for this game

Bruins shut down Canucks in Game 7; win first Cup since '72

Jun 16, 2011 - 4:34 AM Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins are champions for the first time since 1972 thanks to Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tim Thomas.

Bergeron scored a pair of goals -- including a key short-handed tally -- and Thomas made 37 saves for his fourth shutout of these playoffs, as the Bruins handled the Canucks, 4-0, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Marchand had two goals and an assist for Boston, which won the Cup for the sixth time in franchise history (1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972).

Thomas, the 2009 Vezina Trophy winner, went 35-11-9 in the regular season and 16-9 in the postseason. He was sensational in the Cup Finals, stopping 238- of-246 shots in all, and was awarded with the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for his efforts.

"I think I went even further than I thought," a weary but content Thomas admitted following the game. "I never envisioned three Game 7s in one playoff series and still being able to come out on top."

The Bruins staved off elimination on Monday by using a four-goal barrage in the first period to take a 5-2 win over the Canucks at TD Garden.

The home team had won the first six games of this series, making Boston's victory on the road in Game 7 at Rogers Arena even more impressive. It marked the first time in NHL history that a road team clinched a title in a terminal game by shutout.

It was also the second time in the last three seasons that a visiting club won the Cup on the road in a seventh game, after Pittsburgh did so at Detroit in 2009.

"The future looks bright with all the guys that we have," Bergeron said. "But to be honest, I'm looking forward to the celebration right now."

The Canucks, who won their first-ever Presidents' Trophy this season, failed to capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Vancouver was playing in the Cup Finals for the third time, following a four- game loss to the Islanders in 1982 and a seven-game setback to the Rangers in 1994.

"Our players gave it their best shot," Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said. "At the end of the day you've got to give credit where credit is due. Boston played a real strong game."

Roberto Luongo had been the key factor for the Canucks at home in this series, In his three prior games in Vancouver in the Cup Finals, Luongo stopped 95- of-97 shots and posted two shutouts.

But the story was a lot different for Luongo on Wednesday, as he gave up three goals on only 20 shots.

The Canucks almost sent the home crowd into a frenzy just 7 1/2 minutes into the game. Daniel Sedin's backhand shot from the slot almost snuck through the legs of Thomas, who was able to find the puck behind him after a brief pause of uncertainty.

But it was the Bruins who lit the lamp first to quiet the crowd.

A right-circle faceoff win by Boston led to Marchand controlling the puck at the bottom of the circle. Marchand skated around with a defender on him before sliding the puck into the slot. The pass intentionally went between the legs of linemate Mark Recchi, before Bergeron tipped the disc home through traffic in front.

Thomas stopped all eight shots he faced in the first period to keep Boston in front.

"Anybody that knows the story of Tim Thomas, he's taken a real bumpy road to get to the NHL," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "He's had so many obstacles in front of him that he's overcome, it makes him a battler, it makes him the perfect goaltender for our organization because that's what we are, we're a blue-collar team that goes out and works hard and earns every inch of the ice that you can get."

Luongo needed a little help from the post early in the second, as Marchand found all iron from in close.

Vancouver's best chance to score came nine minutes into the middle frame. Alexandre Burrows had a wide open net with Thomas out of position, but there was a big problem. Zdeno Chara, standing at 6-foot-9, stopped the puck with his left knee to keep the Canucks off the board.

The rest of the period belonged to the Bruins, who made it 2-0 at the 12:13 mark. A shot from the left point set up a rebound in front. Marchand gathered the puck behind the net and completed the play with a wrap- around goal. Luongo initially stopped the puck with his stick and blocker, but appeared to push the puck into the net.

Chara was sent to the penalty box for interference at 16:07 to give the Canucks the first power play of the game for either side. But Vancouver registered zero shots on net during the man advantage while Boston increased its advantage.

A clearing attempt around the boards by Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg sent Bergeron on a breakaway up the middle of the ice. He was brought down from behind on the play, but somehow managed to score as he collided with Luongo.

A brief review determined that the Quebec native did not strike the disc with his hands as he slid towards the right post.

"Just very disappointed," said Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who brought down Bergeron. "We worked very hard all season long."

Thomas made 13 saves in the second to help put Boston on the verge of victory.

Thomas worked his magic once more in the third, as the MVP turned aside 16 shots as Vancouver made one last stand, taking control of play for wide swaths of the final stanza.

"He was outstanding throughout the whole playoffs. He gave us a chance to win every game. He was so strong, so solid, and he deserves to be the MVP," said Chara of his goaltender.

In a desperate gamble, Luongo was pulled for an extra skater with under three minutes remaining. Marchand's empty-net goal at the 17:16 mark put the game away.

Game Notes

The Bruins snapped an 0-for-5 skid in the Finals since their victory in 1972 over the New York Rangers...Recchi, playing in his 11th career Game 7 and on the verge of retirement, won his third Stanley Cup (1991 with Pittsburgh, 2006 with Carolina)...Jeff Tambellini of Vancouver played for an injured Mason Raymond, who suffered a vertebrae compression fracture in Game 6...The Canucks went 0-for-2 on the power play and went 2-for-31 in the series...Vancouver was trying to become the first Canadian team to win Cup since Montreal in 1993...Bruins forward Nathan Horton, who sustained a severe concussion in Game 3, traveled with his club and was seen in the pregame to pour some melted TD Garden ice onto the Rogers Arena surface.