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Canucks don't have much experience against Bruins

by Dhiren Mahiban /
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- For the third time in these playoffs the Vancouver Canucks will play a team they've never before faced in the postseason when they meet the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

"They're a great team, obviously they've got a lot of good forwards that can put the puck in the back of the net and solid ‘D' led by the big guy (Zdeno Chara)," forward Alexandre Burrows said Saturday, less than 24 hours after the Bruins beat Tampa Bay 1-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. "(They have) one of the best goalies in the League so they play a great defensive system, and they've got a great coach so it's going to be a tough match-up."

Added Daniel Sedin: "I think they're a well-coached team, good defensively and they have some forwards up front that are really skilled, and big."

Vancouver had an 11-5-2 record against the Eastern Conference during the regular season, but one of their losses came against the Bruins in the two team's only meeting on Feb. 26. Boston left Rogers Arena with a 3-1 victory, with local product Milan Lucic scoring the go-ahead goal and setting up the other two.

Manny Malhotra, who was cleared to play on Saturday afternoon after missing more than two months with an eye injury, had the Canucks' lone goal in the loss.

On Saturday afternoon, many of the Canucks admitted that was just one game of 82 and did not put much stock in to the loss.

"That's one game, I don't even really remember that game really," Burrows said. "It's been a long year, long season with an 82 game schedule, but at the same time we'll look at some clips and videos of them and get ready for Wednesday.

The Bruins were 8-7-3 against the Western Conference during the regular season, and 4-1-0 against the Northwest Division.

All-time the Canucks are 25-66-17 against the Bruins, and 17-28-9 on home ice.

For the second time in these playoffs Roberto Luongo will be matched up against a fellow Vezina Trophy finalist – this time, it's Tim Thomas. Luongo and the Canucks got past the other Vezina finalist, Nashville's Pekka Rinne, in the second round.

Luongo has a career 11-10-3 record against the Bruins, though he's faced Boston just three times since being traded to Vancouver five years ago. He's 1-2-0 since the trade.

"Pretty similar styles, we're two pretty textbook-style butterfly goalies," joked Luongo, who allowed two goals in the loss to Boston in February. "Obviously he's had an unbelievable year and I'm happy that we're going to have a chance to go head-to-head.  It's a good challenge, not only for myself, but for my teammates."

Thomas, who led all goalies this season with a 2.00 GAA and .938 save percentage, has a career 3-0-0 record against Vancouver and has allowed just one goal in the three games.

Having faced shutdown tandems of Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith in the first round against Chicago, and Shea Weber and Ryan Suter in the second round the against Nashville, the Sedins expect to see a healthy dose of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg during the Stanley Cup Final.

"We see those kind of ‘D' every night," said Daniel. "For us we try to go into each game and play the same way. Obviously Chara is a big man, and he's a physical guy so all we can do is go out there and play our game."

Defenseman Andrew Alberts is the lone member of the current Canucks to have played for the Bruins – he skated in 184 games for Boston from 2006-08.
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