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Bruins battle back to win Cup in Vancouver

Tim Thomas made 37 saves in the second shutout of his landmark finals performance, Patrice Bergeron and rookie Brad Marchand scored two goals apiece, and the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Wednesday night for their first Stanley Cup championship since 1972.

Boston goaltender Tim Thomas, who set the playoff record for save percentage at .938 this season, started the game off well against the Canucks. Vancouver had a handful of good opportunities to score, but Thomas’ solidarity kept them off the board in the first period.

The same cannot be said for Vancouver, however. With almost five minutes left to go in the first, Brad Marchand won the face off in Vancouver’s zone, and with traffic in front of goalie Roberto Luongo, passed the puck to Patrice Bergeron, who scored the first goal of the game and his fifth in these playoffs).

Boston was heavy on defense until the end of the period, being careful to keep Vancouver from evening the score.

The Canucks’ Ryan Kessler had a few tantalizing shots in the very beginning of the second, but none found the back of the net. Vancouver controlled the play in the second, determined to score in the quickest way possible. The Canucks were playing at a high octane, but Boston continued to pressure the home team with congested play and collisions all over the ice.

Vancouver’s Alexander Burrows had a chance to score, but the puck didn’t even make it to the glove of Thomas, being blocked by Zdeno Chara instead.

Later in the second, a bad line change by Vancouver led to Marchand’s control of the puck, which he took right behind Vancouver’s net and slipped it in for the second goal of the game. It was the rookie’s impressive 10th goal of the playoffs.

Shortly after, former Penguin Mark Recchi followed up by speeding ahead in a 1-on-1, trying fiercely to bring the score to a quick 3-1, but was unsuccessful against Luongo.

Vancouver still led in shots on goal near the end of the second, with 13 versus 8 for Boston. A power play was granted to Vancouver late in the second, but nothing came from it.

Bergeron scored again with a short hand goal from winning the faceoff during Vancouver’s own power play. The play was reviewed, seeing as though the puck might have been having punched into the goal, but the play stood. Suddenly the difference between Vancouver and Boston was incredibly large as the second period came to a close. Vancouver was forced into a position of do-or-die by the beginning of the third. Despite this, Vancouver still led with 39 shots on goal by the end of the period, and Boston with 25.

Things got ugly quickly as the final period of the game began. Chara had a clear high stick on a Canuck, but no penalty was called. Instead, Boston ended up with a power play after a Canuck retaliated against the absence of the call. Fans were frustrated too, complaining there were too many men on the ice at one point during Boston’s power play.

Luccic was called for hooking a frustrated Henrick Sedin, and Vancouver received another power play. However, it was clear the Canucks were running out of gas, as they struggled to maintain control of the puck during the penalty.

Brad Marchand got an empty net goal (his second goal of the night) and the tone was set for the rest of the night for the Boston Bruins.

Another shutout for Thomas, who completed his postseason with the Conn Smyth Trophy as playoff MVP and 782 post season saves, the most ever in NHL history. The final score was 4-0 as Boston became the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions.

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