Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Bruins leave Luongo, Canucks high and dry
The Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 8-1 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the sixth straight year in which a team trailing 2-0 in the series won at home in Game 3. Since and including the 1999 Stanley Cup Final, each year the series has been 2-1 after three games.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's tied for the second-largest margin of victory in the Stanley Cup Final since the NHL took control of the Stanley Cup in 1927. Elias also reports it’s the 11th time a team has scored at least eight goals in a Cup Final game. The last time it happened was exactly 15 years ago, on June 6, 1996 when Colorado beat Florida 8-1.
In Game 2, the Bruins tested Roberto Luongo up high just nine times, resulting in one goal. In the first period of Game 3, the Bruins had seven shots with two above the waist of Luongo.
Apparently they learned their lesson. In the final two periods, 12 of the Bruins’ 31 shots on goal were high on Luongo (39 percent), leading to five of their eight goals.
It's the Bruins' fourth straight win at home, but their first home win in the Stanley Cup Final since May 21, 1978 when they won Game 4 in overtime against the Canadiens.
After a scoreless first period where he allowed four rebounds to go back to the Canucks, Tim Thomas stepped up his game along with the Bruins’ offense.
In the second and third periods, 22 of the Canucks 29 shots were either rebounds that were controlled by the Bruins or stopped by Thomas without a rebound.
Thomas allowed six rebounds to go back to the Canucks in the final two periods.
The Bruins, who have struggled mightily on the power play in this postseason, scored a goal at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded. It's just the second time this postseason in which the Bruins have scored a power-play goal in consecutive games and first since doing so in Game 3 and 4 in the Conference Semifinals against the Flyers.
They are the first team since the 1991 Minnesota North Stars to score two shorthanded goals in a Stanley Cup Final and the eighth team all-time to do so in the Cup Final.
The Canucks allowed four goals in the second period, tying their most allowed in a period this postseason. Vancouver's Ryan Kesler was on the ice for all four Bruins goals.
Elias tells us that the 145 penalty minutes in Game 3 are the second-most in a game in Stanley Cup Final history. On May 22, 1986, the Canadiens and Flames combined for 176.