2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 6 - Boston 5, Vancouver 2 – Series tied, 3-3
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And then there was one.
A single game will decide the 2011 Stanley Cup champion, because after six games of this home-sweet-home series, neither the Vancouver Canucks or the Boston Bruins have been able to figure out how to win a road game.
Sure, Boston has outscored Vancouver 19-8 over these six games after Monday night’s decisive three-goal romp at TD Garden in Beantown, but the margin of victory really doesn’t mean much of anything. The ability to dig out one-goal wins is central to success in hockey’s postseason, and that’s what Vancouver has done three times on home ice against Boston. The Bruins, to their credit, have responded in New England on three must-win occasions, but at the end of the day, Boston’s blowouts don’t change the only piece of arithmetic that matters: the number of games won. It’s three for each side, meaning that on Wednesday night in the province of British Columbia, Lord Stanley’s coveted trophy will be given to one team while the other will have to absorb the sting of coming so close and so far without touching the most revered piece of hardware in North American team sports.
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How did Boston even up the series for the second and last time on Monday? It’s really quite simple: This was a wash, rinse, repeat cycle, a virtual carbon copy of Games 3 and 4. Much as Vancouver won three nail-biters at home, Boston completed a troika of devastating takedowns in its own building. Game 3 was an 8-1 laugher, Game 4 a 4-0 wipeout. This one-sided affair was little different. The Bruins poured on the pressure from the start, outworking the Canucks left and right. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, an Olympic gold medalist who has played in just about every pressure situation imaginable, has been lights-out at home in this series, but in Boston, he’s been a ghost. Luongo let in one soft goal after another in the first 10 minutes of play and was promptly yanked by coach Alain Vigneault well before the first period ended… wait, that’s not even terribly accurate. Luongo was pulled 8:35 into the game after allowing his third goal on just eight shots. Cory Schneider played the rest of the game for the Canucks, performing serviceably but still allowing two goals as Boston built a late 5-1 lead and coasted to the finish line. Five different Bruins scored in what was another thorough performance for the Bs at home. However, as strong as Boston played yet again in New England, the Bruins have to win on the West Coast if they want to sip from the Cup.
Both teams must get on the big bird one more time and fly to Vancouver for Game 7. All that’s left is to rest, recharge, and let it ride in the final hockey game of the 2011 season.
By: Matt Zemek
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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