Local boy Lucic stars in 3-1 win over Canucks


Local boy Lucic stars in 3-1 win over Canucks

By Joe Haggerty

VANCOUVER The prodigal son returned, and he showed his fellow Vancouverites just how good hes become.David Krejci created the goal by driving to the net and carrying a Vancouver defender with him, and Milan Lucic fought off an uncalled interference on Sami Salo to the get to the front of the net and pound home the reboundof a Dennis Seidenberg shotfor his 27th goal of the season.That score gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead late in the third period, and gave Vancouver native Lucic the NHL hometown moment he's dreamed about his entire life. An empty-net goal by Patrice Bergeron, assisted by Lucic, gave the Bruins a 3-1 win over the Canucks in a playoff-atmosphere at Rogers Arena, and capped off whats been an unforgettable homecoming in Vancouver for one of its favored sons."That's almosta perfect ending to a perfect couple of days in Vancouver for myself. From start to finish it's been a hell of an experience," said a beaming Lucic. "It was great to see the whole team battle all night, and get the win."How many times had Lucic imagined in his East Vancouver backyard that he'd someday put away a game-winning goal in an NHL game at his home rink?"Thousands and thousands and thousands," said Lucic. "You remember playing hockey in your backyard here, and scoring big goals. Those type of things. Being able to play and get a big game-winner in front of your friends, family and a lot of Bruins fans that were in the crowd tonight is a great feeling definitely."Lucic held his hands upward for a mini-celebration after the score, and once again showed exactly why hes got the reputation as a big game player during his time with the Bruins. Lucic finished with a goal and assists in the 3-1 win, and hoots, hollers and shouts of celebration could be heard in the B's dressing from the entire Lucic family celebrating in an adjacent room.
The Canucks got the better of the first period, outshooting the Bruins and taking a narrow lead on a Manny Malhotra goal while an army of Vancouver forwards crashed the front of the net.In a game that had a playoff feel to it, that was a postseason kind of a goal to be sure.
The Bruins stormed back with a strong second period that culminated in Nathan Hortons fourth point in the last four games. Tomas Kaberle started the play off and earned his first point in the Bs uniform with a long shot off the back boards that Milan Lucic corralled into a follow shot. Horton twice fought off Mason Raymond in front of the net for rebounds, and the second one beat a butterfly-found Roberto Luongo.

Patrice Bergeron added the empty-netter for the Bruins with little more than a minute remaining to ice a big "measuring stick"victory for the Black and Gold. Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.