for this game

Luongo Strikes Back: Canucks take series lead

Jun 11, 2011 - 4:27 AM
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks have one more rung to climb in their quest for the franchise's maiden championship.

Maxim Lapierre scored early in the third period, Roberto Luongo made 31 saves and the Canucks rebounded from a pair of insipid road efforts to post a 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The win gives Vancouver, which returned to Rogers Arena after getting swept convincingly in two games at Boston, a 3-2 lead in this series. The Canucks will look to vanquish the Bruins Monday night at TD Garden, where they were recently outscored 12-1.

Victimized for eight goals in Game 3 and pulled in Game 4, Luongo recorded his league-high fourth shutout of the postseason on Friday. The other three have come in the opening game of a series, including this one.

"Everybody in our dressing room and around our organization knows Roberto's character and his competitiveness and how he prepares himself. He went out tonight and he played a great game for us," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Canucks are now one win shy of becoming the first Canadian club to hoist hockey's Holy Grail since Montreal in 1993.

Tim Thomas finished with 24 saves for Boston.

"A lot of the things you saw tonight are a lot of the things you saw the first two games. Good effort, not good enough," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien.

The visiting club has yet to win a game in this series, marking the third straight playoff the home team has won the first five games of the Cup Finals. In 2009, the home team held serve until Pittsburgh snapped the trend by winning the decisive Game 7 at Detroit. Last year, the visitor lost the first five before Chicago captured the title in overtime in Game 6 at Philadelphia.

"The two teams that are here are good teams and they don't give home ice advantage away that easily," Julien said. "So they've been good in their own building. I think we've been a decent road team for most of the season, and right now, what we have to do is go back home and create a Game 7 so we get another shot at them here."

Just like in Game 1, the Canucks and Bruins remained scoreless through 40 minutes.

Lapierre ended the stalemate at the 4:35 mark of the third. On the game's lone tally, Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa fired the puck from the right point and it sailed wide of the net. Lapierre accepted the carom off the end boards near the left post and fired the puck behind Thomas from below the goal line.

"It took a bounce the right way, right to the other side. Max was able to find the back of the net," Vigneault said.

Luongo made Lapierre's goal stand up with a couple impressive stops down the stretch after faceoff wins by Boston.

The Bruins outshot Vancouver 12-6 in the first period. The discrepancy in shots was mainly due to the Bruins having three power plays.

Boston got an early opportunity on the man advantage when Canucks forward Raffi Torres tripped Gregory Campbell at center ice 1:39 into the contest.

Shortly after Torres finished serving his penalty, Bruins forward Chris Kelly was joined by Brad Marchand on an odd-man rush but he rang a shot off the crossbar.

Thomas then made an unbelievable blocker save on Vancouver's Mason Raymond, who had plenty of room on the short side at which to shoot.

An interference penalty taken by Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin in the attacking zone put Boston back up a man, but they again couldn't solve Luongo.

The Canucks killed off a roughing penalty assessed to defenseman Andrew Alberts later in the frame. Luongo denied Patrice Bergeron twice from in tight -- first on a deflection and then on the rebound -- after Thomas turned away Manny Malhotra's shorthanded bid from the right wing.

Vancouver's parade to the penalty box continued early in the second period with Ryan Kesler sent off for goalie interference.

The Canucks began to pick up the pressure, forcing Boston to take a pair of retraining penalties during the stanza.

The best chance of the second period belonged to Tanner Glass. But the Vancouver forward couldn't pull the trigger at a yawning cage, fanning on his shot from the bottom of the left circle.

Game Notes

Luongo is the first goaltender since Toronto's Frank McCool in 1945 to a record a pair of shutouts by a 1-0 score in the Cup Finals...In the previous 21 Cup Finals that were even at two victories apiece, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to seize the title 15 times...Vancouver has led in this series for just 32 minutes and 32 seconds...Bergeron topped all players with six shots...The Bruins played their 23rd playoff game this year, breaking the club record of 22 set in 1988...Boston defenseman Tomas Kaberle appeared in his 100th career NHL playoff game.