BOSTON -- The talking points from the Bruins' 3-1 win over the Canucks on Tuesday night:
GOLD STAR: Milan Lucic was certainly playing like he was angry at the Vancouver Canucks, but in a controlled, focused way that made him ultra-effective against his hometown team. Lucic made a nice play to start the transition game, and then utilized a beautiful snap shot to the top shelf to finish things off for Boston’s first goal of the game. Lucic also assisted on Jarome Iginla’s power-play score, and threw five big, thumping hits that slowed down any Canuck who dared come across his path in a very physical hockey game. Lucic even went 3-for-3 on faceoffs for the Bruins in the impressive effort.
BLACK EYE: Ryan Kesler is supposed to be a great defensive player and the Vancouver version of Patrice Bergeron, but he once again showed that he doesn’t have the goods when it comes to playing the Bruins. Kesler finished a minus-2 in 21:57 of ice time with one shot on net. He was 9-of-25 in the faceoff circle, and he put of couple of sneaky, cheap-shot hits on Johnny Boychuk that fired up the B’s defenseman for the rest of the game. John Tortorella had put a clarion call out for his best players to start carrying the team, and Kesler pulled a turtle job against the Bruins.
TURNING POINT: It was a pretty simple sequence: Tuukka Rask stuffed a shorthanded breakaway chance by Daniel Sedin at one end of the ice after a Lucic/Torey Krug collision created the opening, and then the Bruins stormed down the other end of the ice to put a Jarome Iginla power-play score past Roberto Luongo. Instead of the game potentially being tied 1-1, the Bruins were up 2-0 and Rask had regained all his confidence after making the game-changing stop. It’s uncanny how many times a big save/goal swing like that ends up working in favor of the team that eventually wins the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Johnny Boychuk finished with an assist and a plus-1 in 24:04 of ice time, but he was way more impactful in victory than those cursory numbers would indicate. It was his collision with Kesler at the end of the first period that really sparked things for the defenseman, and the rest of his teammates. Boychuk spent the rest of the game throwing jarring hits on David Booth that wowed the crowd, and feathered a long stretch pass to a streaking Daniel Paille for the B’s insurance score in what had been a 2-1 game. Boychuk certainly showed on this night that there are times he can step up and be the veteran defenseman among the young group of blueliners once Zdeno Chara heads to Sochi.
BY THE NUMBERS: 13-4-3 – the Bruins’ record against the mighty Western Conference after taking down the Vancouver Canucks.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You get a little ticked off and you want to just crush people. I mean, it’s not a big secret.” – Johnny Boychuk on getting fired up after Ryan Kesler threw a couple of hits at him he didn’t particularly care for, and then reacting by blowing up Canucks players for the rest of the game.