- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BOSTON (AP) - Brad Marchand is more than just a gadfly who’s been getting on the Canucks nerves.

He’s also the highest-scoring rookie in Bruins postseason history.

Marchand scored goal No. 10 with 7:47 left in the second period to give Boston a 2-0 lead over the Vancouver Canucks. Nine was already a playoff record for the Original Six franchise; that one came on Monday night, and it sparked the Bruins to four goals in a span of 4:14.

Marchand went around the back of the net and wrapped it around for the shot. Roberto Luongo stopped the opening salvo with his stick, but in the aftermath of the initial save the puck rolled over the goal line.


It’s the kind of game that bodes well for the Canucks, but the Bruins still lead 1-0 midway through the second period.

Boston’s wins had all been high-scoring blowouts, while the low-scoring, one-goal games have all gone Vancouver’s way. And yet here we are.

Alex Burrows had another good chance for the Canucks, drawing Tim Thomas out to cut down the angle and then sliding across the slot from the left to the right. With Thomas so far out, it was a long trip and he couldn’t track Burrows. But Zdeno Chara was there to block the shot and protect the 1-0 lead.


The first period is over, and the Bruins are up 1-0.

Although it’s true the team scoring first has won every game, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any lead changes. Vancouver took a 1-0 lead in Game 2, but the Bruins scored twice in a row to take the lead before the Canucks came back to tie it with about 10 minutes left in the game.

Then, Alex Burrows needed only 11 seconds in overtime to win it.

In every other game of the series, the team that scored first never trailed. Three of them have been shutouts.


The Bruins are on the board first.

Patrice Bergeron redirected a centering pass from Brad Marchand past Roberto Luongo with 5:23 left in the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

The team that scored first has won each of the first six games.

Marchand got to the corner first after a faceoff in the Canucks zone and circled back before finding Bergeron. It’s Marchand’s fifth goal of the playoffs and the eighth assist of the postseason for the rookie Marchand.


Good tidbit from the NBC crew: The referee pair of Dan O’Halloran and Stephen Walkom last worked together in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals between Boston and Tampa Bay.

In that game, there were no penalties at all.

So far, none in this game, either.


The first three games in Vancouver were low-scoring, but there already have been some quality chances in Game 7.

The Bruins had a loose puck in the paint when Rich Peverley passed it across, but David Krejci couldn’t find his way through traffic to knock it in. At the other end, Henrik Sedin went in front of the Bruins net, but his shot was apparently blocked by the leg of Dennis Seidenberg.

It’s scoreless through six minutes.


A couple more notes before we get under way.

It’s the 16th Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals. The home team is 12-3. Vancouver was one of the three: It lost to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in 1994.

The Bruins have never played a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final.

So far this postseason, though, the Bruins have been in two, going to the limit in the first round against Montreal and in the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay. (They swept the Flyers in between.)

Vancouver needed seven games to get past Chicago in the first round but then took out Nashville in six and San Jose in five.

Some good signs for the Canucks: Every game has been won by the home team so far this series, and that’s happened six times since the format went to seven games in 1939. The home team went on to win the seventh game three of the previous five times. Home teams are 17-2 in the Stanley Cup final since 2009.

Here’s colleague Greg Beacham’s pregame story on Tim Thomas to hold you over: https://goo.gl/sb7jh.


When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, ending an 86-year title drought, there was a total lunar eclipse that turned the full moon red in the sky.

Around Boston, fans are hoping for an astrological repeat tonight when the Bruins play the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Even those of us who don’t normally look to the heavens to get their news have to admit: It’s a strange coincidence, at the very least, that another Boston team is trying to end a championship drought during another total lunar eclipse.

Of course, who says the stars are favoring Boston?

The Bruins, an Original Six team, haven’t won it all since 1972. But Vancouver has never won the Stanley Cup since entering the NHL in 1970. So maybe the signs favor the Canucks.

We’ll find out soon. The puck drops at the Rogers Center for Game 7 a little after 5 p.m. local time. That’s 8 p.m. back East, where Boston police are bracing for potential bad behavior in case of a Bruins victory. After recent championships by the Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots, there were three fatalities and widespread vandalism. (See the AP story here: https://goo.gl/sbRwp.)

That’s also why there won’t be a viewing party at the TD Garden tonight that would have let Bruins fans watch the game on the video board; police didn’t want an extra 15,000 people gathered in one place.

One place there likely will be crowds: If the Bruins win, two Modell’s Sporting Goods stores are planning to open immediately after the game and stay open indefinitely with Stanley Cup championship hats and T-shirts.



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