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Bruins-Canucks live blog: Scoreless in third 06.01.11 at 7:21 pm ET
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VANCOUVER — Join DJ Bean and others live from Vancouver for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins are in the finals since the first time since 1990, when they were defeated by the Oilers in five games.

Bruin-Canucks Game 1 Live Blog

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals,
Poll: Who wins Stanley Cup finals? 06.01.11 at 1:13 pm ET
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How do you see the Bruins-Canucks Stanley Cup finals series playing out?

  • Bruins in six games (52%, 104 Votes)
  • Bruins in seven games (23%, 46 Votes)
  • Canucks in six games (8%, 16 Votes)
  • Canucks in five games (7%, 13 Votes)
  • Canucks in seven games (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Bruins sweep (3%, 5 Votes)
  • I'm from Tampa; are the Lightning in the finals? (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Bruins in five games (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Canucks sweep (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 200

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Read More: Bruins, Canucks, Stanley Cup Finals,
Next Stop: Vancouver — Bruins advance to Stanley Cup Finals 05.27.11 at 10:58 pm ET
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By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin

The Bruins have had to wait a long time since they last played in the Stanley Cup finals, so the 50-plus minutes they had to wait for their first goal in their series-clinching 1-0 Game 7 victory over the Lightning probably felt like nothing.

With the game scoreless through the first 52 minutes of the game, Nathan Horton took a feed from David Krejci at 12:27 and tipped it past Dwayne Roloson for his eighth postseason goal. It was Horton’s second series-clinching goal, as he played the hero in Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals with an overtime tally past Carey Price of the Canadiens. He became the first player ever with two Game 7 game-winners in the same postseason.

For a game with such a high billing, it did not disappoint. Both teams played an impeccable game, with Roloson and Tim Thomas and shining for their respective clubs.

The Bruins will now play in their first Stanley Cup finals since 1990, and are shooting for their first Cup since 1972. In order to get the elusive Cup, they’ll need to get past the Vancover Canucks, who led the NHL in points during the regular season and are coming off a five-game Western Conference finals victory over the Sharks.

The Bruins and Canucks met only once in the regular season, with the B’s coming away with a 3-1 win at Rogers Arena. Game 1 will be played Wednesday in Vancouver.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins clearly got the memo that they needed to get more pucks on Roloson, as they landed 15 shots on net in the first period after totaling just 20 in all 60 minutes of Game 6. Andrew Ference led the way with three shots on goal in a very fast-paced, high-energy first period. The team’s first-period assault on net was tied for their third-highest total of the postseason. The B’s had 18 first-period shots in Game 2 vs. the Lightning and had 16 in Game 2 vs. the Flyers.

– Good showing from Rich Peverley, whom Claude Julien decided very early on to use more. Penciled in on the fourth line, Peverley was moved around in the lineup and skated on all four lines. Peverley gave Milan Lucic the pass that set up No. 17’s first-period breakaway, which was the Bruins’ best chance early on. Roloson stopped Lucic on the play in an early sign that the Tampa goaltender had brought the good stuff.

Dennis Seidenberg blocked an incredible four shots in the first period (for comparison’s sake, no one else had more than two in the frame) and a game-high eight shots over the full 60 minutes. Two in particular stood out — one on a shot from the high slot that had a chance of beating Thomas had Seidenberg not kicked it away, and another on an odd-man rush. Friday night marked the fifth time this postseason that Seidenberg, who entered the game with a team-high 47 blocks in the playoffs, has blocked at least four shots in a game. That shouldn’t really come as a surprise given the fact that Seidenberg led the NHL in blocks two seasons ago and ranked eighth this season.

-Much has been made about Tomas Kaberle‘s play throughout these playoffs, but there’s no denying that he’s been much better these last two games. On Friday night, he broke up two quality scoring chances to keep the game scoreless. The first came in the first period when he tied up Dominic Moore on a rebound in the slot, allowing a teammate to clear the puck away. Then in the second, he lifted Steven Stamkos‘ stick on a backcheck to break up what started as a 2-on-1.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Horton had something going on after a collision with Blair Jones in the first period. He left the bench, came back to the bench, took a shift and left the bench again before making his return at 1:11 of the second period. He played regular shifts as the game went on and managed five shots on goal through the first two periods. Obviously, whatever the issue, he ended up contributing in a huge way.

– Roloson was on all night for Tampa, and nothing — redirections, second chance opportunities, or anything else — shook him. He came up with a pair of mammoth stops on Mark Recchi in the second period in succession to keep the B’s from getting on the board. The stat of Roloson being 7-0 in elimination games is a bit deceiving given how poorly he played in Game 6, but he proved his reputation right throughout the night. It seemed a real shame for his streak to be ended on a night in which he turned in such a stellar performance.

-The refs were clearly letting the teams play, which is good, but only to a certain extent. Regardless of the magnitude of the game, obvious penalties need to be called. That didn’t happen in the second period when Moore basically tackled Horton into the right goal post on a Bruins rush. In any other game, that would have been called without hesitation. It should’ve been called Friday night, too. Letting the ticky-tack stuff go is great, but letting guys get away with blatant interference is not.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs,
Bruins-Lightning Live Blog: How the Bruins punched their ticket to Vancouver 05.27.11 at 7:31 pm ET
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Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia and plenty others from the Garden for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Bruins and Lightning.

Bruins-Lightning Game 7 Live Blog

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs,
Poll: Who wins Bruins-Lightning Game 7? 05.27.11 at 8:37 am ET
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The Bruins will play their second Game 7 of the 2011 playoffs (after beating the Canadiens in the opening round) when they host the Lightning on Friday night. How do you see the game playing out?

  • Bruins win close game in regulation (49%, 131 Votes)
  • Bruins rout Lightning (16%, 43 Votes)
  • Lightning win close game in regulation (14%, 36 Votes)
  • Bruins win in overtime (10%, 27 Votes)
  • Lightning rout Bruins (6%, 15 Votes)
  • Lightning win in overtime (3%, 7 Votes)
  • I'm from Tampa; is there a hockey game tonight? (2%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 266

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Read More: Boston Bruins, poll, Tampa Bay Lightning,
Bruins-Lightning Live Blog: David Krejci hat trick makes it 5-4 05.25.11 at 7:37 pm ET
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TAMPA — Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia and a cast of others from St. Pete Times Forum as the Bruins look take Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Lightning and advance to the Stanley Cup finals.

Bruins-Lightning Game 6 Live Blog

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs,
Bruins overcome rough start, take Game 5 05.23.11 at 10:49 pm ET
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By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin

The Bruins pulled the opposite of the first-period-only effort that cost them Game 4, and on Monday night at the TD Garden, they overcame a terrifying first 20 minutes in Game 5 to beat the Lightning, 3-1, and come within a win of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.

With Tampa Bay leading 1-0 after dominating the first period and seeing Simon Gagne score his latest against the B’s, the Bruins got second-period goals from Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand to give Boston a 2-1 lead that they would hold until Rich Peverley made the final 3-1 on an empty-netter.

The Bruins didn’t get many shots on Tampa goalie Mike Smith (only four in the first period), but the two they did get past him proved to be enough. Boston’s 20 shots on goal stands as their lowest total this postseason.

Tim Thomas made 33 saves on the night, turning in a sensational performance that undoubtedly stands among his best this postseason. On a rather fascinating note, the team that has scored the first goal this series has now gone 2-3.

A late hit in from Steve Downie in the third period forced Johnny Boychuk down the tunnel, and he did not play in the final 10 minutes of the game.

The Bruins will have the opportunity to close out the series Wednesday night in Game 6 at St. Pete Times Forum.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– On the night, Thomas was superb. Downie was the biggest victim of Thomas’ play, as the Bruins netminder robbed him on multiple occasions. Thomas stopped Downie point-blank on a bang-bang play in the second, but made one of the best saves of his historic season in laying out to get his stick on what looked like a sure-fire game-tying goal. The Garden absolutely erupted when Thomas was shown on the big screen at the next stoppage.

Brad Marchand finally showed up on the sheet, and not just for his dive in the second period. The 23-year-old rookie didn’t let Martin St. Louis take him out of the play him as he raced to the net to put bang home a beautiful pass from Patrice Bergeron down low. It was Marchand’s first point of the series, as he followed a six-point second round with goose-eggs and only five shots on goal in the first four games against the Lightning. Marchand’s overall performance continues to leave more to be desired, but he had flashes — such as a hard-nosed shift about five minutes into the third period — that suggest the B’s could be closer to seeing the Marchand they got to know and love over the regular season and throughout the first two rounds.

– The Bruins were beyond lucky to somehow end up winning the game, and an individual instance in which they lucked out was when Thomas barely got a piece of the puck on a great opportunity by Blair Jones early in the third. The contact Thomas could make with the puck was enough to it off send it off the post on its way away from harm. Jones was just as sure as any that he would score on the play, as he was celebrating as the puck took its new direction.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins came out looking like a team totally unaware it was in Game 5 of the conference finals. From physicality to decision-making, it was an awful first period and one that should have seen a larger Lightning lead than 1-0. The Bruins had only four shots on Smith in the first period, and aside from one strong shift late in the first by the David Krejci line, there was little to no engagement from Boston’s forwards.

– Horton ultimately redeemed himself by scoring the tying goal in the second, but his two penalties before that were, for lack of a better word, dumb. In the final minute of the first, he laid a hit on Nate Thompson in the neutral zone despite the fact that the puck was already a good 10 feet behind him. Less than a minute after leaving the box, Horton went right back in when he slashed Hedman’€™s stick out of his hands after missing a big hit. The Bruins want and need Horton to play with an edge, but his two penalties Monday night clearly crossed the line.

– Not a good night for Tyler Seguin. He looked lost in all zones in the first period and took an obvious tripping penalty with the B’s lifeless and trailing 6:45 into the first. The rookie was taken off the third line late in the period by Claude Julien and was replaced on the wing by Peverley. He would play more in the second period, but had a turnover on a blind pass in the offensive zone that led to a Lightning rush that was saved by Andrew Ference.

– The power play was possibly the worst it’€™s been all playoffs, as impossible as that might sound. The Bruins registered zero (yes, zero) shots on goal on their first three power plays. Bad entries and bad passes were once again the name of the game for Boston’€™s man advantage. They struggled to get the puck in deep and gain possession, and when they did, they struggled to put passes on the tape, resulting in a number of easy clears for the Lightning. It’€™s one thing to not score on the power play; it’€™s another to not even get a shot. The one good sign on the power play was that Julien finally used Zdeno Chara as a net-front presence on the team’s last power play. They even got a shot on the fourth power play.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Marchand, Tim Thomas,
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