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Stanley Cup: Boston heads to Vancouver tied 2-2
Question of the Day
Will this series come down to home ice? The last time the home team won every game was when New Jersey beat Anaheim to win the Stanley Cup.
It’s been pretty amazing at the goal gap in a home vs. road breakdown. The Canucks have outscored Boston 5-2 through two games and 2 1/2 periods in Game 5. The Bruins outscored Vancouver 12-1 at home.
The team that won Game 5 of a tied series has gone on to win the Stanley Cup 71 percent of the time _ 15 of 21 series _ in finals history. Three of the six exceptions have come in the last decade _ the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins, 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning and 2001 Colorado Avalanche.
GOAL! There goes the scoreless streak. Maxim Lapierre gives Vancouver a 1-0 lead over the Bruins in the third period. He was positioned in the right spot to knock the puck past Tim Thomas about 5 minutes into the period.
Lapierre had an open look and capitalized for his second goal of the playoffs.
Game 6 is Monday in Boston. Vancouver is about 10 minutes away from going there with the series lead.
Whew. First team to one wins? Boston and Vancouver are scoreless going into the third period.
Lots of opportunities, but they just can’t find the back of the net.
Who might break out and score?
Patrice Bergeron has five shots for Boston and Dennis Seidenberg four. Daniel Sedin is tied with three other Vancouver players with three shots.
The big swing and a miss from Tanner Glass could come back to haunt the Canucks.
Remember Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen’s goal early in the third period in Game 3? Don’t worry if you don’t, it only made the score 5-1 in an eventual 8-1 loss to the Bruins. It’s also the last time the Canucks have scored.
They are struggling with their offense and failed miserably on the power play in this series. They attacked Tim Thomas hard in Game 5, leaving him sprawled on the ice late in the second period. They just couldn’t convert.
Tanner Glass whiffed when Thomas was briefly out of position and left an empty net.
So the scoreless streak goes on.
The penalty was obvious, but the fans were clearly displeased, breaking into a booming, “Ref You Suck!” chant that filled Rogers Arena.
Roberto Luongo made a pair of easy saves, and Vancouver killed the power play. That kept the game scoreless 13 minutes into the second period.
Punching. Fighting. Protective gloves. Blood. The Stanley Cup finals? Well, yeah, but the Canucks and Boston Bruins have some bone-crunching company on the sports calendar. It’s a double dip of violence this weekend in Vancouver because UFC 131 will take place Saturday night in Rogers Arena, a night after Game 5.
There’s no penalty box in the octagon for these vicious hits.
Junior Dos Santos fights Shane Carwin in the main event. UFC president Dana White understands his event is on the Canadian undercard.
“Let me tell you what, I don’t ever fool myself on what the No. 1 sport in Canada is, believe me,” White said. “I’ve got no problem playing second fiddle to their hockey team playing here for the championship. I get it.”
Boston 0, Vancouver 0, end of the first period.
The Canucks came out as the aggressors, dishing the hits and feeding off a rowdy home ice.
Teams on both players are trying to draw penalties _ there’s been enough flopping and diving to last a regular-season game _ but the officials won’t bite. Hopefully they’ll ease off the antics over the next two periods.
What a frantic first period in Vancouver. Almost no break in the action, some near-misses on net and the Canucks have killed a pair of power plays.
Boston’s Johnny Boychuk had a great look from the slot, but the shot was blocked. Both teams have done a great job at limiting shots. Vancouver only took four shots 15 minutes into the period _ not the kind of start they want to have against Tim Thomas. Roberto Luongo has looked sharp early after two rough games in Boston.
Luongo made two stops on one opportunity, stopping a Dennis Seidenberg one-timer.
The Bruins scored 12 goals the last two games. It’s not looking early like another slugfest. ___
Do the Canucks get their appearance fee back for letting the “O Canada” singer let the crowd sing most it? Rogers Arena was loud for the opening faceoff, and Vancouver will take any kind of emotional boost it can get to get its swagger back.
The Bruins didn’t need 20,000 fans for inspiration. They needed one jersey.
Boston brought Nathan Horton’s No. 18 jersey to Canada and hung it in a visitor’s room locker. Horton will miss the rest of the series with a concussion after a late hit from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome in Boston’s 8-1 victory in Game 3.
Here it is, Game 5 with Boston and Vancouver tied 2-2 in the Stanley Cup finals. The Canucks couldn’t get home fast enough to familiar ice. They had an epic meltdown in Boston and embattled goalie Roberto Luongo took most of the blame.
Luongo allowed a whopping 12 goals in Boston, and there was some doubt that he’d be back in net for Game 5. But he has the Game 5 start and Vancouver can only hope the home ice helps get them back on track. Luongo needs a huge stop or two, or at least a scoreless first period, to earn back some trust.
Consider, Luongo allowed seven goals on the last 23 shots he faced in Boston.
For the third consecutive season, the home teams have won the first four games of the Stanley Cup finals. That streak goes away after Game 4. Look at last season when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup in Game 6 in Philadelphia.
Boston goalie Tim Thomas looks unbeatable after giving up one goal in two home games. Hard to believe now that a year ago he couldn’t get off the bench in the second round when the Bruins coughed up a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers.
Thomas had a shutout in Game 4 and has stopped 141 of 146 shots in four games.
Hey, Vancouver had all the momentum going to Boston and look how fast that evaporated. All the pressure is back on the Canucks because no one wants to go back to Boston playing a must-win game.
A strong effort from Luongo would go a long-o way to easing Vancouver’s concerns.
Follow Dan Gelston on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APgelston
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