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Lucic, Iginla lead Bruins past slumping Canucks

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- The last time the Boston Bruins visited Milan Lucic's hometown, the Vancouver Canucks defended their turf with a 6-2 victory.

The Bruins' left wing made sure his team got a measure of revenge back in Boston on Tuesday.

Lucic opened the scoring 5:12 into the game, and the Bruins went on to win for the sixth time in their past seven games by defeating the Canucks 3-1 at TD Garden.

"Especially [because] they beat us the last two times and also they had a pretty easy win against us back in December," Lucic said. "It was nice to get that one against them after losing the last two."

Jarome Iginla and Daniel Paille also scored for the Bruins (36-16-3), who got 27 saves from Tuukka Rask.

The Canucks, who were shut out by the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, snapped a scoring drought of 99:38 in the second period on a goal by defenseman Raphael Diaz, who was acquired in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens for forward Dale Weise on Monday.

Vancouver (27-22-9) has lost five straight games in regulation. Neither Daniel Sedin nor Henrik Sedin has scored a goal since Daniel had one on Dec. 30 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I know we have a team in here that's shown that we can play against the best," Henrik Sedin said. "Again, tonight we're playing a good game against a really good team. Again, if we're not scoring goals, it's tough to win games, and that's where we are. So we've got to keep our heads up, we've got two more games [before the Olympic break] and we've got to try to turn this around. I think tonight was a way better effort."

Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo played in Boston for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. In that series, he allowed 15 goals on 66 shots and was pulled twice in three games at the Garden. He fared better Tuesday, making 29 saves on 32 shots, but took responsibility for the loss.

"I think this one's 100 percent on me," Luongo said. "I wasn't feeling too good out there tonight. I wasn't tracking well, my reads were off. I think I made a big mistake. Last night, we got in late, so I didn't skate this morning. And I just didn't feel like myself out there. So a disappointing performance from me here. I thought the guys deserved better."

The Canucks won the territorial battle in the first period and held a 9-5 edge in shots on goal through the first 20 minutes. But the Bruins scored the only goal of the period.

Iginla dished the puck to David Krejci in stride at the red line, the Bruins gained the zone and Krejci waited for Lucic to join the play. Lucic took Krejci's pass at the high slot and beat Luongo from between the hash marks high to the blocker side at 5:12 for a 1-0 lead.

The Bruins outshot the Canucks 13-10 in the second period, when they extended their lead to two goals.

Moments after Rask denied Daniel Sedin on a shorthanded breakaway, Iginla connected off a centering pass by Zdeno Chara at 7:59 for a 2-0 lead. It was Iginla's fourth goal on the power play and 16th overall.

Daniel Sedin nearly tied the game after he made a steal when Lucic and Torey Krug collided at the Boston blue line. Sedin skated in all alone on Rask, who made the big save to allow Iginla to double Boston's lead moments later.

"Those are usually the momentum-changers and game-changers," Rask said. "You want to make that save more often than not. Today, it was good that I did and we scored right after. That was really huge."

The Canucks ended their goal-scoring drought when Diaz, who was making his debut with Vancouver, ripped a slap shot past Rask high to the glove side at 11:28 to cut the Bruins' lead in half.

"We don't win, but I don't have a complaint because I thought our team gave everything they had," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "This is a club that is tattered as far as injuries. I'm not using it as an excuse, but I also have to be a realist on how I go about my business with them.

"Certainly with some of the players, other players that have been here that have more experience, they'll be handled differently because I do think we need more from a number of people in certain areas, but as a group tonight, as a team, I thought we improved in a lot of areas, and I thought we gave some really good efforts."

Brad Marchand thought he gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead at 13:49, but the goal was disallowed because of contact between Krug and Luongo. Paille made sure Boston was ahead 3-1 after 40 minutes; he beat Luongo on a breakaway at 17:06 after a long pass by Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk.

Boston will play at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, and Vancouver will visit the Montreal Canadiens that night.

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