Canucks, 12-1, in Boston to tie the finals at two games each -- they should send a thank-you card to Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. It was Rome's hit on Bruins winger Nathan Horton in Game 3 that turned this series around, giving the Bruins emotional fuel, casting the Canucks as the bad guys and jumbling the Canucks' error-prone defense. Horton's season-ending concussion was expected to hurt the Bruins more than Rome's four-game suspension was supposed to hurt the Canucks, but instead the inspired Bruins swamped the Canucks in a 4-0 victory Wednesday. Boston goalie Tim Thomas has hugely outplayed Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and has brought a feistiness that fits with the Bruins' style.  Bruins fans chanted, "We want the Cup" near the end of Game 4, and they just might get it if their team can play as well in Vancouver on Friday as it did at home in Games 3 and 4.]

Photo: Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin and defenseman Kevin Bieksa  battle for the puck with Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg  during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals at TD Garden. Credit: Greg M. Cooper / US Presswire

Stanley Cup finals Game 4: Bruins defeat Canucks, 4-0

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Depleted in numbers Wednesday but not in spirit, the Boston Bruins overpowered the Vancouver Canucks for the second straight game and turned the Stanley Cup finals into a best-of-three finish.

Rich Peverley scored twice and goaltender Tim Thomas stopped 37 shots as the Bruins, backed by a raucous crowd at TD Garden that included iconic Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr, rolled to a 4-0 victory over the feeble and fumble-fingered Canucks and tied the series at two games each.

Although the Bruins’ lineup lacked first-line winger Nathan Horton, who is recovering from the concussion he suffered as the result of a hit by Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome in Game 3, the Bruins romped and chased Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo out of the game at 3:39 of the third period.

Luongo yielded four goals on 20 shots and didn’t look good — but neither did the defense in front of him. The Canucks’ offense was non-existent and their power play scoreless in six tries.

So far the home team has won each game. But the Bruins have outscored the Canucks, 12-1, in the last two games and by a staggering 14-5 overall.

We'll have more on the game soon at latimes.com/sports.

RELATED:

Stanley Cup finals Game 4: Bruins lead, 3-0, after two periods

Stanley Cup finals Game 4: Bruins lead, 1-0, after first period

Bruins-Canucks box score

-- Helene Elliott reporting from Boston

Photo: Boston goalie Tim Thomas, right, gets into a scuffle with Vancouver forward Alex Burrows, center, as Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg pulls back on Burrows during the final minutes of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday. Credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press

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