The Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 to even the Stanley Cup final at 3-3 heading into Game 7. Here’s a report card on the two teams (with performances rated 1-to-10):
Boston: Win or lose the Cup, Tim Thomas will almost certainly win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after another superb performance. He made 36 saves and had little chance on the two Vancouver goals. Nothing squeezes through. 9.
Vancouver: Roberto Luongo’s Boston nightmare continues. After giving up 12 goals in his first two games at TD Garden, he looked lost letting in three on eight shots and was pulled 8:35 into the first period. Cory Schneider was solid in relief, but with two 1-0 wins at home, Luongo is sure to be back in the net in Vancouver. 5.
Boston: Top pair rearguard Dennis Seidenberg limped off and missed most of the second period but was back in the third. The Bruins gave up more chances (and twice as many goals) as in their first two home games and at times the Canucks were able to get their high-speed puck movement going. Zdeno Chara was caught up ice on Canucks’ first goal. 7.
Vancouver: Christian Ehrhoff was caught napping when Brad Marchand got the game’s first goal and the entire Vancouver team lost its bearings, particularly the defence, as Boston scored four times in a 4:14 span. Despite gambling more after that to try to close the gap, the group did a decent job of recovering and moving pucks. Kevin Bieksa was the victim on Milan Lucic’s goal after losing his stick, but he played 25 mostly solid minutes. Andrew Alberts limped off at the end. 5.
Boston: They got the job done again at home, with playoff sparkplug Marchand leading the way. Mark Recchi, who looked too old in the opening two games in Vancouver, had three assists and now has six points in the series. David Krejci had one goal, but was a two-way force. And much maligned Michael Ryder added another goal and assist. Now, can they bring that production to Vancouver, where they have two goals in three games? 8.
Vancouver: They had only one goal in their first two visits to Boston and got two in Game 6. That’s progress, although the second came late when the Bruins had stopped skating. Losing Mason Raymond on his first shift to injury caused some juggling. A good sign heading into Game 7 is that Henrik Sedin got his first goal (and point) of the series, while Daniel Sedin had two assists. However, they look no closer to finding a solution to Thomas. 5.
Boston: A 2-for-6 performance on the power play has them a so-so 5-for-27 in the series, although still much better than in the first two rounds. Andrew Ference got a point shot through to chase shaky Luongo in the first and the other came on a 5-on-3 against Schneider. The penalty killing unit gave up one. 6.
Vancouver: Henrik Sedin got their one goal on six chances, to leave them a pathetic 2-for-31 in the series. Except for one power play, they had some good puck movement and shots. But they also failed to score on a late two-man advantage. The PK couldn’t really be faulted for either Boston goal. 5.