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Marchand helps Bruins win Stanley Cup @NHL

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Brad Marchand was more star forward than agitator in the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup-winning game Wednesday night.

The fiesty rookie set up Patrice Bergeron for the first goal late in the first period, added one of his own with 7:47 left in the second, and scored his 11th of the playoffs into an empty net.

Marchand, who lived up to his reputation as a "rat" with seven uncontested gloved punches to the face of Daniel Sedin at the end of a Game 6 he also opened the scoring in, did his talking on the scoresheet in Boston's 4-0 victory Wednesday night in Game 7.

Marchand set a record for playoff goals by a Boston rookie, and tied Jeremy Roenick for second in NHL history - three shy of Dino Ciccarrelli, who scored 14 goals for the Minnesota North Stars in 1981.


RAYMOND RETURNS: Injured Canucks forward Mason Raymond made it back from Boston in time to cheer on his Vancouver teammates in Game 7.

Raymond appeared on the overhead scoreboard during a break in the first period Wednesday night. Wearing a large corset to support the broken bone in his back, he waved his hands and incited the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation.

Raymond was driven awkwardly into the boards by Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk just 20 seconds into the Canucks' 5-2 loss in Game 6. He spent the past two nights in a Boston hospital, but returned to the West Coast in time for the conclusion to Vancouver's season.

Raymond didn't score in the finals, but played solid defense on the Canucks' second line. Jeff Tambellini replaced him for Game 7.

"We obviously wish Mason was in the lineup right now," Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "But I've said from the beginning, we don't need extra motivation. The Stanley Cup is enough motivation for us, so we're not looking for any extras to help us get to that peak motivation. We're in the Stanley Cup finals. We would like to win it for him, and for everyone in this dressing room."


VIDEOGAME ACCURACY: EA Sports, which makes the popular NHL 2011 video game, used computers simulations to pick the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup before the playoffs started.

That might not sound like a big deal, especially because the game is produced at their nearby Burnaby campus. But the EA Sports simulators not only called Chicago winning last season, but picked 13 of this season's first 14 playoff series correctly before missing in the finals.

The only other series that the simulation got wrong was picking Detroit to beat San Jose in seven games of the second round. The Sharks won the series in Game 7.

EA Sports also called the home team winning all seven games of the Stanley Cup finals, a trend that held up going into Game 7 in Vancouver.

Of course, the video game did predict Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who was pulled from the last two games in Boston, would win the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.

Instead, Boston goalie Tim Thomas won.


NOTES: Ticket brokers were getting up to $8,600 per seat at Rogers Arena before Game 7 with demand that's outstripping the Vancouver Olympics and the last Super Bowl in Texas. The average ticket price with online ticket broker StubHub was $2,749, the highest for any sporting event in its history, including Super Bowls. ... Boston F Milan Lucic, who grew up in East Vancouver and won a Memorial Cup with the local junior team, said his mother, Snezana, would attend Game 7. She skipped Game 5 out of fear she had jinxed the Bruins during their first two losses in Vancouver. "It's a big thing for them, too," Lucic said about his parents. ... Vancouver G Roberto Luongo missed a chance to became the first goalie in the Triple Gold Club, reserved for players who have won gold medals at both the Olympics and world championships to go with a Stanley Cup championship. Bruins F Patrice Bergeron became the 25th player in the club.

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