By Brian Willwerth
In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night, the goaltending was spectacular. The penalties were many. The hits were punishing. The goals were few and far between.
It was a scoreless tie until Raffi Torres took a feed from Jannik Hansen, and beat Tim Thomas with 18.5 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Canucks a 1-0 victory over the Bruins, and a 1-0 lead in the series.
Thomas and Robert Luongo were incredible between the pipes all night. The two teams combined for 70 shots. The first 69 were stopped, while the 70th was not.
Thomas’ best saves came in the third period, when he stoned Hansen on a breakaway. Then a few minutes later, he robbed Maxim Lapierre on a 2-on-1. Shortly thereafter, he caught a huge break when Alexander Edler’s shot hit the crossbar. But he had practically no chance on Torres’ game-winner.
One play that will be talked about in the days to come happened at the end of the first period. Vancouver’s Alex Burrows was penalized for roughing. Replays showed he appeared to bite (yes, bite) the finger of Patrice Bergeron.
That penalty was one of 13 called in the game. But the teams combined to go 0-for-12 on the power play. Each team was unsuccessful with a two-man advantage.
Game 2 is Saturday night in Vancouver.