Bruins drop Game 2 to Canucks in overtime, 3-2


Bruins drop Game 2 to Canucks in overtime, 3-2

By JoeHaggerty

VANCOUVER In a flash, it was over. The question is, are the Bruins' Stanley Cup dreams over, too?

Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows scored 11 seconds into overtime Saturday night as the Canucks beat the Bruins, 3-2, and took a commanding 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. The series now heads back to Boston, with the pressure squarely on the B's as they're facing two must-win games.

Burrows -- who escaped punishment from the National Hockey League after biting Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 -- took a pass and was on a breakaway just seconds into the extra frame. He worked his way around Zdeno Chara and then scored on an open net after goalie Tim Thomas left the crease to try to knock the puck loose.

It was Burrows' second goal of the game and his third point of Game 2. He scored the first goal of the game in the first period and assisted on Daniel Sedin's game-tying goal in the third period.

The Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the second period and held it for the first half of the third period. But the Canucks tied things up when Sedin popped in a score from the left circle off a great feed from Burrows in the slot area a pass that fooled Thomas and the Bruins defense, leaving their net wide open for Sedin.

The Bruins scored twice in the second period after being held scoreless for the first four periods of the finals. The B's second goal came, however improbably, on a power play. They had been successful on less than eight percent of their power plays going into Game 2, but Mark Recchi finally got them out of their slump.

Recchi tipped a Zdeno Chara blast and became the oldest NHL player in Stanley Cup Final history to score a goal. It was the first power-play point for Recchi in his 20th playoff game for the Bs this year.

Milan Lucic had scored the Bruins' first goal of the finals in the second period. He tied the game at 1-1 with a strong rebound goal in front of the net as he outmuscled Christian Ehrhoff for the puck off a Johnny Boychuk blast from the point. Lucic flipped a shot past a scrambling Roberto Luongo for the Bruins' first goal of the finals.

Burrows scored the games first goal on a power-play strike that beat Thomas to the short side.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday


Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday

BRIGHTON -- Tuukka Rask is quickly making his way through the concussion protocol and may return to action this weekend.

The Bruins netminder skated with the other injured players ahead of Monday’s main team practice at Warrior Ice Arena, and is on track to rejoin the team at regular practice on Tuesday barring any setbacks in his concussion recovery. That would leave Rask with just a couple of games missed after getting trucked by Anders Bjork at practice last week, and it would give the Bruins back their No. 1 goaltender after Anton Khudobin let in five goals vs. the Sabres on Thursday night.

“He’s in the protocol and progressing well,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’ll probably join us [on Tuesday] for the next step if there are no ill effects from today. That’s a positive. If there are no setbacks, I think Saturday is a more realistic [timetable for a return].”

The hope would be that Rask could start elevating his game when he does return, and play better than the goalie that’s posted the 1-3-0 record, 3.30 goals against average and .882 save percentage thus far this season. But first things first with the recovery to his first career concussion as an NHL goalie, and the set of hurdles that must be passed before Rask is again allowed to jump back into game action as early as this weekend.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Bruins practice with Rask, David Krejci and Noel Acciari all skating prior to practice, Patrice Bergeron staying off ice with a maintenance day and Kevan Miller skating in main practice with a maroon, no-contact jersey:




Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain


Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain

BRIGHTON -- Injuries, and some really tough losses, have put a bit of a damper on the start to the Bruins season. But there've also been a couple of unquestioned bright spots.

And one of them is Tim Schaller, who's been a strong, consistent performer in the first couple of weeks of the season. The New Hampshire native -- and lifelong Bruins fan -- was penciled in as a fourth-line winger throughout most of training camp, but he’s played everywhere as injuries have ravaged the B's roster.

The high point was probably centering Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak (and notching an assist) in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Sabres, and filling in for a late-scratched David Krejci with a very different set of skills. Certainly he’s been a standout for the Bruins with his physicality, including stepping up and fighting man mountain Erik Gudbranson after Gudbranson's nasty boarding hit on Frank Vatrano last week, and he’s also kicked in a couple of goals and three points in seven games thus far this season.

“It’s a reactionary thing, and that’s just in a person,” said Bruce Cassidy of fighting Gudbranson. “It’s a character thing because you don’t have a lot of time to think about it. Good for Timmy. That earns a lot of street cred not only in your own locker room, but the other teams notice it. too.

"We know with the goals that he can obviously chip in [offensively] and he’s doing a great job for what we’re asking him to do. He’s probably going to take ownership if he’s out there with some young guys on a line, and if he can be a leader and get that line playing the right way every night that is very valuable to us.”

Schaller’s game to this point is a continuation of what he showed in his first season with the Bruins last year, when the 26-year-old posted 7 goals and 14 points in 59 games while becoming a staple in Boston’s bottom-6 group. He’s once again shown pretty good straight-ahead speed for a big man, and a willingness to take his 6-foot-2, 219-pound frame straight to the net.

“I’ve been moving well and I’ve got the two goals, so personally I’m happy [with my game],” said Schaller. “Hopefully others can feed off what I’m trying to do out there, and we get a more well-balanced game [as a team]. I had a good season last year, and what was really good was that I knew that I had more to give. That’s what I’m trying to do this season.

“I can obviously produce more. I had a good start to last season and then I kind of fell off a little bit. So hopefully I can be a little more consistent for this entire year.”

That would be a very good thing for a Bruins team that can use him in a bottom-6 energy role when its roster is healthy, and will fully utilize his versatility in times of injuries and adversity.