Wednesday's Game 1 featured enough thrills, chills and great saves to hint at a dramatic Final in the making. In less than 500 words, here are the game's top moments:
Save of the game:
The Canucks had a couple Grade-A scoring chances early in the third period, but none better than Jannik Hansen
's breakaway near the five-minute mark. The Danish forward was sent in all alone by defenseman Christian Ehrhoff
but could not beat Thomas five-hole.
Shift of the game:
Twenty-eight seconds into the second period Kevin Bieksa
took a high-sticking penalty giving the Boston Bruins
a 5-on-3 man advantage for 1:33. The Bruins worked the puck around well and got four shots on goal, but could not solve Luongo.
"We had some good movement, we had some good shots, but we weren't able to find that one that was able to squeeze in," said forward Milan Lucic
, who was on the Bruins second power-play unit.
Boston's power play finished the night 0-for-6 with 12 shots, dropping to 6-for-57 in the playoffs.
Stat of the game:
Heading into Game 1, the battle in the faceoff circle was discussed at length -- the Bruins entered the game third in the playoffs winning 52.7 percent while the Canucks were sixth winning 50.4 of their draws through 18 games.
The Bruins had the better of the action in the circle, winning 36 of 64 draws (56.3 percent). Chris Kelly
went 6-4, while David Krejci
and Patrice Bergeron
both went 12-9.
led the Canucks by winning 13 of 22 draws. Henrik Sedin
had a tough night, losing 17 of 25.
Star of the game:
Torres, who went from looking for work in the summer to playoff hero in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, picked up the game-winner. His line along with Maxim Lapierre
and Hansen combined for 10 shots on goal including many quality scoring chances -- although the winning goal came during a line change that saw him on the ice with Hansen and Ryan Kesler
"Kes pulling up there, making a heads up play, holding onto that puck," Torres said in describing his goal. "For me just seeing that, him throwing it over to Hansen there. Just got to get open."
Best Moment of the game:
Next to the Torres winner, the biggest roar from the 18,860 at Rogers Arena came when Dan Hamhuis
executed a perfectly timed hip check on Lucic, a Vancouver native. Unfortunately for Hamhuis he left the game with what is likely a lower-body injury when he was cross-checked during a scrum after the hit. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault
said the defenseman is "day-to-day."
The teams have two days off to rest up and dissect video -- Game 2 isn't until Saturday night at Rogers Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). A Supertramp concert Thursday and Bruno Mars show Friday will force the two teams to practice at the University of British Columbia.