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Bruins lose Game 1 1-0 on heartbreaking Raffi Torres goal with 18 seconds left

June 1, 2011

Raffi Torres goal more than 59 minutes into the game was enough for the Canucks to take Game 1 war. (Getty)

Despite great execution and great goaltending from Tim Thomas the Bruins lost Game 1 on a lone goal by Raffi Torres with just 18.5 seconds left in the third period. Thomas made 33 saves and many of the spectacular variety and Roberto Luongo answered at the other end with a 36-save shutout for the Game 1 win. The Bruins were 0-for-5 on the power-play, one of which was a four-minute power-play, and the other was 90 seconds of 5-on-3. The Bruins also shut out the Canucks potent power-play but the bevy of penalties left the game without much 5-on-5 flow.

Tim Thomas had to make a huge save in the first 20 seconds of the game when a nice triangle piece of passing left Daniel Sedin with a chance on the weak side but Thomas slid over to the right post and kicked out the bid. The Canucks followed up with a few consecutive tremendous shifts getting four or five really good shots on Thomas during long shifts in the Bruins zone. The Bruins then rebounded, found their footing and put together a few good response shifts.

The Bruins would get the first power-play of the game when Zdeno Chara was high-sticked by Daniel Sedin, the stick drew blood and the Bruins would go on a four-minute power-play. The Bruins first unit started the period off well, with Chara down low the perimeter moved freely but Roberto Luongo made all the positional saves necessary to survive the turbulent first minute of four. The second unit took a major step backwards but once the first line got back the threat of a goal once again rose but the Canucks rolled with the punches and killed off the double-minor despite giving up 11 straight shots, most of which came during the four minutes.

The Canucks would soon after get a power-play of their own on a high-sticking call. Chris Kelly was the high-sticker and was lucky to only get called for two minutes. The Bruins would kill most of the potent penalty off before Alex Burrows was sent off for holding. The partial power-play was futile with the Bruins struggling to win faceoffs or get set up in the Vancouver zone. The next penalty went the Canucks way as the game started to fill up with sloppy plays that the referees couldn’t ignore. The Bruins killed off the penalty by blocking shots after Vancouver put on passing clinics.

The rest of the period was killed off in unspectacular fashion, which the Bruins preferred over the Canucks, ending 0-0. After the final whistle there was some pushing and shoving for well over a minute. The Bruins had to be satisfied with the first period, sucking a lot of life out of the building after a tense first few minutes with good road hockey. The power-play actually stole momentum, getting a bunch of shots in an 11-straight shot period in the middle of the period. During the intermission tweets came out that Burrows actually bit Bergeron in the scrum and the Burrows earned a double minor while Bergeron just got two minutes.

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The Bruins began the period with a power-play and got a 5-on-3 tacked on when Kevin Bieksa was called for high-sticking. Mark Recchi had a great chance on the 5-on-3 when David Krejci fed him from one post to another, Recchi hitting the post from a tough angle. The 90+ seconds of 5-on-3 didn’t resemble the chaos a 5-on-3 should and the Bruins couldn’t get the puck in during the tail end of the power-play. The huge kill was clearly a boost for the home team.

Vancouver would get the next power-play, a weak call, when Krejci was sent off for a phantom cross-check after a big Dan Hamhuis hip check landed on Milan Lucic. Krejci skated over to a downed Hamhuis and seemed to rest his stick on Hamhuis. The Bruins rallied for perhaps their strongest kill in the first half of the game, getting multiple full length clears and keeping the Canucks forwards away from the puck.

Dennis Seidenberg would be sent off shortly after at the midpoint of the game as the Bruins continued to play with fire, testing the Canucks power-play. Rich Peverley would get a breakaway on the short-hand but was sent off for a weak interference call while racing for the puck. The Bruins would get lucky when Burrows was sent off for tripping Thomas after Thomas made a save, making for a rare 4-on-3 power-play. The Bruins did a good job slowing down the Canucks with all that space, getting to rebounds and clearing pucks.

The Bruins would gather some momentum but the Canucks charged back and nearly scored when Mason Raymond saw a bid go across the crease and off the post and into the corner. The Canucks followed up with a huge shift against an exhausted Bruins team but Tyler Seguin made a diving break-up to deflect a pass out of play. Patrice Bergeron would be called for tripping late in the period behind the Canucks net, giving the Canucks a great chance to take a late lead into the final period. The Bruins rallied without their best defensive forward and inexplicably put together another great kill to kill off the second period bring a penalty-filled 40 minutes to a scoreless close.

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Thomas once again stood strong in the opening minutes of the third period, once on a Burrows tip down low, and the second on a scrambly play, making a glove save and freezing it. Thomas would make his biggest save of the game when the Bruins turned the puck over on a bad change, leading directly to a Jannik Hansen breakaway. Thomas stopped it in his pads them clamped down the glove in front of the goal line while his body slid into the net.

As the game got older it started to feel more and more like Game 7 where a lone goal would make the difference and Thomas made better and better saves when called upon, freezing the puck in doing so as well. Vancouver started to turn it on late, getting closer and closer to a goal but couldn’t get one, Alex Edler came closest, ringing a pipe that beat Thomas clean but clanked off the pipe and went astray.

The Canucks would get a goal with just 18.5 seconds left on a broken play in the neutral zone. Ryan Kesler got around Johnny Boychuk fed Hansen who then dished a shot-pass to Raffi Torres who poked it in on the doorstep. The play was very close to being offsides but wasn’t called and the only goal the Canucks needed came just 18 seconds before the end of regulation. The play was enough for the Canucks to seal a Game 1 win in a goalie-dominated Game 1.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 1, 2011 10:48 PM

    GO CANUCKS GO

  2. REFMAN permalink
    June 2, 2011 4:34 PM

    It WAS offside….read the NHL rulebook!

  3. REFMAN permalink
    June 2, 2011 4:35 PM

    And how Orourke gets to ref in a final series is beyond me, all officials missed calls the whole game on BOTH sides AWFUL NHL just AWFUL!

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