Lord Stanley’s Cup was in the TD Garden on Monday night but it was all for naught.
The Boston Bruins set the record for the fastest four goals in the Stanley Cup Final, en route to defeating the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 in Game 6 and forcing a seventh game.
Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference and Michael Ryder scored within a 4:14 span in the first period. David Krejci added an insurance marker in the third and Tim Thomas finished with 36 saves.
Henrik Sedin and Maxim Lapierre scored for Vancouver in the third but it was too little too late, especially after Roberto Luongo was chased from the net midway through the first period after allowing three goals on eight shots. Cory Schneider came in relief and made 30 saves.
Vancouver had its first scare of the night in the opening minute when Boston’s Johnny Boychuk sent Mason Raymond crashing backwards into the boards. Raymond was helped off the ice by teammates and was taken to a local hospital for further examination.
Once play resumed, the Canucks looked to get on the board first when Kevin Bieksa fired the puck from the blueline and the rebound came straight to an open Sedin. The bouncing puck fluttered past the Vancouver captain’s stick and Sedin couldn’t bury it into the near-empty net.
It was a play that quickly haunted the Canucks as the Bruins grabbed the lead and never looked back. Marchand skated down the wing and fired the puck over Luongo’s left shoulder at 5:31 for his ninth of the playoffs.
Before they could even announce the goal, Boston was back at it, grabbing a 2-0 lead just 35 seconds later. Lucic threw a quick wrist shot through Luongo’s five-hole that trickled into the net.
Showing frustration, Alex Edler sent Rich Peverley into the boards, giving Boston the first power play of the game. Ference made Vancouver pay on the man advantage with a slapshot at 8:35 that sent Luongo to the showers early.
Schneider took over but on the second shot he faced, Ryder tipped in Tomas Kaberle’s point shot, making it 4-0 at 9:45.
Patrice Bergeron crashed into Schneider early in the second period but on the ensuing power play, the best Vancouver could do against Thomas was to hit the post.
Later in the period, Ryan Kesler and Victor Oreskovich went in on a 2-on-1 but Kesler surely missed his linemate Raymond as Oreskovich lost the puck in his skates and couldn’t get it past Thomas.
Things looked like they were turning around for Vancouver when Bergeron took his third consecutive penalty to close the second period and the Canucks finally came alive. At the start of the third, Sedin swooped in on fresh ice and backhanded the puck over a scrambling Thomas for his first point of the Final, 22 seconds into the period.
Less than three minutes later, Jannik Hansen hit the post and threw his arms up in celebration but the refs waved it off as the puck hadn’t actually crossed the line.
The Canucks grew even more frustrated, resulting in costly penalties and giving Boston a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity. Krejci took the rest of the wind out of the sails, receiving a hard pass from Mark Recchi and slamming home his 12th of the post-season at 6:59.
Lapierre scored at 17:34 but barely had the energy to celebrate as he knew time wasn’t on his team’s side.
Game 7 takes place Wednesday night at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Notes: The previous record for the fastest four goals in a Stanley Cup Final game was 5:29, set by the Montreal Canadiens against the Detroit Red Wings in 1956. … Vancouver lost in seven games to the New York Rangers in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. … Boston has never played in a Stanley Cup Final Game 7. … Krejci’s 12 goals is the most by a Czech player in a playoff year. Jaromir Jagr scored 11 in 1992 and 1996. … Luongo is 3-0 with two shutouts and a 0.67 goals-against average at home in the Final but allowed 15 goals in three games in Boston.