Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stanley Cup Finals - Game Two

The Bruins had to deal with a few new faces in the Canucks lineup tonight. As expected, Manny Malhotra was cleared to play for the game tonight. As previously mentioned, Malhotra had been out since mid-March with an eye injury and this was his first game back. On the other hand, Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis missed tonight's game after he delivered a low hit on Bruins forward Milan Lucic and suffered a lower body injury as a result. There were no lineup changes for Boston but certain players needed to step up in game two, particularly players who have seemed to disappear from the stat sheet.

One aspect of game two that vastly differed from game one was the lack of penalties. I am all for that especially in the playoffs where a crucial call could turn a season for the worse. Boston only committed two penalties throughout the game. The first penalty was a costly one as Alexandre Burrows (VAN) capitalized on a Zdeno Chara interference penalty and scored on a power play. It was a rather soft goal allowed by Tim Thomas, but to be fair he expected the defense to clear the zone and they failed to do so. The Canucks had a 1-0 lead after the first period.

The second period was the best period played by the Bruins so far in this Stanley Cup Final. They were creating great shots and they were delivering solid hits to separate Vancouver players from the puck. Milan Lucic tied the game on a shot that was set up by Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci. It was now time for Boston to go on the power play. After a Zdeno Chara shot that was set up by Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi deflected the puck into the net. He ended a 5-for-68 power play drought by scoring his 58th career playoff goal. Boston led Vancouver 2-1 heading into the third period.

The third period seemed to belong to Vancouver as they created several odd man rushes up the ice that created problems for the Bruins defense. Tim Thomas stayed on his head by making great saves. Thomas finished with 30 saves for the night. The Canucks' potent offense was too much for Boston to handle. Daniel Sedin (VAN) tied the game by scoring his ninth goal of the playoffs. Alexandre Burrows and Alexander Edler had the assists. The game was sent into overtime and just 11 seconds into the extra period, Burrows beat Chara to the puck and forced Thomas to vacate the net. Burrows wrapped the puck around and into the net for the 3-2 overtime victory. Vancouver now leads the series 2-0. Game three will be Monday night back in Boston.

Gold Star: Mark Recchi (1 goal, 2 shots on goal, 5 hits)...his shifts were productive because the amount of ice time he had per shift was quite short. That allowed him to be an impact player and be solid on the offensive end.

Black Star: Andrew is unfortunate when a defenseman hands the game to another team when your teammates on the offensive end of the ice play a great game. Ference had to chase down quite a few mistakes he made tonight. Most importantly, after Boston wins the overtime face-off, he failed to clear the zone again and it led to the winning goal. Burrows made Chara and Thomas look bad on that play, but Ference left both of them out to dry.

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