Bruins win 3-1 in hard-hitting affair with Canucks
Goals by Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla and Daniel Paille and 28 saves from Tuukka Rask lifted the Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks at the TD Garden.
photo via S. Babineau/Getty Images
The Garden crowd welcomed back Roberto Luongo, where he has not played since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011. After melting down in three straight contests in the series, tonight served him no better in his attempts to conquer his own personal house of horrors.
It was the top line that opened the scoring for the Bruins, as David Krejci fed a drop-off pass to the trailing Lucic on a breakaway, and Looch ripped his 16th of the year over Roberto Luongo's stick-side shoulder. Jarome Iginla recorded the other assist on the play, the 600th of his career. Congrats, Iggy!
The Bruins took the lead into the second, and they made it 2-0 at 7:59 on the powerplay off the stick of Iginla. Also his 16th of the year, with the assists going to Lucic and Zdeno Chara. Lucic dropped the puck off to Chara along the boards, where he held it until zipping the pass across the open lane to the in-stride Iginla, who slap/tapped/shot it past Bob Luongo.
Just a few seconds before the goal, Tuukka Rask stoned Daniel Sedin on a breakaway, and the ensuing rush up the ice resulted in the goal. It was a crazy sequence of events, where for one split second you're expecting the game to be tied, and just a few ticks later it's a 2-0 game.
The Canucks did get one back five minutes later with a slapshot flutter-puck off the stick of newly-acquired Raphael Diaz. After being outworked for much of the period, coach John Tortorella called a time-out, and the Canucks came out of the quick break with tons more grit and determination. Vancouver kept the puck cycling in the zone before it found its way to Diaz for the shot.
A bit of controversy ensued just a short time after Diaz's goal, where a Brad Marchand goal was waived off after the referees determined Torey Krug interfered with Luongo in the crease.
But Daniel Paille got the goal back for the Bruins, scoring on a backhanded breakaway. After line changes by both teams resulted in a good deal of confusion, it was Johnny Boychuck who picked out Paille waiting at the blueline. Boychuck's pass was perfect, allowing Paille to turn seamlessly into the play and bear down on Louongo.
photo by J. Rogash/Getty Images
The Bruins ground out the rest of the game, crushing the Canucks' chances to get back into the game. After getting beat so soundly in the December 14th matchup in Vancouver, it must feel good for the players to give some of the medicine back to the hated Canucks. Oh, and the fans don't mind it either.
The Bruins have two games left before the Olympic break, with another tough matchup in St. Louis vs the Blues before hosting the Senators on Saturday.
Johhny Boychuck played absolutely out of his mind, playing incredible defense and launching the pin-point pass to spring Paille on his breakaway. Boychuck was a heat-seeking missile,and his #1 target was poor David Booth. Boychuck crushed Booth on three separate hits throughout the game, with one coming at the end of the second where JB55 lined Booth up and sent him flying, and another in the third period with a perfect hip-check into the boards.
In the last six games, the top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla have scored 26 total points.
As was previously mentioned, Iginla recorded his 600th career NHL assist. He has 545 goals for 1146 total points.
The Bruins W gives the Black and Gold a 22-6-2 record on home ice this season.
Roberto Luongo has now given up 16 goals in his last four games in Boston, dating back to the 2011 Finals.
This was Zdeno Chara's will fly out to Sochi and miss the last two games before the break to carry Slovakia's flag in the opening ceremonies.
The Bruins now have 75 points on the season, six ahead of second place Tampa Bay.