The Goods: That's a wrap
It took Alex Burrows longer to unlace his skates post-game than it did for him to again play overtime hero.
Burrows scored 11 seconds into overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final; the Canucks now lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 after winning both games at Rogers Arena.
As a reporter joked after the game, you missed a third of overtime if you missed four seconds. Seeing as how this was the second fastest overtime goal ever scored in the Stanley Cup Final, he was right.
After Henrik Sedin lost the opening faceoff of overtime to Patrice Bergeron, Daniel Sedin burst through centre ice to knock down a puck Andrew Ference intended to ship into the Canucks zone.
Burrows spotted the loose puck and was down the left wing in a flash with Zdeno Chara closing in to his right; despite some harassment from Chara, Burrows stayed the course and as Tim Thomas dove to knock the puck away, the Canucks forward wrapped the puck around and in.
Words do the play no justice, when you’re done celebrating the win, watch the replay again and again and again. It was that pretty, it’s almost as if Burrows thinks he’s back playing shinny in Quebec and not on hockey’s biggest stage.
“It’s up there for sure,” said Burrows of where his second game-winner of this post-season ranks in terms of clutch goals.
“Stanley Cup Final, obviously these are the goals you want to score and it’s a big one.”
Burrows’ ninth goal of the playoffs finished off a phenomenal comeback effort by the Canucks, one that saw them erase a late 2-1 deficit with a Daniel Sedin goal scored midway through the third, which Burrows set up.
Keeping with the theme of the night, Burrows also opened the scoring for Vancouver with a power play goal 12:12 into the first period.
It was all Burrows, all the time, as he recorded his second career three-point post-season game and his third two-goal playoff game.
And it came in a game Bruins fans argue he shouldn’t have even been playing in following the Bite-Gate incident with Bergeron.
Taking advice from his dad, Burrows put it behind him and simply played hockey.
“The negative press I’ve been getting the last few days, it doesn’t affect me at all, I don’t read you guys, I don’t listen to you guys a lot, but if affects my parents,” said Burrows.
“My dad listens to everything and obviously it affects him. He told me to go score some goals and that’s really what’s going to hurt them and I listened to his advice tonight and it worked out.”
Between the pipes Roberto Luongo allowed two goals over a stretch of two minutes and 35 seconds in the second period, but was otherwise rock solid stopping 28 shots, including 23 in the first 40 minutes.
Thomas kept the game close when the Canucks pressed, especially late in the second period, to finish with 30 saves.
MANNY, MANNY, MANNY
Manny Malhotra knew Saturday afternoon that he was ready to go.
That’s when his nerves took over.
The 31-year-old Canucks forward, who missed 29 games after suffering an eye injury on March 16, made his return to the Vancouver line-up in Game 2 exactly 11 years to the day he won a Calder Cup, and of everything on his mind, nerves ruled the day.
“I was excited that I was going to have the chance to play, but it was probably the most nervous I’ve been in my entire career,” laughed Malhotra post-game.
“Coming to the rink felt very normal, going through the same game day routine, but again the nerves kept getting to me and I was telling the guys right from warm-up that it was sensory overload with the noise, the crowd into it, all the towels waving; it was the first time I’ve seen a home crowd that excited in playoffs.
“I really didn’t settle down until after my first shift, it was a great feeling I got, the ovation I got on my first shift, but I think it kind of put a little more nerves on me. I just wanted to do something out there and execute.”
Malhotra did just that playing 7:26 on Vancouver’s fourth line alongside Jeff Tambellini and Victor Oreskovich, he netted a takeaway and a blocked shot while winning 6-of-7 faceoffs.
It was exactly what the doctor ordered for Malhotra, who was overwhelmed with chants of MANNY, MANNY, MANNY throughout the night.
Malhotra’s teammates didn’t join in on the chanting, but they certainly appreciated the support.
“It was pretty special to hear,” said Ryan Kesler. “Obviously he’s a big part of this team, we care about him a lot and it was huge for him and huge for us to see him be able to play. The fans were amazing for him tonight.”
Every Stanley Cup Final has begun 2-0 since the lockout, with only the 2009 Detroit Red Wings not able to hold on to win the series; the team leading 2-0 in the Cup Final has a 42-4 series record; the Canucks are now 7-1 in Games 1 & 2 in the playoffs this year; Vancouver had previously never won Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final in two attempts.