One more win
By Derek Jory
Just one win away from capturing their first Stanley Cup Championship, the Canucks look to close out the Final tonight at the TD Garden in Game 6 against the Boston Bruins.
No changes are expected to Vancouver’s line-up following their 1-0 win in Game 5 last Friday at Rogers Arena. Twenty-five different Canucks have suited up at least a game in the Cup Finals, the most recent being Chris Tanev, who logged just over 12 minutes of ice time on Friday.
After making 31 saves Game 5, Roberto Luongo now has four shutouts this post season, tying the franchise’s single playoff year record with Kirk McLean who had four in 1994. Luongo now has six career shutouts against the Bruins, the most of any team he has played.
Henrik Sedin has yet to register a point in this series. If the Canucks captain gets one tonight, he will tie Pavel Bure for 2nd overall in all time playoff points in Canucks history (66), although that is the last thing on Hank’s mind today.
“We’re one game away and we want to take care of business tonight,” said Henrik after Vancouver’s morning skate. “This is a big chance for us and we’re going to go out there and play our best game and hopefully it’s going to be enough.”
In last Friday’s win, the Canucks were credited with 47 hits, ten of which came from Alex Edler. The Canucks lead the NHL playoffs in hits (771), which is an average of 33.5 per game. Kevin Bieksa leads the league in that department (79) while Maxim Lapierre is second (76).
Tonight will mark the final road game of the year for the Canucks. During the regular season, the Canucks went 20-12-9 away from Vancouver, scoring a league-best 42 power play goals in those games. In these playoffs, the Canucks have a road record of 5-5 and have scored a league-high 12 power play goals in those games.
The Canucks are about to play their 21st Game 6 in their franchise history. Lifetime, Vancouver has gone 9-11 in a Game 6 scenario. Only three times have the Canucks clinched a series by winning Game 6 (2011 @ Nashville, 2010 @ Los Angeles, & 1993 @ Winnipeg).
It’s not just another day for the Canucks, but it’s just another day for the Canucks.
“It’s been like it has the whole season,” Jannik Hansen said regarding players choosing to or not to skate in this morning. “Some guys are skating today, some guys didn’t, it just your regular routine, nothing changes.
“You know it’s a clinching game, but with that being said you know that you can’t take anything for granted. You’ve got to go out and perform and win, if you start looking ahead, it’s only going to be harder.”
Boston is not expected to change up their line-up tonight in preparation for their final home game of the year. Currently riding a five-game home ice winning streak, the Bruins are 9-3 at the TD Garden these playoffs, allowing just 23 goals against in those games. During the regular season, the Bruins went 22-13-6 at home, giving up just 92 goals in that stretch.
Tim Thomas continues to make a strong case for a Conn Smythe Trophy. Through the first five games of the Finals, the Boston netminder has a combined 1.21 goals against average and a .964 save percentage.
The Canucks and Bruins have combined for just three losses in this year’s playoffs when scoring the first goal. Vancouver’s record when scoring first is 11-2 while Boston is 10-1. For what it’s worth, both teams are 8-1 in the post season when leading a game after two periods.