The Boston Bruins won’t have to look far down the bench for a couple of their Game 7 heroes from their 2011 Stanley Cup winning team.
They’re two of five Bruins players (Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask) who remain on the team that played in the last Cup Final that needed to be decided by a Game 7, and between them, scored all four goals Boston needed to end a 39-year Stanley Cup drought with their sixth championship.
Looking back, there are some similarities stemming from that series eight years ago. First and foremost, the Bruins needed to rebound from a 3-2 series deficit to even get to that stage.
Trailing a strong Vancouver Canucks team, the Bruins put forth a five-goal effort in a 5-2 win at home in Game 6. That game was highlighted by a four-goal first period, one that came in a span of 4:14. The Bruins chased then-Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo for the second time in the series.
A mouth-watering Game 7 matchup back in Vancouver was further intensified after a total of 54 penalty minutes were dished out in the third period alone, including four 10-minute misconducts.
Let’s take a look back.
The Canucks took it to the Bruins early, with Tim Thomas — the eventual Conn Smythe winner — making a couple of saves that otherwise could have changed the whole complexion of the game.
Then a rookie, Marchand was able to get to a puck off a Canucks faceoff win in their own zone. A couple of turns and some suspect defending by Sami Salo created some space between for Marchand, who slid the puck into the slot. The pass was met by the stick of Bergeron, who swatted his stick at it. The puck rolled back Luongo’s right leg, unbeknownst to the Canucks netminder, to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at the 14:37 mark.
The Bruins would effectively end the game in the middle frame, scoring twice in just over five minutes.
Before that, though, Chara made a crucial block on Alex Burrows shot that got past a sprawling Thomas but not the big man standing behind him.
Marchand nearly doubled the lead earlier just over a minute in when he raised a puck up and over Luongo but couldn’t beat the post.
Marchand wouldn’t be denied, however, and was rewarded with his first goal of the night on a nifty wraparound and a fair bit of self-inflicted goaltender interference by Daniel Sedin at 12:13.
Oh, and Luongo doing himself dirty by knocking the puck into his own net.
Bergeron’s second would come shorthanded, a dagger of sorts for the Canucks.
Gregory Campbell won the draw in the defensive zone for the Bruins and Dennis Seidenberg slammed the puck down the boards. The puck took a funny hop off the glass, falling into the path of Patrice Bergeron who was gifted a partial breakaway.
With Christian Ehrhoff draped all over him, and a penalty pending against the Canucks, Bergeron somehow guided the puck past Luongo. The goal was reviewed, with the Canucks arguing that Bergeron had put the puck in with his glove.
In the words of the great Maury, “That was a lie.”
The Canucks threw 16 shots at Thomas in the final period, looking desperately for any morsel of momentum in front of a packed Rogers Arena.
Thomas wouldn’t be felled, however, posting a 37-save shutout. Thomas made an excelled save off a streaking Sedin at the midway point of the period to preserve the goose egg. He’d stop Jannik Hansen point-blank with fewer than five minutes left in the game.
Desperate, and with just over three minutes left, the Alain Vigneault would pull Luongo for the extra skater.
The 4-0 goal would come on a clear from the Canucks that landed at the feet of Burrows. Burrows, who bit Bergeron in Game 1 of the series and fought Thomas in Game 4, couldn’t handle the quasi-pass and Marchand was more than happy to cap off his three-point night with his second goal, this time into the empty net.
Chara lifts the Cup
The drought was over.
The Bruins were Stanley Cup champs for the sixth time in franchise history.
Chara’s first pass of the Cup? That went to a Mark Recchi, who won his third Cup in his final NHL season.
The ugliness of 1994’s riots in the streets of Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Cup to the New York Rangers returned 17 years later.
Rioters poured into the streets of downtown Vancouver following the game and all hell broke loose.
The Bruins would make it home safely, with the parade held a couple days later.
Perhaps the best part of that victory march down the streets of Boston was Marchand showing the world he couldn’t rap.
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