Bruins drop Game 5 to Canucks, 1-0


Bruins drop Game 5 to Canucks, 1-0

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
VANCOUVER With the action shifting back to Rogers Arena, Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals took on a familiar tone.

And once again it was a bitter ending for the Bruins.

Boston and Vancouver played nip-and-tuck hockey the entire way, similar to Games 1 and 2. A scoreless tie was finally broken five minutes into the third period when the Canucks got a goal off the stick of Maxim Lapierre, and it was all they would need as they hung on for a 1-0 victory.

The victory gives Vancouver a 3-2 lead in the series, and a chance to eliminate the Bruins on their home ice at TD Garden on Monday night.

The shutout means the Bruins have scored a grand total of two goals in 180:11 against the Canucks at Rogers Arena. They have been shutout twice in three games here.

Kevin Bieksa fired a long shot from the right point that bounced off the end boards to Maxim Lapierre, and the Vancouver rag doll flipped it off Tim Thomas and into the net for the game-winner.

The goal snapped a scoreless streak of over 110 minutes in the Stanley Cup Finals for Thomas. And, seeing as how it decided the game, it highlighted the Bruins' distinct inability to score on the road in this series.

Until that point, both goaltenders had been magnificent. Roberto Luongo responded to all of the critics who felt he might buckle under the pressure after allowing 12 goals in the last two games. He stopped 24 shots and was one save better than a brilliant Thomas.

Bostons best chance to score came in the first period with three power-play chances. During those man advantages, Patrice Bergeron got a tip and a rebound chance right in front of the Vancouver net. Unfortunately for Boston, he couldn't convert on either against Luongo.

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

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.