VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Canucks forward Mason Raymond will miss Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and could still be out to start next season with a fractured vertebrae after being checked into the boards.
Raymond sustained a "vertebrae compression fracture" early in Game 6 Monday night, and his back injury needs three to four months to heal, the team said Tuesday. He was hurt 20 seconds into the game when defenseman Johnny Boychuk hit him during the Boston Bruins' 5-2 win.
The deciding game will be Wednesday night in Vancouver.
"We have to play the same way [in Vancouver] as we do at home," Boston center David Krejci said before the Bruins left on their coast-to-coast flight Tuesday
But the road team has lost all six games. The Canucks' victories have been by a goal — 1-0, 3-2 and 1-0. The Bruins' wins have been blowouts - 8-1, 4-0 and 5-2. The totals: Boston 19, Vancouver 8.
Momentum took a major swing Monday night on the first shift of the game.
Raymond became entangled with Boychuk in the corner after the puck went by both of them. He was spun backward with the defender's stick between his legs. Raymond ended up with his head down between Boychuk's legs as the defenseman finished his check by delivering Raymond backward into the boards, leaving him face down on the ice.
Vancouver yielded four goals during a 4:14 span shortly after Raymond's injury and trailed 4-0 after the first period.
Raymond has struggled on Vancouver's second line in the postseason, managing just two goals and six assists.
Raymond, 25, scored 15 goals this season and had 25 goals the previous season. Despite his low point total in 24 playoff games this season, he was among the Canucks' leaders with 17 shots through the first five games of the Cup finals. His speed will be missed on both the second line and killing penalties.
Raymond joined a growing list of Vancouver players who won't play for the Stanley Cup on home ice. Fellow second-line forward Mikael Samuelsson had abdominal surgery earlier in the playoffs, top defenseman Dan Hamhuis hasn't played since an undisclosed injury in the first game of the finals, and his replacement, Aaron Rome, was suspended for a late hit that also knocked top-line Bruins forwardr Nathan Horton out of the series in Game 3.
Vancouver's second-line center Ryan Kesler and top-scoring defenseman Christian Ehrhoff also are playing after being injured during the Western Conference finals.
Besides the injuries, the Canucks' goaltending has been unpredictable. The same goalie who has two shutouts at home in the finals was pulled from two games in Boston and allowed eight goals in the one he finished.
So which Roberto Luongo will show up Wednesday night?
"He's able to shake games off like it's nothing," said forward Brad Marchand, who started Boston's onslaught Monday night. "You know he's bounced back so many times and he's so tough to play against in Vancouver."