BOSTON – The Bruins once again proved they have what it takes to vanquish the Vancouver Canucks.
After being challenged by their coach that they hadn’t beaten the Canucks since the Game 7 Stanley Cup Final win, the Bruins dominated a beaten, struggling Vancouver team by a 3-1 score at TD Garden Tuesday night.
It was the fifth loss in a row for the reeling Canucks, whom coach John Tortorella said earlier this week is “off the rails” with the brand of hockey they’re playing. For the Bruins it was a solid, surgical win that has improved them to 7-1-1 in their last nine games with only two dates left until the Olympic break for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins kicked things off in the first period with Milan Lucic’s 16th goal of the season after a fast-break transition out of their own end turned into a perfect David Krejci feed to the left winger in the slot. Jarome Iginla followed in the second period with a power-play strike that he batted out of mid-air for his 16th goal of the season as well.
Raphael Diaz countered with a point shot that marked his first Canucks goal in his first game since arriving in a trade with Montreal, and it seemed Vancouver might take the momentum back when a Brad Marchand goal was disallowed. Torey Krug was down on the ice making contact with Roberto Luongo at the time of the shot, and it appeared to be a good call.
But the Bruins finally pulled away at the end of a man’s shift for Johnny Boychuk, who bumped David Booth around in the D-zone before threading a stretch pass to a breaking Daniel Paille. Paille flipped the breakaway goal between Luongo’s leg pads, and that’s all Boston would need to win.