Stanley Cup finals Game 7: Boston 1, Vancouver 0 after one
The Bruins scored the only goal of a fast-paced and physical first period. The play was made possible by pure hustle on the part of Brad Marchand, a pesky player who has a good amount of skill to complement his abrasiveness.
It was a good omen for the Bruins, because the team that scored first won each of the previous six games.
The Canucks’ Henrik Sedin won a faceoff from Patrice Bergeron in his own zone, but the puck came to Marchand along the right-wing boards. He protected the puck as he eluded the Canucks’ befuddled defense and threw a pass toward the slot to Bergeron, whose shot found space inside the post to Roberto Luongo’s right at 14:37.
The suddenness of the goal deflated the crowd for several minutes, but fans regained their voices and restored the pulsating energy they had been creating.
The Canucks had an 8-5 edge in shots but play seemed fairly even, with each team enjoying occasional surges that tested the other’s defense.
The Bruins were credited with 22 hits to 20 for the Canucks. The hit-parade leader was Bruins forward Milan Lucic, no doubt pumped up to be playing in his hometown under such dramatic circumstances.
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-- Helene Elliott in Vancouver, Canada
Photo: Patrice Bergeron, center, celebrates with Boston teammates Mark Recchi, right, and Brad Marchand after scoring a goal against Vancouver during the first period in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday. Credit: Elsa / Getty Images