Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

One mistake burns Bruins

Categories: Stanley Cup Final, VAN vs. BOS

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Bruins defenceman Dennis Seidenberg, left, and goaltender Tim Thomas, right, look on after allowing Maxim Lapierre’s game-winning goal in Game 5 Friday night. (Harry How/Getty Images) Bruins defenceman Dennis Seidenberg, left, and goaltender Tim Thomas, right, look on after allowing Maxim Lapierre’s game-winning goal in Game 5 Friday night. (Harry How/Getty Images)

When Dennis Seidenberg pinched hard down the right-side wall in the third period, Milan Lucic rotated back to cover the defenceman's position at the right point.

But Lucic, lacking the skills of an experienced blue-liner, was flat-footed and couldn't do much when the Canucks started the breakout from their own zone.

Tim Thomas stopped Maxim Lapierre on the first flurry. But as the puck skittered around to Kevin Bieksa at the right point, Lucic tried his best to challenge the defenceman's shot. Lucic had a long way to skate, going from behind the net to the point to pressure Bieksa.

Vancouver's shutdown defenceman read Lucic and Thomas perfectly - the left wing was in the shooting lane and the goalie was out of his crease - to make the right play. Instead of putting a shot on goal, Bieksa sent the puck off the end boards.

The puck caromed off the wall and out to Lapierre at the far post. Thomas tried to recover, pushing from left to right. But Lapierre's shot bounced off Thomas's chest and into the net at 4:35 of the third for the only goal of the night.

"He does play out and their D's do block shots," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Sometimes all you have is a short-side shot. I think that's what Kevin had right there. It took a bounce the right way, right to the other side. Max was able to find the back of the net."

No breakthroughs on the power play

The Bruins could have buried the Canucks early in the game. Vancouver took three straight undisciplined penalties in the first period (Raffi Torres for tripping, Henrik Sedin for interference, Andrew Alberts for roughing).

But the Bruins couldn't solve Roberto Luongo on any of the three power plays. Their best chances came during their third power play with Alberts in the box. Patrice Bergeron redirected a Seidenberg shot on goal that Luongo turned back. Then when Bergeron had a follow-up bid - the centre didn't appear to get all of his blade on the shot - Luongo got a piece of the puck with his blocker.

The Bruins sent out their standard first unit of Seidenberg and Tomas Kaberle at the point, with Bergeron, Lucic, and David Krejci down low.

But Claude Julien opted to tweak his second unit. Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference were at the point, while Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi were down low as they were in previous games. The new addition was fourth-line centre Gregory Campbell. Julien tabbed Campbell occasionally during the regular season, citing the defensive-minded forward's ability to tip pucks.

Campbell logged 2:17 of time on the power play. During the regular season, Campbell skated a total of 17:35 on the PP for an average of 13 seconds per game.

"He's done a pretty good job in front of the net," said Julien. "He certainly is good at tipping and screening. I don't think we were capable of doing much with him in front because we weren't getting the setup we wanted to get in the offensive zone. Had we managed to get control of the puck, move it around, and create some shots, he would have been a valuable player up front where he normally does a good job."

Luongo posts simple shutout

After being in net for 12 goals in Boston, Luongo rebounded with a flourish in Game 5. The Vancouver netminder, chased from the net in Game 4, stopped all 31 shots for his second shutout of the series.

The Bruins, however, didn't make life very hard on Luongo. Lucic, the team's No. 1 left wing, didn't land a single shot on goal. Krejci had only one shot. Julien gave Ryder, Rich Peverley, and Tyler Seguin cracks on the first line in Nathan Horton's position on the right side. The first line never had any chemistry.

"A lot of the things you saw tonight are a lot of the things you saw in the first two games," Julien said. "Good effort. Not good enough. Times where we should have gotten the puck in deep and established our forecheck, wasn't obvious. We turned some pucks over. Give credit to the goaltender. He played well tonight, but we certainly didn't make it as hard on him as we did in the last two games at home."