Down, but not out.
On a night that seemed destined to go the Boston Bruins way, Alexandre Burrows and the Vancouver Canucks came from behind and scored 11 seconds into overtime to seal a 3-2 OT win and send the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Beantown up 2 games to none.
The crowd at Rogers Arena was just settling back into their seats when Burrows took a pass from Daniel Sedin, faked a shot on an aggressive Tim Thomas, then somehow outreached 6’ 9” Zdeno Chara to tuck the puck into the open net on a wrap-around.
“I was faking the shot, that was my idea all the way, but I knew (Chara) was there,” said Burrows, who had two goals and a three point performance on the night. “Afterwards, I just knew the net was open.”
The Bruins looked to be in control at the start of the third period, having outshot the Canucks 25-21 and stripping the momentum away. But like in Game 1, Vancouver seized back control in the third, outshooting Boston 11-5 and getting the tying goal midway through the frame on Daniel Sedin’s first of the final.
After the game, Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault talked about how the Canucks turned it around after a sub-par second period.
“We talked about adjusting different things, especially our work ethic,” said Vigneault. “I thought our guys out guys were really good the last five minutes of that second period and real good in the third… another tough battle by two teams that are battling really hard.”
But Burrows was the story on this night. After the biting incident in Game 1, he talked to his father – who told him he wanted his son to be remembered in this Cup final for something a little more savory.
“My dad listens to everything and, obviously, he told me to go score some goals because that’s what’s really going to hurt them”
Burrows (9G, 8A) has now scored some monumental goals during this Cup run, and can possibly be in the running for a Conn Smythe Trophy. It was Burrows who scored both goals against the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the opening round – including the OT winner – and if he should score a couple more this series, the former ECHL star could be in the running alongside Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa.
Canucks centre Manny Malhotra also made his long-awaited playoff debut Saturday after suffering a devastating eye injury in March.
The sellout crowd was whipped into a frenzy upon first sight of Malhotra, chanting “Manny! Manny!” in support of the best faceoff man in the league.
The Canucks third line again proved to be a catalyst for the team, turning momentum around with some hard-nosed shifts in the second and third. Centre Maxime Lapierre has now been on the ice for only 1 goal this whole playoff run, while his line has also contributed with some key goals.
An estimated 100,000 Vancouver-ites crowded the downtown core after the game to celebrate their teams 2-0 series lead.