November 21, 2017

NHL: Canucks take overtime win for 2-0 lead in Stanley Cup

Alex Burrows ensures the Canucks head to Boston feeling very good about life.

Alex Burrows scored a stunning goal 11 seconds into overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 win over Boston Bruins on Saturday and a 2-0 lead in NHL’s Stanley Cup series.

Right after the opening faceoff of overtime, Burrows received a pass from Daniel Sedin and streaked down the boards, eluding Boston captain Zdeno Chara behind the net before extending his stick for a wraparound goal to beat Boston goalie Tim Thomas. It was his second score of the game.

Daniel Sedin had tied it with 10:23 left in regulation for the Canucks, who are halfway to their first NHL championship. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo made 28 saves.

Burrows, who avoided suspension for this game after being accused of biting Boston’s Patrice Bergeron in Game 1, also up Sedin’s tying goal with a sharp pass from the slot.

Game 3 is Monday in Boston.

Thomas stopped 30 shots for the Bruins, but his aggressiveness put him out of position during the brief overtime. Burrows used his speed to elude the 2.03-meter (6-foot-9) Chara before slipping the puck into Thomas’ unguarded net.

After being held goalless in the series’ opener, Boston finally found the net when Milan Lucic score, and Mark Recchi put the Bruins ahead in the second period with a power-play goal soon afterward. Recchi, the NHL’s oldest active player at 43, ended the Bruins’ 5-for-68 power-play drought with a deflection from the slot.

The Canucks got a pregame boost from the inspirational return of center Manny Malhotra, who hadn’t played since incurring a career-threatening eye injury on March 16. But until Daniel Sedin’s late goal, Boston played a second straight game of impressive shutdown defence against Vancouver’s vaunted top line featuring the NHL’s last two scoring champions.

Turns out the Bruins should have been paying attention to Burrows, their less-heralded linemate who has 17 points in the postseason.

Go the Canucks!!! Sorry it just slipped out.