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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Just Like Old Times: Bruins Beat the Canucks

The stakes were just a tad lower but it was still very enjoyable to see the Bruins come out on top vs. the Canucks, 3-1 this evening at TD Garden. Due to some poor play against Vancouver (27-22-9) and the lockout last season, Boston (36-16-3) last beat the Canucks in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The B's got a little payback after the Canucks embarrassed them 6-2 on December 14 in the city that riots like no other.

It is a shame that these teams won't see each other again this season, unless it is in the Final, because they sure do hate each other. Not only did the Bruins send the Canucks to their fifth straight loss but they physically beat them up all over the ice led by Johnny Boychuk.

Boston was always in control as they scored first and opened up a 2-0 lead before Vancouver's tired legs (games on back-to-back nights) found temporary traction. Milan Lucic made it 1-0 at 5:12 of the first period, linemates David Krejci and Jarome Iginla assisted on his 16th goal of the season.

Tuukka Rask (27 saves) didn't have to stand on his head or anything but he did make the best/most important save of the game: Lucic and Torey Krug knocked each other over in Boston's zone, hilarious except not really, giving a shorthanded breakaway to Daniel Sedin. Luckily, Rask stopped his shot and later in that same sequence, Iginla scored at 7:59. Iginla's tip in was his 16th goal of the season, assisted by Zdeno Chara and Lucic.

Something named Raphael Diaz, a former Canadiens scrub (traded yesterday) gave the Canucks some hope when his fluttering shot from the point got by Rask at 11:28 of the second period.

Roberto Luongo (29 saves) is still Vancouver's No. 1 goaltender and he continues to be shaky as ever. Not you can blame the final goal-by Daniel Paille-on him. The Bruins forward snuck behind the Canucks' defense and finished a great feed from Johnny Boychuk up the seam. That was Paille's eighth goal of the season,

Chara is off to Sochi to carry Slovakia's flag at the Opening Ceremonies on Friday but his Black and Gold teammates have two games left before the Olympic break: at St. Louis (37-12-6, 2nd in Central Division) on Thursday (8, NESN) then hosting Ottawa on Saturday afternoon (3, NESN). The B's are playing good hockey, mostly their style but who knows how they'll react without Chara-still one of the NHL's most dominant defenseman-in the lineup?

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