Quick hits: Reactions from Vancouver

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Quick hits: Reactions from Vancouver

By MaryPaoletti
CSNNE.com StaffReporter Follow@mary_paoletti
The postgame player quotes were hoarse because of the screaming.

Here are some quick hits that came through from the melee of Boston's Stanley Cup victory:

Canucks goalie and possible playoffs goat Roberto Luongo (21 GAA), was one of the first players to skate through the line of handshakes; Tim Thomas (8 GAA) was one of the last. When they reached each other Thomas leaned in: "Great series, great year, great everything. You're a great goaltender."

Surprising to no one, Thomas was announced winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the player deemed most valuable to his team in the postseason. Thomas finished with a .967 save percentage in the finals and a .940 percentage in the playoffs overall. He also had four shutouts and 16 wins, including three Game 7's.

Thomas: "So special, its a team effort like I said. It's about everyone in dressing room. This is why we play hockey for that Stanley Cup -- for the city of Boston. It means so much to me. Just to be a part of this team that can say we brought it back to Boston.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara accepted the Stanley Cup from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. After a quick skate, some kisses and unintelligible joy, Chara handed the mug to 43-year old warrior Mark Recchi -- a three-time title winner. Recchi passed the Cup to Patrice Bergeron, second assistant captain, who then got it over to Thomas.

Injured forward Nathan Horton was on the ice for the celebration in full gear, "and smiling. Always smiling," said CSN's Mike Giardi. Horton suffered a severe concussion in Game 3 of the finals on a hit by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.

Of the experience: "I couldn't be happier. We all knew we had it in us. People get hurt in playoffs, that's just the way it goes."

Horton on if the trade from Florida to Boston changed his life: "All year it's been an amazing year. its been very special. Obviously this here tops it off . . . Playing in Boston with such great fans."

In an interview between Mark Recchi and NBC analyst Pierre McGuire -- who was an assistant coach of the 1991 champion Penguins when Recchi was on the team -- the Bruins forward announced he will retire. Recchi had 14 goals and 34 assists in 81 regular-season games (5-9-14 in 25 playoff contests). Three Cups with three teams (Pittsburgh, Carolina in 2006) places him in elite company with Joe Nieuwendyk and Claude Lemieux.

In the locker room, champagne covered players, coaches and cameras. Chara first doused his teammates before pouring a generous amount into the Stanley Cup and lifting it to his lips. He topped it off as Recchi took a long drink. The two then shared a longer hug.

Brad Marchand's emotions didn't wait until the final horn to surface. The rookie said after his second goal, "I was starting to tear up there on the bench. We were sitting there with a few minutes left and we knew we had it . . . we accomplish something we wanted our whole life. I'm going to look back on all of this. This is all so unbelievable."

Just 10 minutes after the game ended, Giardi tweeted that there were already reports of trucks being tossed over and burned in Vancouver. "Also a slew of fights." CBC-TV later reported the streets of Vancouver "unsafe" for police and emergency vehicles because the riots of disheartened fans were blocking the way.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

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Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to help the Bruins hold off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their past four.

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres combined for nine goals in their previous two wins but the NHL's lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo's slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second period but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:10 of the second at 7:44 of the third when he knocked on the rebound of his own missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and slip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later, scoring on Rask for the first time in 109:12 this season. Sam Reinhart's feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci. Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins F Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges did not play after injuring his foot blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. With Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain) also out, the Sabres were down three of their top four defenseman and recalled 19-year-old Brendan Guhle from the minors to make his NHL debut. Guhle hustled back to thwart a breakaway by Krejci late in the third period. ... F Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors on Friday. ... The Bruins scratched F Jimmy Hayes. D Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' captain, missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Rask got a shutout in Boston's 4-0 win over Buffalo on Nov. 7.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Florida on Monday.

Sabres: At Washington on Monday.

 

© 2016 by STATS and The Associated Press.