By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me @PlaydonJeff
February 26th, 2011 the Boston Bruins would look to continue their winning streak on the road when they visited the best team in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks. At this point in the season, it looked like Vancouver would be coming out of the West, while with the East, no one really knew yet. Boston wanted to make a statement if they could beat Vancouver and make it four straight wins on the road. Along with the win streak staying alive, there was another streak happening, and that was Milan Lucic looking to stay hot on the road. Going into the game, Boston was still without Steven Kampfer and Daniel Paille, while Vancouver would be without Kevin Bieksa and Jeff Tambellini. Starting goaltenders for the game were Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo.
First Period Summary
The game started out pretty rugged and gritty, with a goaltender interference being called 2:12 into the period when Jannik Hensen ran into Tim Thomas and put Boston on the powerplay. Just two minutes into the period, Boston had a superb opportunity to take an early lead, but they couldn’t convert, and it was back to even strength. Four minutes later in the period, Brad Marchand would be called for a minor penalty for holding the stick of Keith Ballard, and Vancouver would go on the powerplay. Boston would kill off the penalty, and again it was back to even strength.
Throughout the period, both teams couldn’t get any offense going until 16:58 into the period when Manny Malhotra scored his ninth goal of the year and made it 1-0 Vancouver. That would end up being the only goal of the period, and Vancouver held a 1-0 lead going into intermission. Vancouver outshot Boston 8-7, but Boston would look to flip the script going into the second period.
2nd Period Summary
The second period started off just like the first, and that was with a penalty being called just two minutes into the period. Christian Ehrhoff of the Canucks would go to the box for two minutes for tripping, and Boston looked to tie the game on the powerplay. Boston again couldn’t convert, and Vancouver still led 1-0. With the halfway point quickly approaching, Boston looked to tie the game and flip the momentum. Boston would get their wish, and 9:56 into the period Nathan Horton tied the game scoring his 16th of the season, assists going to Milan Lucic and Tomas Kaberle.
With the assist, Lucic continued his point streak, and Tomas Kaberle recorded his first point as a Bruin. However, just as Boston had momentum on their side, a penalty would be called against them 24 seconds later, and Vancouver was back on the powerplay. Luckily for Boston, Marchand’s penalty wouldn’t cost them, and Boston would kill off the penalty. No more scoring happened in the period, and the game was tied at 1 going into the second intermission. Even though Boston outshot Vancouver in the period 14-10, this was still a closely contested game.
Lucic Continues his Heroics
Throughout the first half of the third period, Vancouver was all over Boston, but goaltender Tim Thomas held his ground and kept Boston in the game. Boston would find themselves shorthanded again when 11:10 into the period Gregory Campbell was called for a holding. Luckily for the Bruins, their penalty kill was on point tonight, and once again, Boston killed off the penalty, and it was back to 5 on 5 hockey. With just five minutes left in regulation, both teams strived to take the lead and hopefully propel their team to victory. With 4:38 left in the period, the red-hot hometown boy Milan Lucic scored and gave Boston the lead.
The once loud and ecstatic Vancouver crowd was silenced by the hands of Milan Lucic. With momentum now on Boston’s side Vancouver looked to somehow tie the game and hopefully survive this contest. As that was the case for Vancouver, they decided to pull Roberto Luongo and give them an extra man on ice and try to tie the game. Vancouver’s strategy would end up failing as Patrice Bergeron netted the empty-netter and propelled Boston to a 3-1 victory over the Canucks.
Next on the Schedule
With Boston winning against the Canucks, they extended the winning streak to four games and definitely put the NHL on notice. The three stars of the game were Manny Malhotra, Tim Thomas, and Milan Lucic. Along with Milan Lucic getting three points for Boston and propelling the offense to victory, a lot of the credit has to go to Tim Thomas, too, as he faced 28 shots and saved 27 of them. Boston would look to extend their winning streak to five games when they would visit the Edmonton Oilers the next night.