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Canucks, inspired by Tortorella timeout, rout Bruins

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER - Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella was so unhappy with the way his team started the second period that he called a timeout after the Boston Bruins tied the game. He used the brief break to tear into his team.

It worked.

David Booth put the Canucks back in front 80 seconds later and Chris Higgins doubled the lead a little more than three minutes after that, sparking the Canucks to a 6-2 win on Saturday night.

"That was 10 out of 10," Booth said of Tortorella's finger-wagging and screaming. "He was fired up there and it got the guys going. We're professionals. Sometimes you don't need it and sometimes you do. That was a turning point for us and changed the outcome."

Unfortunately for the Canucks it won't change what happened the last time Boston visited Vancouver. The Bruins won Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final the last time they were here, 2 1/2 years ago.

"It's nice to win, but they still have the Cup," said captain Henrik Sedin, who set up Yannick Weber's goal that made it 4-1 early in the third, then scored on a power play midway through the period. "We didn't talk about [the Cup Final] before the game. For us it was a great opponent coming in, but nothing more than that."

It seemed to mean more to Roberto Luongo, who made 39 saves to win his first game against the Bruins that Game 7 loss.

"I thought we really rose up to the occasion," Luongo said.

Jannik Hansen opened the scoring with a shot from outside the blue line late in the first period, and defenseman Christopher Tanev scored Vancouver's final goal on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush midway through the third period as the Canucks swept a five-game homestand and extended their season-long winning streak to seven games.

The players credited Tortorella for his timely timeout.

"You see how passionate he gets," forward Ryan Kesler said. "I think that passion bleeds into this team. It was a wake-up call and guys respect him."

Unlike a bitter Cup Final and the animosity-filled first rematch on Jan. 7, 2012, this game was intense but mostly tame until early in the third period. A scrum between Kesler and Brad Marchand ended with the Bruins agitator appearing to mimic lifting the Cup in front of the Canucks bench, earning scorn from both sides after the game.

"I did it after [Kesler] was eye-gouging me," said Marchand, who also pretended to kiss a ring. "My emotions were a little high after that."

Boston coach Claude Julien wasn't impressed.

"Sometimes his emotions get the better of him," Julien said. "The perception it gives our organization is not what you want to see with those kind of things. … From what I hear, what happened, that's definitely not something we will accept in our organization."

Dan Hamhuis and Jarome Iginla traded gloved punches a short while later. Iginla, who left the game in the first period with an apparent dislocated finger but returned for the start of the second, got the extra penalty and Sedin converted the power play.

"The only difference is we were up this time and in the Final they seemed to be up in every game when it got heated," Sedin said.

Reilly Smith, who missed the morning skate because of a flu bug that has ripped through the Bruins, scored both goals as Boston wrapped up a four-game road trip with its first loss in five games.

With six regulars out to injury and suspension, Julien was impressed with how his team played on the road trip.

"We've been through a lot this week, battling the flu and we came out of this road trip 3-1, so I can't complain," Julien said. "I can't say enough honestly about how our guys battled through it all, and the score tonight is unfortunate because it wasn't indicative of our effort and the character and the guts our guys showed."

It might have ended better if not for a rare off night for goalie Tuukka Rask, who was back in net after backing up Chad Johnson in a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday while battling the flu. Rask stopped 19 of 23 shots before being replaced after Weber beat him with a one-timer 1:34 into the third period.

"I'm not going to make any excuses. I was pretty bad," Rask said. "I thought we played a good game. I wasn't able to help too much."

Rask got caught jumping up awkwardly when Hansen's shot from well outside the blue line hit Zdeno Chara's stick and dipped dramatically between the goalie's legs before he could get down.

"It was going six feet up then it was a foot off the ice. It was pretty crazy," Rask said, comparing it to a knuckleball. "Now I know how the baseball players feel."

The Bruins appeared to lose Iginla during a fight with Kesler early in the first period. The ring finger on Iginla's left hand was bent almost 90 degrees as he left the ice in obvious pain. But Iginla was back to start the second period, and his return seemed to spark the Bruins.

Boston had the first five shots and tied the game 4:11 into the period when Smith intercepted a bad pass by Hamhuis, skated in alone and lifted a backhander past Luongo before running him over.

Tortorella promptly called his timeout and spent it pointing his finger and yelling at his players as they gathered around him on the bench.

"That timeout really stalled us and brought them back to life," Boston defenseman Torey Krug said.

It wasn't long after that Booth blew a shot past Rask's glove on a rush off the left wing at 5:31, and Higgins made it 3-1 after a dominant shift by Mike Santorelli at 8:46. Santorelli took the puck through the crease only to be denied twice by Rask, but he won a battle for the second rebound and hit the far post with a backhander from the right slot that bounced right to Higgins for an easy empty-net shot.

"We came out slow and after that little pep talk we got we came out strong and finished off the right way," said Santorelli, who had two assists. "There was a little extra at stake there, but we were just happy we finished the home stand off the right way."

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