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Stanley Cup Final Game 5 live blog

by Shawn P. Roarke /
20:00 Boston's last-ditch efforts -- including positioning Zdeno Chara in front of the net for the last 45 seconds -- were all for naught. vancouver held firm and thi9s place is going crazy. Saturday, the canucks will climb aboard a plane knowing they are just one win from the franchise's first Stanley Cup. Boston, meanwhile, nhas to absorb a third one-goal loss in this series and regroup by Monday. See you then.
Bruins keeping Vancouver pinned in its own end, but Roberto Luongo has all the answers so far.

Roberto Luongo with another good save, square to Rich Peverley when he tries to steer a pass through the 5-hole.

Boston killed off penalty, but not without a few scares, Now it is basically five minutes to try to solve Roberto Luongo. They have applied little pressure this period.

Things just got a bit more difficult for Boston as Rich Peverley goes for tripping in the offensive zone after Canucks forced a turnover. If Boston can kill here, they will have a little more than five minutes to find the equalizer. That is, unless they score on PK. They did that twice in Game 3 remember.

Boston is pushing back and Shawn Thorton had a good chance a few minutes ago, but Roberto Luongo was square to the slapper. Since, the canucks are playing a bit of Katie-bar-the-door hockey. It will be interesting to see how much Boston has loeft in the btank after being battered physically for two periods.

Does Boston come out of its shell now? Can Vancouver handle the pushback. Do they try to limp home with a 1-0 lead. All these questions and more will be answered in next 14-plus minutes.

And there it is. Canucks break the spell thanks to a banked shot from the point and some good positioning by Max Lapieere, who was there for the carom and quick enough to put it past Tim Thomas, who was challenging the point shot. This place is crazy right now. Ears ringing. Goal, VAN 1-0

A choppy start to the third period as nerves are starting to come to bear it appears. Surely, we are close to entering next-goal-wins territory. Both goalies have been fantastic. Tim Thomas just stopped Chris Higgins to make his 19th save.

Here we go. It's all hanging on a knife's edge here at Rogers Arena. Whoever wins will certainly hold the hammer, just a win away from claiming the Cup. But, also because whoever losses this beauty of a game will feel like they took a bo0dy punch from Mike Tyson.

Start of third period

End of second period

Surely, the Vancouver Canucks are happy with that second period, considering Boston had scored 10 goals in its past three second periods against the Canucks. But, Vancouver still to bring more pressure to bear to solve Tim Thomas, who has not allowed a goal in more than 100 minutes. Vancouver had 12 shots in the middle frame and carried the play a bit more, but the Bruins appear happy to play a counter-attacking road game.

Another hard rush to the net by Vancouver results in the Canucks second power play. Patrice Bergeron, without a stick, was forced to hold on Henrik Sedin as he gained position at the outside of the circle. how much longer can Boston's PK hold the fort?

Sometimes, big games are about m issed opportunities as much as they are about converted opportunities. Tanner Glass just had a glorious chance for the Canucks and whiffed. Everybody on the ice, including Tim Thomas was going to the left and the puck bounced out to Glass in the righT circle. He whiffed on first shot and barely dribbled second one right into chest on second attempt. You always wonder if that will become the what-if moment of this series.

Vancouver now has its first power play and there is little doubt about this one. Adam McQuaid tackled Chris Higgins as he gained a step just inside Boston blue line and was on his way to a breakaway. Now, we see if Vancouver has solved its power play woes.

Boston has owned play since the penalty on Ryan Kesler, registering the past 5 shots. Three of them have been glove saves as Boston repeatedly tests that area after finding a soft spot there in the past two games. No luck so far.

Bruins get a bit of a break there as Ryan Kesler goes for goalie interference despite the fact that it was Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara that knocked Tim Thomas down. Kesler, however, was driving Chara into the goalie's path. Boston is already 0-for-3 this game on PP.

Canucks just had a good series of changes and have forced Tim Thomas to make two very good saves. Now we are starting to see a bit of the offensive pushback we expected from Vancouver.

Canucks have picked up right where they have left off. Both Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edlker have already delivered booming hits.

Start of second period

End of first period
A very entertaining period has come to a close. Lots of hits and a few scoring chances. Boston holds 12-6 lead in shots, but 5 of those came on three PPs. Boston certainly happy to play this patient game. Vancouver would like to test Tim Thomas more and get in his kitchen.

Vancouver kills third straight penalty and managed two shots on the kill. It's starting to look a lot like Game 1 here. Boston now 0-for-3 on PP in this game.

Vancouver just got the save it needed from Roberto Luongo. First, he stopped a Patrice Bergeron deflection of a Dennis Seidenberg shot, then he denied Bergeron on the rebound wrister. He already has 10 saves this period.

Andrew Alberts just took a penalty, but at least this one was in the defensive zone. Unfortunately, it came against Boston fourth line when Alberts let his stick get up high on Shawn Thornton. Boston's fourth line was caught out on an icing, too, and was ripe for the picking.

Vancouver is dictating play early in a physical sense, but has done little with it. They have just three shots. They need to better with the puck and maintain some offensive-zone possession. Their fourth line is the only one to consistently cycle so far.

Henrik Sedin just took another penalty for Vancouver, this one even further from the Vancouver net than the first one. Sedin was whistled for interference after hye hit Johnny Boychuk along the offrensive end board.

Both teams have had good chances so far in this game. A few minutes ago, Chris Kelly hit the crossbar for Boston as the Bruins continue to shoot high on Roberto Luongo. At the other end, Mason Raymond had a great chance, but Tim Thomas had the answer as he has had for much of this series.

Canucks do great job on kill to take back a bit of momentum. Milan Lucic, however, was a wee bit dangerous on that PP.

Vancouver spent past 48 hours talking about feeding off the energy of the home crowd, but Raffi Torres, for one, might have been too amped. He just took a needless tripping penalty in the neutral zone to give Boston an early advantage.

5:11 p.m.
It has taken awhile for this crowd to liven up, but they are getting there. Two-straight losses and an early start to the game certainly had a dampening effect, but now that we are into the official pre-game video, this place is starting to buzz pretty good. By the time the anthems arrive, we should be at bizonkers level -- as expected.

Warmups have started and it looks it will be Chris Tanev as the sixth D. Keith Ballard is not
even on the ice as an option. It looks like it will be Andrew Alberts and Tanev on the third pair. Expect to see a lot of Vancouver's top 4 in this game -- especially if it stays close. With luxury of the last change, Alain Vigneault can spot his newbies on the blue line against Boston's fourth line and in other low-risk situations. Be interesting to see if Boston tries to change on the fly to press the advantage.

Once again, it is likely there will be at least one lineup change in Game 5 of the Final, meaning each game has featured a slightly different lineup. This time, it appears the healthy Keith Ballard did not make a favorable impression during his Game 4 trial. Ballard appears to be back in street clothes, replaced by youngster Chris Tanev. If Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault does make that move, is expected, it will mean that the Canucks have used 9 defensemen in the first five games of this series. That certainly is not a recipe for success.

4:20 p.m.
Well, here we are for Game 5 at the Rogers Arena. I'm not going to lie, I didn't do much today during the day. The players can deny it all they want, but the cross-continent travel is becoming an issue. It's a lot of miles and a lot of time changes done on too little sleep and under too much duress. There's nobody that is immune. Yes, players are professionals and trained for this, but it doesn't make it any less taxing. It just makes them better at deealing with it. With that said, there is no doubt that the players are putting fatigue -- even  injuries -- on the backburner at this point. Everyone involved with both the Canucks and Bruins are just two wins away from reaching the pinnacle of their sport. For the majority of the players involved, they may never get another chance. Don't think that isn't at the forefront of everyone's mind as they fight through the exhaustion and the aches and pains. As good as this series has been, it will only get better now.
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