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STANLEY CUP FINALS A FANTASTIC JOURNEY
SARAH KWAK
June 17, 2011
RALLYING FROM A TWO-GAME HOLE AND INSPIRED BY AN INJURED TEAMMATE, THE BRUINS BULLED PAST THE CANUCKS TO WIN IN SEVEN GAMES
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June 17, 2011

Stanley Cup Finals A Fantastic Journey

RALLYING FROM A TWO-GAME HOLE AND INSPIRED BY AN INJURED TEAMMATE, THE BRUINS BULLED PAST THE CANUCKS TO WIN IN SEVEN GAMES

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After that puck banked in, Luongo, who had allowed 12 goals in his previous 84 minutes of play, was taken out in favor of backup Cory Schneider. For the second time this postseason, Luongo had followed a disastrous game with another weak showing. After allowing six goals on 28 shots against Chicago in Game 4 of the first round, he gave up four on 12 shots in Game 5.

The Canucks said they were confident that their goalie could right his course in the finals. "We have to play better in front of him," captain Henrik Sedin said.

Playing well in front of Thomas, however, seemed to be equally taxing for the Canucks, who had just five goals in the four games. Their power play was 1 for 22 in the series and Thomas was warding off traffic near his crease. In Game 3, Thomas gave Henrik Sedin a shove, and in Game 4 he nailed Burrows in the leg with his stick shortly after the Canucks winger had slashed it out of the goalie's hands. Burrows turned to confront Thomas, and the two came to blows. "I'm sure the referees are going to take a look at that. It's not the first time it happened," Henrik Sedin said of that interaction.

Still, Vancouver's hopes for retaking control of the series would depend not on the officials but on themselves. " A couple of costly mistakes and it seemed to snowball," said defenseman Kevin Bieksa. "We have to keep our composure when [a goal] goes in."

GAME 5 June 10, Rogers Arena

Canucks 1, Bruins 0

ALL EYES WERE GOING TO BE ON LUONGO. AFTER two big losses in Boston, he returned home, needing to prove, yet again, that his psyche isn't made of porcelain.

Luongo had to reboot after allowing 12 goals in five-plus periods in Boston. Hours before the start of Game 5, just as he had done at other stressed times, the Vancouver goalie cleared his head with a hike along the seawall in Vancouver's Stanley Park—just Luongo, a pair of headphones, his thoughts and a splendid view. Then he stepped onto the ice and took his team to within one win of the Stanley Cup, shutting down the Bruins 1—0. Apparently, shaking off two bad games is literally a walk in the park for Luongo.

When the Bruins came out riding the momentum, they had generated from two overpowering wins at home, Luongo alone kept the Canucks in the game. As his teammates took four penalties in the first period, the netminder made five saves with his team shorthanded. In the third period, after Vancouver had taken a one-goal lead, Luongo made the tough saves that seemed to elude him just days before. In the glare of the spotlight, he found a way to shine, finishing the game with 31 saves.

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