Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

One giveaway buries Bruins

Categories: Boston Bruins, VAN vs. BOS, Vancouver Canucks

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The Bruins have to get over two heartbreaking losses in order to regroup in Games 3 and 4 in Boston. (Harry How/Getty Images) The Bruins have to get over two heartbreaking losses in order to regroup in Games 3 and 4 in Boston. (Harry How/Getty Images)
The start of overtime was so promising. Boston's Patrice Bergeron won his 10th faceoff of the night (the No. 2 centre was 10-for-15), this time against Henrik Sedin. Bergeron pulled the puck back to Andrew Ference, the right-side defenceman.

As they've been coached, Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Mark Recchi started to sprint toward the offensive zone, building up speed through centre ice for the rush they believed would come.

But Ference banked a pass off the right-side boards that didn't get deep enough for his forwards to retrieve. Alex Edler, Vancouver's left-side defenceman, stepped in front of Ference's bank and picked it off. Before the Boston forwards could react, Edler got the puck off his stick and up the ice to Daniel Sedin.

In turn, Sedin shuttled the puck forward to Alex Burrows. The No. 1 right wing, whose Game 2 availability was in question after he appeared to bite Bergeron's right index finger in Game 1, charged the other way. Burrows swung wide of the net, which brought out Tim Thomas.

Burrows scurried around the net, all while outmuscling Zdeno Chara. Before Thomas could scramble back to his crease, Burrows had gone around the net and tucked the puck in after only 11 seconds of overtime had elapsed.

The forwards were caught too far up the ice to recover on the backcheck in time to seal off Burrows's shot.

"Turned the puck over in the neutral zone," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Tried to chip it in. They intercepted it. Whenever you turn pucks over in the neutral zone, they go on a counterattack. I think Z came across. When Timmy was down, he had to go all the way around him. That gave Burrows that extra leverage he needed to tuck it into the empty net."

Burrows plays critical role

There was a chance Burrows could have been suspended for Game 2. Bergeron had a cut on his finger, the result of Burrows chomping through his glove during an end-of-period scrum in Game 1.

But Mike Murphy, senior vice president of hockey operations, concluded there was not enough evidence of Burrows intentionally biting Bergeron. Burrows made the most of his second chance.

The first-line right wing was involved in all three Vancouver goals. In the first, Burrows took a pass from Chris Higgins and slipped a shot that dribbled under Thomas' right arm short side and into the net at 12:12. The power-play goal took place with only 12 seconds remaining on a Chara interference penalty.

At 9:37 of the third, Burrows dished to Daniel Sedin for the game-tying goal. Burrows capped off his starry night with the overtime winner. In 19:35 of ice time, Burrows recorded two shots and threw five hits while scoring two goals and adding an assist.

If the Bruins were upset that Burrows played such an important role when he could have been suspended, they weren't grousing about it after the 3-2 overtime loss.

"They made a decision," Julien said of the league's call. "We moved on. For us, if we start using that as an excuse, we're a lame team. To me, it's not even a consideration."

Bounceback effort required

The Bruins will leave Vancouver at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday.

They will return to Boston mid-afternoon, then report to TD Garden for media obligations at 4:30 p.m. ET. Between takeoff and touchdown, they must forget about the nature of the two losses -- one after only 11 seconds of overtime had ticked off, and another with just 18.5 seconds remaining in regulation.

"You've got to forget what just happened here tonight as far as the loss is concerned," Julien said. "But you've got to learn from what we did wrong with our mistakes. We've got to correct those. We know if we correct those things, things are going to be a lot better for us.

"As far as I'm concerned, we're taking responsibility for this loss. It's our own fault. We beat ourselves with some bad decision-making and some poor puck management. You take responsibility, you make the corrections that you have to do, and you move on."

The Bruins have a saying: release and reload.

"You have to take only the positive things," David Krejci said. "You have to forget about it. Just think positive things. There's no room for negative things in the playoffs. Have a good sleep. We're going to have a long flight. Just have some fun on the plane. Stay loose. Just do nothing. We're still in it."