Editor’s note: Starting Tuesday, March 24, NESN will re-air memorable games from the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup run. Up next is Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks. See the full schedule by clicking here.
Things were looking grim for the Vancouver Canucks after they dropped back-to-back matchups against the Boston Bruins, but all that changed in Game 5.
The Bruins found themselves on the brink of elimination after clawing back from a 2-0 hole to tie the 2011 Stanley Cup Final against the Canucks.
Vancouver narrowly beat Boston 1-0 in Game 5 after the B’s had back-to-back thrilling wins, including an 8-1 throttling of their opponent in Game 3.
The loss meant the teams would head back to Boston for Game 6, and Lord Stanley would be at TD Garden.
Here are four things you might have forgotten about Game 5, which viewers can watch at 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday night on NESN.
1. There was no offensive flow until the third period
Game 5 wasn’t the fast-paced, offensive games fans had been used to seeing this series. But it was a nail-biter, given it was a 1-0 final score.
The teams remained scoreless until there was 15 minutes left on the clock when Maxim Lapierre teamed up with Kevin Bieksa to snap Tim Thomas’ shutout streak of 110 minutes. Bieska shot the puck wide deliberately, causing Thomas to move out instinctively. The puck ricocheted directly to Lapierre, who beat Thomas for the only goal of the game.
The goal also marked just the sixth of the series for Vancouver.
2. Boston had three (unsuccessful) power plays in the first
The Bruins had three prime opportunities to draw first blood with three man-advantages, but Boston came up short each time despite outscoring Vancouver 14-5 coming into the game. Roberto Luongo, who was pulled in Game 4 after allowing in four goals one game after giving up a series-high eight, wasn’t letting anything get past him this time around.
Boston went 0-for-4 on the night when on the power play and looked how it did earlier in the playoffs on the man-advantage.
3. The goaltending was outstanding
Thomas really had been stellar all series, but a fortunate bounce on Lapierre’s goal gave Luongo the edge in Game 5.
Thomas denied 24 saves and Luongo made all 31 that came his way. The Vancouver goalie earned his fourth shutout of the playoffs and came up big for his team, especially on the penalty kill. It was a huge win not only for the Canucks but for the goalie as well, given how he performed in the previous two games.
But Bieska knew Luongo was going to have a big game.
“There was something about him before the game,” Bieska said after the win, via ESPN . “He just seemed so comfortable, so confident. He was vocal, and usually he’s not a vocal guy. We thought it would be something special.”
Henrik Sedin noted after Game 4 that his team needed to “solve Thomas” and that they needed bounces. Well, they got their bounce, and it put Vancouver just win away from being Stanley Cup champions for the first time in franchise history.
4. The Canucks outhit the Bruins
The 2010-11 Bruins were big, physical and never afraid to get into the faces of the Canucks. But the “big bad Bruins” were outmatched in Game 5, with Vancouver outhitting its opponent 47-27.
The Canucks clearly fed off their hometown crowd and used it to their advantage. They also were not a team that was known for its physicality