VANCOUVER – After listening to some advice from his father, Alex Burrows found a better way to frustrate the Boston Bruins.
The scrappy forward scored his second goal of the game 11 seconds into overtime for a 3-2 victory Saturday night that gave the Vancouver Canucks a 2-0 lead over Boston in the NHL Stanley Cup final.
“In the Stanley Cup final, those are the goals you want to score,” Burrows, who also had an assist, said after being mobbed by his teammates.
Burrows was the centre of controversy this week after television replays appeared to show him biting the finger of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron in a scrum during Vancouver’s 1-0 win in Wednesday’s series opener.
He avoided being suspended, but his parents back in Quebec didn’t like what was being written and said about their son.
“The negative press I got the last few days, it doesn’t affect me at all,” said Burrows, who has nine goals in the playoffs and five in five games. “I don’t read you guys, I don’t listen to you guys a lot.
“It affected my parents. My dad listened to everything. It affected him. He told me ‘score some goals. That’s what is really going to hurt them.’ I listened to his advice tonight and it worked out.”
Burrows’ goal was the second fastest in overtime in Stanley Cup final history. The fastest was scored just nine seconds into overtime by Brian Skrudland of the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 of the 1986 Stanley Cup final at Calgary.
The game was decided when a streaking Burrows took a pretty pass from Daniel Sedin. He faked a shot at goaltender Tim Thomas, then appeared to lose the puck as he swooped behind the Boston net.
Burrows regained possession, managed to fight off a check from six-foot-nine defenceman Zdeno Chara, then scored on a wrap-around as Thomas scrambled to get back into position.
“He likes to challenge,” Burrows said about Thomas. “If I shoot there, I think he stops it and covers all angles.
“I lost the puck but was lucky enough to be able to wrap it around.”
It was Burrows’ second overtime goal of the playoffs. He scored in overtime of Game 7 to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round.
Burrows is part of the Canucks’ top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. People like to talk about the Swedish twin’s polish, but Burrows is usually more noted for his grit and grind.
“I don’t want to say he’s underrated, but he brings a lot to the table,” said Daniel Sedin, who forced the overtime with his goal at 9:37 of the third.
“He works hard, forechecks, brings puck to us. He he showed today, he can score big goals.”
Centre Ryan Kesler could only shake his head over Burrows’ performance.
“His battle level was extra high tonight,” said Kesler. “I don’t even know how he scored, but he did.”
It was a frustrating loss for the Bruins, who again played well enough to win.
Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi, on the power play, scored goals 2:25 apart in the second period to give Boston a 2-1 lead heading into the third.
“I think we lost the game ourselves,” said David Krejci in a quiet Bruins dressing room. “They played well but we had the game in our hands and we just gave it away.
“We did some good things. The positive thing we can take back home with us is that we lost both games by just one goal.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien became agitated when asked if his team would have enjoyed a different outcome if the league had suspended Burrows.
“That has nothing to do with that,” he snapped. “If we start using that as an excuse, we’re a lame team.”
The Bruins outshot Vancouver 33-30 and beat Luongo for the first time in the series.
The best-of-seven series returns to Boston for games Monday and Wednesday. The Bruins will need at least one win to force a Game 5 back in Vancouver Friday.
Vancouver won the opening game 1-0 when Raffi Torres scored with just 18.5 seconds left in the third period.
Game 2 was another goaltenders’ battle between Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Thomas. Both are finalists for the Vezina Trophy.
In the first period, a Michael Ryder shot hit Luongo in the face, knocking his mask off. Luongo calmly covered up the puck, then had a chuckle with the linesman as he put his mask back on. In the second he got an arm on a Krejci shot.
Thomas bounced around his net like a rubber ball, challenging shooters and then scrambling back into position. He slid across the crease to stop a wide-open Jannik Hansen in the second period, then got a pad on a Daniel Sedin shot
It was a warm spring day outside Rogers Arena, but that didn’t melt the enthusiasm of a loud, sellout crowd of 18,860.
Veteran Canadian rocker Randy Bachman sang “Taking Care of Business” on the big screen before the game. Former Canuck captain Trevor Linden was in the house, raising a cheer from the fans, and the Green Men parked themselves in their seats beside the opposition penalty box. There was even a wedding in one of the suites.
After weeks of speculation and false starts, centre Manny Malhotra was in the Canucks lineup. It was Malhotra’s first game since being hit in the left eye by a puck on March 16, an injury that required several surgeries.
He took his first shift 1:48 into the first period, earning chants of “Manny, Manny” as he won a faceoff.
“It was a great feeling, the ovation I got for my shift,” said Malhotra, who played 7:26.
“Right from the warm-up, it was kind of sensory overload. Just the noise, the crowd into it, all the towels waving. I guess I really didn’t settle down until after my first shift.”
Defenceman Dan Hamhuis, who was injured in Game 1, did not dress. He was replaced by Andrew Alberts.
Notes: With Hamhuis hurt, the Canucks decided not to dress defenceman Keith Ballard, who earns US$4.2 million a season. … It was Alberts first game since May 3 and only his fourth of the playoffs. …Luongo’s shutout in Game 1 was the first in an opening match of a Stanley Cup final since Grant Fuhr stopped 33 shots in a 1984 victory over the New York Islanders. …Teams winning Game 2 of the final have gone on to win the Stanley Cup in 54 of 71 years since the best-of-seven format began in 1939.