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Sunday, February 27, 2011

What else can you say: Bruins top the NHL's best team, on their own ice

It was the first time in ages (maybe ever?) that I watched a Boston Bruins game at a bar and what better occasion than last night as the Bs visited the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL's best team?

The other overserved patrons in Beverly, Mass and myself were pumped as Boston (35-19-7) pulled it out, 3-1 over the Canucks (39-15-9) at the Rogers Arena.

Hometown hero Milan Lucic had a goal and two assists while goaltender Tim Thomas made 27 saves to improve to 28-8-6.

Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo (22 saves) was fine but the high-scoring Canucks attack could never get going as the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler were all held scoreless.

The game looked destined for overtime but great hustle from David Krejci and Lucic was rewarded with the game-winning goal. Krejci dangled around one of the Sedins in Vancouver's defensive zone, went behind the net then threw it out in front of the goal where Lucic won a battle and flipped it past Luongo for his 27th of the season. Dennis Seidenberg also assisted on the highlight strike.

Manny Malhotra gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead in the first period at 16:58 with assists from Raffi Torres and Christian Ehrhoff. Thomas made the initial save but his defense didn't clear the traffic out of the way and Malhotra was able to score his 9th of the season.

After getting dominated in the first period, the Bruins awoke in the second period and tied it up when Nathan Horton scored his 16th of the season. Lucic and Tomas Kaberle assisted on Horton's goal. Like Malhotra it was the result of hard work in front of the net. The snake-bitten Horton's first shot was stopped as usual but he stayed with it and poked it in.

Patrice Bergeron put it away with an empty-netter with 1:13 left in the third period. Lucic also assisted on Bergeron's 21st of the season.

Boston travels to Edmonton tonight to face the Oilers, the NHL's worst team. Back-to-backs are tough especially on the road but the Bs should have enough talent to get by on this one.

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