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Postgame Reaction: Game 1 at Vancouver

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins – The Canucks struck late, managing the 1-0 victory on a Raffi Torres goal to beat the Boston Bruins and take the opening game in the Stanley Cup Final.

Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin jumps in front of Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas during the third period of game one Stanley Cup final playoff hockey action in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Vancouver won the game 1-0. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
“It got away from us but we still have an opportunity here in the next game to hopefully get that one and kind of get the home ice advantage,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after the game.

The teams split control of the first period, with Vancouver opening with a four-shot spray on Tim Thomas. The Bruins took over control with a four-minute power play after a Daniel Sedin hick-stick on Zdeno Chara that swung the momentum in their favor.

The teams continued to trade power plays and momentum throughout the opening frame, but the Bruins finished ahead on shots 17-12.

The whistles kept blowing in the second period with six penalties being whistle between the two squads. The teams saw 5x4, 5x3, 4x4 and 4x3 action in the period, but neither squad was able to net a power play goal.

“Although we talked about discipline, we were obviously going to stand up for each other and this was the type of game that was played,” Julien said.

Each team  finished the game 0-6 on the power play.

“I think our power play was better tonight than it had been in a while. We spent a lot of time, had some shots, had some opportunities had some chances,” said Julien.

“As long as we are able to stay on even terms with them when it comes to special teams, we’re okay with that. “

The squads traded odd-man rushes for a two-minute span late in the second period, but both Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas held strong for their respective teams.  Boston finished the second ahead in shots 26-20 and in faceoffs, 24- 20.

“I thought we played a real good road game to be honest with you. And to be in the situation we’re in after two periods I didn’t mind it. Especially against this hockey club,” Julien said.

The opening moments of the third featured great scoring opportunities for both teams, but again, the goaltending exhibition continued as neither team was able to find the back of the net.

The final period was much more disciplined with not a single penalty being whistled. The third period almost turned up a blank score sheet, until  Torres was able to break the 0-0 tie, and give the Canucks the victory with just 19 seconds left in the game.

Torres took a cross-ice pass from Jannik Hansen and potted the goal in the wide-open net behind Thomas.

“It’s obviously a nice goal by them. I thought for the first two periods we played a pretty even game and obviously in the third we just seemed to lack some energy and lost our legs,” Julien said.

Game 2 is set for Saturday night in Vancouver.
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