Third Period, 17:16, Bruins 4-0: With Roberto Luongo pulled, Brad Marchand scores an empty-netter from the right circle.
That should do it for this one, as Marchand makes it a four-goal lead with his second of the night.
Third Period, 15:49, Bruins 3-0: Jannik Hansen with a threat as he comes out from the left corner and fires in a point-blank bid, but Thomas makes his 35th save of the night at the left post.
Third Period, 14:09, Bruins 3-0: The whistles seem to have been put away, as Alex Burrows hit Rch Peverley with a blindside shot away from the puck during the power play and was not called for a penalty, then Adam McQuaid was speared in the groin with no call made.
Third Period, 13:34, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins kill that penalty off effectively and take another two minutes off the clock as the sides return to even strength.
Third Period, 11:34, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins will be shorthanded again as Milan Lucic goes to teh box for hooking. Big penalty kill here as the Bruins try to avoid giving Vancouver any life.
Third Period, 10:09, Bruins 3-0: Thomas continues to come up with saves, stopping a pair of bids at the left post before tying the puck up for a faceoff. The Canucks are outshooting Boston 28-17, but they’ve yet to get anything past Thomas.
Third Period, 7:33, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins don’t generate a lot on that power play as they played pretty careful, but they have another two minutes off the clock.
Third Period, 5:33, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins will get their first power-play chance of the night as Jannik Hansen goes off for interference after taking down Andrew Ference in the neutral zone. Ference was shaken up, but remained on the bench.
Third Period, 2:48, Bruins 3-0: Thomas with a save on Ryan Kesler from in close on the right side. The Bruins have come out with a solid start to the third here, limiting the chances on Thomas in the opening minutes.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 3-0: The final frame of the season is under way here at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, where the Bruins are looking for 20 more strong minutes to close out a game with a very special prize awaiting the victor.
Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins have one more huge period to play to be crowned champs for the first time in 39 years. They’ve put together two excellent periods to start this one and have built a 3-0 lead, but the Bruins know better than anyone that a three-goal lead is never safe. They can’t let up now and have to keep pressing the attackto close this one out.
Patrice Bergeron is having a monster game, scoring twice so far and being on the ice for all three Bruins goals. He’s a plus-3 with two shots, four hits, a takeaway and a blocked shot in 11:17. He opened the scoring in the first, then scored shorthanded to extend the lead to three late in the second in what may have been the biggest goal of the Bruins season.
Milan Lucic has six hits, but the Canucks have a 39-25 edge in that category after outhitting Boston 19-3 in the second. Vancouver definitely picked up its physical play, but it has not nearly been as lopsided as that stat would indicate as the Bruins have absorbed hits to make plays and have been dishing out plenty themselves.
The fourth line continues to give Boston valuable minutes, with Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton combining for six shots and seven hits so far. Most important, their strong play has allowed Claude Julien to roll four lines regularly, which have the top three lines plenty fresh for the this huge third period to come as the Bruins look to close out an amazing postseason run to the Cup.
End Second Period, Bruins 3-0: The first two periods are in the books, and the Bruins are 20 minutes away from the Cup after adding two more goals to extend their lead to 3-0 with a strong second period in Vancouver.
Second Period, 18:07, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins kill off the rest of Chara’s penalty and the sides are back at even strength in what is now a much quieter Rogers Arena.
Second Period, 17:35, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins strike again shorthanded as Patrice Bergeron scores his second of the night.
Bergeron broke in behind the defense and was hauled down by Christian Ehrhoff. A penalty was going to be called, but the puck dribbled in past Luongo. After a review, the goal stands and the Bruins lead is now three.
Second Period, 16:07, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins facing a huge moment here, as the Canucks are surging with several big chances and now Chara is in the box for interference for the first penalty of the night. Massive kill needed here by the Bruins to maintain the two-goal lead.
Second Period, 12:13, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins double the lead as Brad Marchand scores on a wraparound at the left post.
After a scramble in front that produced a couple chances, Marchand got control behind the net and came around with the wraparound. Luongo got a piece, but couldn’t keep it from crossing the goal line.
Second Period, 8:50, Bruins 1-0: Chara with a giveaway to Burrows in front of the Boston net, but atones with a goal-saving block behind Thomas after Burrows cut across the slot and finially fired a shot in.
Second Period, 7:40, Bruins 1-0: Both teams continue to generate chances in a fast-moving second period here in Vancouver. Thomas has answered every test so far as the Canucks hold a 14-8 advantage in shots.
Second Period, 2:10, Bruins 1-0: Chances at both ends as Marchand nearly puts one home against Luongo, then moments later Alex Burrows tries to stuff a puck in at the left post after Henrik Sedin almost surprised Thomas with a shot off the goalie from behind the net.
Second Period, 0:50, Bruins 1-0: The Canucks win a race to avoid an icing, then nearly score as the linesman screens Thomas, but the Bruins goalie still makes the save.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 1-0: The middle frame is under way here at Rogers Arena, where the Bruins will look to build on their one-goal lead from the first.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins turned in a solid first period and finally have a lead in Vancouver. They weathered the early storm the Canucks threw at them and counterattacked enough to get that goal, with Patrice Bergeron scoring late in the frame.
The Bruins have come out playing physical as they needed to do. The Canucks are hitting too, but the Bruins hold a 22-20 edge in that category as it’s been a very intense battle so far. Bergeron has been a factor in that part of the game as well with four hits, while Milan Lucic leads the way with five.
The Bruins hold a slim 10-9 edge in faceoffs, but one of those wins led to the goal as Brad Marchand gained control after Bergeron won the draw in the Vancouver zone and eventually feed it back to Bergeron for a shot from the slot.
The Bruins have gotten strong play from the fourth line of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. They’ve been active ever shift they’ve played, creating scoring chances and changing the momentum. They’ve combined for three shots and six hits so far, and it was one of their first shifts that ended Vancouver’s early control and finally got the Bruins some time in the Canucks zone. Boston needs more of that from all four lines as they look to maintain, and hopefully extend, this lead in the second.
End First Period, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins got the early goal they needed to take a lead into the first intermission, but this one is a long way from over.
First Period, 19:47, Bruins 1-0: Scary sight as Zdeno Chara goes down in pain after being hit behind the play by Chris Higgins. No penalty on the play and Chara looks OK on the bench after staying down briefly.
First Period, 18:50, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins survive an icing call there as Thomas stones Henrik Sedin on a stuff attempt at the right post after the Canucks gained control following the draw.
First Period, 14:37, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins get the key first goal as Patrice Bergeron opens the scoring.
Bergeron won a faceoff in the Canucks zone that Brad Marchand gained control of. Marchand took it into the right corner, came out and found Bergeron in the slot, and Bergeron beat Luongo with a shot inside the far left post.
First Period, 14:29, 0-0: Great action to start this one, with the fans on the edge of their seats for every rush. Both teams have had chances early, but both goalies have stood strong.
That was expected from Thomas, but looks like the Bruins are going to have to find a way to beat the good “home” Luongo if they want to win this one.
First Period, 11:43, 0-0: The Bruins with some strong pressure sparked by the fourth line as Greg Campbell nearly tips one in from the crease off a feed from Daniel Paille, and that line continued to generate chances for the remainder of the shift.
First Period, 7:27, 0-0: The Canucks threaten again as Daniel Sedin fires in a backhand from the slot. Thomas had to check behind him, but he had the puck underneath his pads.
Mason Raymond in the building with a back brace on. He was just shown on the jumbotron to a huge response here at Rogers Arena.
First Period, 5:53, 0-0: Patrice Bergeron has come out hitting, leveling Alex Burrows and Alex Edler with a pair of checks on the same shift. You can feel the intensity in this one all teh way up in the press box.
First Period, 4:05, 0-0: Both teams with huge chances in close, but Luongo makes the save in front on David Krejci off a Rich Peverley feed, then Thomas stones Henrik Sedin at the left post at the other end of the ice.
First Period, 1:54, 0-0: The Canucks are spending way too much time in the Bruins zone to start this one off, as Boston has been hemmed in its own zone most of the first couple minutes.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And Game 7 is under way here in Vancouver, where the hockey season will come to a close with one of these teams finally histing the Cup.
8:10 p.m.: The Bruins will finish the postseason with their usual starting line of Patrice Bergeron flanked by Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk open the game on defense, with Tim Thomas in goal.
The Canucks counter with their new second line of Jannik Hansen joining Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins up front, Christian Ehrhoff and Sami Salo on the blue line and Roberto Luongo in goal.
8:05 p.m.: The scratches are official, with Jordan Caron, Shane Hnidy and Steven Kampfer, along with the injured Nathan Horton and the usual Black Aces all out once again for Boston.
Keith Ballard skated in warm-up but is the scratch on defense for Vancouver. Dan Hamhuis and Mason Raymond are out with injuries, Aaron Rome suspended and Alexandre Bolduc, Cody Hodgson and Aaron Volpatti scratched along with their usual extras.
7:55 p.m.: The Bruins rolled the same lines in their warm-up drills that they used in Game 6, leaving Rich Peverley in Nathan Horton’s spot on the top line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
Jordan Caron, Shane Hnidy and Steven Kampfer skated in warm-up as usual, but did not participate in the line drills. They will be the scratches again, as the Bruins won’t make any lineup changes.
Here are the full line combinations from warm-ups:
The Canucks had an extra defenseman on the ice for warm-ups, with Keith Ballard out there after being scratched the last two games. Alex Edler, who was banged up last game, was out there as well, as were Andrew Alberts and Chris Tanev.
7:40 p.m.: The teams have taken the ice for warm-ups, with Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo leading their respective clubs out as usual.
As expected, that will be the goaltending matchup once again for this one.
Nathan Horton is not on the ice. He was not going to play, but a pre-game skate in warm-ups was considered a possibility. He has already made his mark before the game, pouring water brought from Boston onto the ice from the bench to try to negate Vancouver’s home-ice advantage.
7:20 p.m.: Just about an hour away from the start of the final game of the hockey season.
Fans are filtering into Rogers Arena, while it’s already a madhouse outside. The city of Vancouver is pretty much shut down for this one. A special atmosphere for what should be a very special game ahead.
8 a.m: It all comes down to this. One game to decide which franchise finally ends its Stanley Cup drought.
The Bruins forced a deciding Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final with an impressive 5-2 win at the Garden in Game 6 on Monday. It was Boston’s third victory on home ice this series, with Boston winning those three contests by a combined 17-3 count.
But they haven’t been nearly as successful in Vancouver. They’ve been in every game there, losing all three by a single goal, but they haven’t gotten enough offense to pull out a win in Rogers Arena, with just two goals in those three games.
“They’re a better team on home ice,” Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “They play really well here [at the Garden]. They feed off the crowd and we just haven’t been playing as good here. I don’t have one reason for you. If I did, we wouldn’t be losing by four goals every game here. I don’t know what it is but we go back to Vancouver where we’re a different team.”
The Canucks have been a different team at home, playing more physical and aggressive. And goalie Roberto Luongo has been a different player on home ice as well, posting a pair of 1-0 shutouts and allowing just two goals total in three games. In Boston, he’s allowed 15 goals while being pulled in two of three games at the Garden.
The Canucks are trying to put those struggles behind them, forgetting Monday’s loss as they return to the comfort of their home arena.
“To tell you the truth, it doesn’t really matter,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. “At the end of the day, they won and we’re going back home in front of our fans. [It’s a] one-game showdown to win the Cup. That’s it.”
The Bruins are also relishing their one final chance to claim the Cup, despite the challenge of trying to finally find a way to win in Vancouver.
“The biggest thing is just embracing it,” Bruins forward Mark Recchi said. “This is what we dream of. We’ve had pressure all year, pressure all through the playoffs. It’s come down to one game. There is no pressure, go play, go out and have fun with this. It’s what you play for and what we’ve worked hard for all year. We’re going to have a blast doing it. That will be the message.”
The Bruins have won two Game 7s already this postseason, but they won’t have Nathan Horton around for this one. Horton scored the game-winner in overtime in Game 7 against Montreal in the opening round and the only goal late in the third period in a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. But Horton has been out since suffering a concussion on a late hit by Aaron Rome in Game 3 of this series.
The Canucks have their own problems. Rome will serve the final game of a four-game suspension for that hit in Game 7, while fellow defenseman Dan Hamhuis has been out since suffering an undisclosed injury in Game 1 and forward Mason Raymond was injured in the opening minute of Game 6.
Both teams still have plenty of firepower for this final showdown, and plenty of motivation with the season-long quest for the Cup coming down to one single game. After all they’ve overcome to get here, the Bruins don’t intend to come up short now.
“We are going there to win the game,” Bruins center David Krejci said. “We’re going to try to get the first goal and if we do that, then I like our chances.”
The puck drops at 8 p.m. (5 p.m. local time here in Vancouver), so check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action from Rogers Arena.