VANCOUVER – Raffi Torres’ goal with just 18.5 seconds left in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Vancouver Canucks escaped Game One of the Stanley Cup Final with a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins.
Torres’ goal, his third of the post-season, came as a result of a rare defensive lapse for the Bruins that led to a two-on-one break down low for the Canucks. Jannik Hansen took a feed from Ryan Kesler at the blue-line and managed to find Torres coming down the left wing. Torres made no mistake one-timing the puck past a sprawling Thomas to send the sellout crowd at Rogers Arena into a frenzy.
“Kes makes a good play and kind of springs me and Raffi on a two-on-one and I heard Raffi yelling and tried to slide it across to him so he could get it behind Thomas,” said Hansen of the play that led to the game-winning goal. “It’s always great to see one of your teammates score especially a big goal like this.”
The goal came at even-strength – a significant fact considering the first two periods of the contest featured a parade to the penalty box for both teams.
A total of 12 power plays – six for each side – were dished out over the first 40 minutes before referees Stephan Walkom and Dan O’Rourke decided to put the whistles away for the final frame.
“Tonight I thought they did a good job,” said Canucks’ forward Daniel Sedin on the work of the on-ice officials. “If there’s a penalty they’re going to call it. That’s what it should be like.”
If you had told the Canucks before tonight’s game that there would be power plays galore, they would probably have liked their chances. Vancouver’s power play came into the series clicking at 28.3 percent efficiency. Boston’s, on the other hand, was a pathetic 8.2 percent.
In some ways, the Canucks got away with a win in a game that probably should have been theirs for the taking anyways with all the man-advantage opportunities.
“I think both [teams’] power plays were not good enough today and we’re usually good so we’ve got to make some adjustments,” said Canucks’ winger Daniel Sedin. “Maybe we were fortunate to get the late goal but, I mean, we’re used to playing tight games and that’s what it’s going to take.”
The series resumes on Saturday night at Rogers Arena for Game Two.
Notes: Canucks D Dan Hamhuis is day-to-day after leaving in the second period with a lower-body injury sustained after a collision with Boston F Milan Lucic; Canucks G Roberto Luongo’s shutout of the Bruins is the first by a Vancouver netminder against Boston since Corey Hirsch posted a 6-0 win back on January 15, 1996; Boston G Tim Thomas had a shutout streak of 129:26 dating back to Game Six against the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped with the Torres goal.
For complete Canucks playoff coverage, visit Playoff Central on Canucks.com.