Lucic’s heroics not enough
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Milan Lucic summed up last night’s heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss in a way many Bruins fans can relate to.
“It [stinks] right now,’’ said Lucic, who was all smiles when the Bruins arrived in Vancouver last Tuesday.
He wasn’t somber after Alex Burrows’s overtime goal put the Canucks ahead of the Bruins, 2-0, in the Stanley Cup Final, but he was close.
“We can’t dwell on it too much, we’ve got to look forward to what we need to do to get back in the series,’’ he said.
Lucic, who hails from Vancouver, scored nine minutes into the second period, tying the game at 1-1. He outmuscled a Canucks defenseman and managed to bang home a rebound past the outstretched right pad of goalie Roberto Luongo.
Lucic’s fourth goal of the postseason ended Luongo’s shutout streak at 138 minutes 54 seconds.
Suddenly, after looking offensively inept for more than four periods in the Cup Final, the Bruins looked alive, courtesy of their regular-season scoring leader.
They looked primed to take control of the game and even the series with the next two games back in Boston.
“It was nice to get a couple tonight and not be shut out like we were last game,’’ said Lucic, who also added four hits.
“We talked about it going all the way back to the first series. Lot of goals are scored in front of the net and you’ve got to create that net-front presence.’’
Bruins coach Claude Julien slightly adjusted his plan of having Zdeno Chara screen Luongo.
Moving Lucic up to harass Luongo had some payoff.
It was really the first time in the series the Bruins were able to get to the front of Luongo’s crease and establish a presence.
Mark Recchi scored just 2:35 later — on the power play, no less — to give the Bruins the lead.
The veteran forward did a fly-by of the Canucks crease and was able to redirect Chara’s shot over Luongo’s shoulder.
Lucic wasn’t on the ice, but his earlier goal and hard work in front of the net set an example of what the Bruins must do if they are to be successful in this series.
“We thought that [Lucic] was bringing a pretty good physical presence tonight,’’ said Julien.
The Canucks tied it up, with Lucic on the ice, and won in overtime.
This isn’t the first time the Bruins have been forced to fight through a 2-0 series deficit in these playoffs.
They fell behind Montreal, 2-0, in the opening round, before winning the series in seven games.
“We played hard tonight,’’ said Lucic. “It’s definitely tough to swallow. We definitely played a better game today than we did in Game 1.
“We were able to get that lead in the second period, but we can’t get down, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves in the position that we’re in.
“We’re going to have to regroup and figure out a way to get ourselves back in the series going back to Boston.’’