Bruins drop Game 2 to Canucks in overtime, 3-2


Bruins drop Game 2 to Canucks in overtime, 3-2

By JoeHaggerty

VANCOUVER In a flash, it was over. The question is, are the Bruins' Stanley Cup dreams over, too?

Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows scored 11 seconds into overtime Saturday night as the Canucks beat the Bruins, 3-2, and took a commanding 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. The series now heads back to Boston, with the pressure squarely on the B's as they're facing two must-win games.

Burrows -- who escaped punishment from the National Hockey League after biting Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 -- took a pass and was on a breakaway just seconds into the extra frame. He worked his way around Zdeno Chara and then scored on an open net after goalie Tim Thomas left the crease to try to knock the puck loose.

It was Burrows' second goal of the game and his third point of Game 2. He scored the first goal of the game in the first period and assisted on Daniel Sedin's game-tying goal in the third period.

The Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the second period and held it for the first half of the third period. But the Canucks tied things up when Sedin popped in a score from the left circle off a great feed from Burrows in the slot area a pass that fooled Thomas and the Bruins defense, leaving their net wide open for Sedin.

The Bruins scored twice in the second period after being held scoreless for the first four periods of the finals. The B's second goal came, however improbably, on a power play. They had been successful on less than eight percent of their power plays going into Game 2, but Mark Recchi finally got them out of their slump.

Recchi tipped a Zdeno Chara blast and became the oldest NHL player in Stanley Cup Final history to score a goal. It was the first power-play point for Recchi in his 20th playoff game for the Bs this year.

Milan Lucic had scored the Bruins' first goal of the finals in the second period. He tied the game at 1-1 with a strong rebound goal in front of the net as he outmuscled Christian Ehrhoff for the puck off a Johnny Boychuk blast from the point. Lucic flipped a shot past a scrambling Roberto Luongo for the Bruins' first goal of the finals.

Burrows scored the games first goal on a power-play strike that beat Thomas to the short side.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy


Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece. 


Bruins lose Vatrano for three months after foot surgery


Bruins lose Vatrano for three months after foot surgery

BRIGHTON, Mass. – The first bad break of Bruins camp arrived on Saturday with the news that scoring winger Frank Vatrano will be out three months after tearing a couple of ligaments in his left foot.

The 21-year-old winger from UMass and East Longmeadow, Mass., sustained the injury training just prior to the B’s fitness testing for camp and will have surgery on Monday at Mass General Hospital with Dr. George Theodore.

Vatrano had missed the first two days of camp after participating in captain’s practice just about right until the start of main training camp, so the injury must have happened just prior to Thursday’s off-ice testing.

“He had an injury just prior to testing, and it took a couple of days to make sure he had the proper evaluation. He saw a specialist yesterday and he’s scheduled for surgery on Monday,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “One or two of the ligaments were torn when he was doing some running, so he’s out.”

The injury is a big blow for a Bruins team that clearly had plans on Vatrano filling out a top-six role and leaves the door wide open for a young players Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Zach Senyshyn or Peter Cehlarik to win an NHL job out of camp. Perhaps a veteran such as camp invite Peter Mueller could secure a job when it didn’t appear to be any room on the NHL roster just a few days ago.

Either way it’s damaging to a Bruins team that was relying on goal-scoring and explosive forward play from a guy who topped 40 goals combined in the NHL and AHL last season.

“Obviously it’s a blow. Frankie looked at as an opportunity to [win a top-6 spot]. We all did. How that was going to play out remained to be seen, but he was going to be afforded a position to see if he could grab hold of it,” said Sweeney. “So obviously, he’s disappointed, and we are as well. You look at as with all injuries…it’s a setback. But the doctors feel very good that three months from now he’ll be able to play and move forward.”

It’s not officially NHL training camp until a major injury strikes, so now the Bruins are in the middle of it after learning they’ll lose Vatrano until Christmastime. 

Here's Vatrano's "Countdown to camp" profile