Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Bruins 3, Canucks 1
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins handed the Vancouver Canucks their fifth consecutive loss, 3-1, Tuesday night at TD Garden.
After the Bruins beat the Canucks for the Stanley Cup in 2011, Vancouver won the next two regular-season games, so this was Boston's first win over the Canucks since Game 7 in '11. The Bruins received goals from Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla and Daniel Paille, while goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 27 saves.
Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who registered his 13th assist of the season on Paille's goal, played well in every aspect and brought his physical game. In fact, the Bruins won many of the battles en route to victory.
The Bruins set the pace early in the first period, and they were rewarded for their efforts when Lucic scored at 5:12 for a 1-0 lead. Lucic made a nifty one-touch, backhand breakout pass to Iginla, who gained the offensive zone and fed David Krejci with a pass. Lucic was heading directly to the high slot when Krejci fed him the puck. Lucic rifled a shot off the top left post that ricochetted past Roberto Luongo. With an assist on the goal, Iginla recorded his 600th career helper.
Boston kept its momentum going after Rask made a huge stop on a shorthanded breakaway attempt by the Canucks' Daniel Sedin almost midway through the second period. In transition, the Bruins gained control of the offensive zone when Zdeno Chara made a tape-to-tape pass to Iginla, who was camped out on the off-post, and shoveled it past Luongo for a power-play goal and a 2-0 lead at 7:59. It was Iginla's 16th goal of the season.
With the Bruins controlling the play, Vancouver coach John Tortorella called a timeout in an attempt to settle things down. The Canucks scored their first goal at 11:28 when Raphael Diaz's shot from the right point knuckled past Rask.
It appeared as though the Bruins regained their two-goal lead when Reilly Smith fed Brad Marchand, who found the back of the net, but the play was ruled goaltender interference since Bruins defenseman Torey Krug crashed into Luongo before the puck went in.
Boston did regain its two-goal lead when Boychuk connected with Paille on a long stretch pass, and the Bruins' forward broke in on a breakaway and beat Luongo to give Boston a 3-1 lead at 17:06 of the second period. It was Paille's eighth goal of the season.
The Bruins continued to push the Canucks around in the third period and there was no response as Boston improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine game.
SAVE OF THE GAME: With the Bruins holding a 1-0 lead early in the second period, Boston was on the power play when the Canucks' Daniel Sedin created a shorthanded breakaway attempt on Rask. Sedin attempted to go five-hole, but Rask made the save. The Bruins quickly responded and scored on the ensuing rush to gain a 2-0 lead.
BYE, BYE ZEE: Chara will miss the final two games before the Olympic break in order to carry the Slovakian flag during the opening ceremonies at Sochi. He will miss Thursday's game in St. Louis and Saturday's tilt against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Since Chara will be gone, the Bruins have rookie blueliner David Warsofsky, who was recalled from Providence on Monday, ready to fill in.
UP NEXT: The Bruins travel to St. Louis to face the Blues Thursday night at Scottrade Center in what could be a preview of this year's Stanley Cup finals.