The Vancouver Canucks took a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup final with a 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. Here's a report card on the two teams (with performance ratings on a one-to-10 scale):
Boston: Tim Thomas couldn't be faulted on either of Vancouver's regulation time goals, but he gambled all-or-nothing as he slid out on Alex Burrows' overtime rush and was burned when the Canucks winger circled the net and slid it in. Made some key saves in the third to force OT among his 30 stops. 7.
Vancouver: Roberto Luongo had his 138 minute 54 second final series shutout streak ended when Boston scored twice in the second frame. He very nearly got a pad on Milan Lucic's first goal from the doorstep and had no chance on Mark Recchi's deflection. No messy goals, as his detractors predicted. 28 saves. 8.
Boston: Big Zdeno Chara (28:12 of ice time) looked exhausted as he was beaten for pucks a handful of times in the third period and he was outhustled by Burrows on the game-winner. Weak passes by Andrew Ference led to two goals—Burrow's first in the opening period and his second in OT. Third-pair man Adam McQuaid made a great backcheck to save a chance in the third, but this team leans heavily on the Chara-Denis Seidenberg pair. 5.
Vancouver: Aaron Rome moved into the injured Dan Hamhuis' spot on the top pair with Kevin Bieksa and the difference showed as he took two obstruction calls in the second period. Andrew Alberts had a fine game as he returned to the lineup, throwing several crushing hits, while Alex Edler was strong at both ends. After a second-period lull, they were back to their strong puck-moving selves against the slower Bruins in the third, when they held Boston to five shots. 7.
Boston: After being shut out in Game 1, some missing persons showed up. Notably Milan Lucic, who was doing what he's supposed to do, standing in front waiting for tips and rebounds, when he tied the game 1-1 in the second frame. His centre David Krejci was dangerous most of the game, as was third-liner Michael Ryder, whose game always rises in the playoffs. But the fourth line hardly played and the entire Bruins team looked beat in the third. 6.
Vancouver: Many thought Burrows should have been suspended for biting Patrice Bergeron's finger in Game 1. Instead, he was everywhere and had two goals and an assist. His linemates, the Sedin twins, were invisible for two periods, then dominated in the third as the Bruins wore down. Once again, the most consistent line was the third, as Max Lapierre, Raffi Torres and Janik Hansen hustled all night. Manny Malhotra, in his first game since mid-March, played 7:26 but most importantly won six of seven faceoffs. The Bruins otherwise had the faceoff edge for a second game. 7.
Boston: They finally scored a power play goal, and it was no surprise that it came when they moved Chara back to the point to take advantage his booming shot. To start the game, they were still using three defencemen on their first unit. Chara got an assist as Recchi scored only the sixth power play goal in 70 tries for Boston in the playoffs. The Bruins went 1-for-3 and looked far more effective than before. The penalty killers allowed one goal on two Vancouver chances. Progress. 6.
Vancouver: They went 1-for-2 on the power play, but the goal was scored at the end by the second unit as the Sedins were ineffective. They allowed one on three chances on the penalty kill on a deflection. 6.
Total score: Boston 24, Vancouver 28