There’s plenty of reasons to stay upbeat

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By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / June 11, 2011

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — It came down to one goal, as they all have here. For the third time at Rogers Arena, the Bruins and Canucks were separated by a single goal in the Stanley Cup Final. And, for the third time, the winning team was the Canucks.

That should be the Bruins’ solace, in the face of returning to Boston for Game 6, trailing in the series, 3-2, after losing, 1-0, last night. That should be their hope. If the Bruins win Monday night, they have the ability to win here. Sure, they haven’t yet. But the Bruins have played three winnable games north of the border. One more bounce, one more crisp pass, one more error by Roberto Luongo, one successful power play and the Bruins would have stolen home ice from the Canucks.

Not so for Vancouver in Boston.

“That being said, tonight we had to be better,’’ Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. “It doesn’t matter if you lose 10-0 or 1-0, it’s still a loss. That being said, what matters at the end of the day is the win and getting four. We’re going to make sure we concentrate on the third win, Game 6, and go from there.’’

Yes, first the Bruins need to win in Boston to extend the series to a seventh game. They have outscored the Canucks, 12-1, at the Garden.

It’s been much different in Vancouver, much tighter games going down to the final minutes.

“Not good enough,’’ Milan Lucic said. “I don’t think it was poor. I mean, we only gave up one goal. We need to find a way to play better, especially here on the road. The last five games it seems like we haven’t had all 20 guys going like we have at home.

“We had chances. Unfortunately you look at those chances, there wasn’t quality traffic in front of the net. We were able to outshoot them. We were able to get those chances. But you need results in order to move forward.’’

The things that have separated the Bruins from wins in Vancouver have been momentary lapses, a goal with 18.5 seconds left in the third period in Game 1, a goal just 11 seconds into overtime in Game 2, a right-place, right-time goal by Max Lapierre, sending a rebound past goalie Tim Thomas in the third period last night.

It was a goal that Lapierre acknowledged the Canucks were “a little lucky’’ to score the way they did. And yet, it was enough.

“We knew we were in the game the whole time,’’ Bruins winger Michael Ryder said. “These three games here, we were in it. It was one-goal games. It’s just a matter of us bearing down. They play well at home. It’s a matter of us doing the same on Monday. We knew that we had to win one game in here to win it. It’s going to be a battle.

“We’re still a confident team in here. It was only a 1-0 game. It’s just a matter of us maybe scoring on a couple chances that we had. But that’s it. It’s the way the game goes.’’

He mentioned, too, that the Bruins have to “outwork’’ the Canucks. It was a sentiment also expressed by Gregory Campbell, a sentiment that perhaps indicates the difference in three games in which the two teams were separated by three goals.

“I don’t think, to be honest with you, we played as well as we could here, for whatever reason,’’ Campbell said. “I don’t think I can put my finger on it. It’s definitely not because of their crowd, it’s because we’re not working hard enough to create those chances. I don’t want to label our game as we didn’t work hard enough. But we lost the game. We’re disappointed in ourselves. It was an opportunity lost. But there’s no time to hang our heads.’’

As Bruins coach Claude Julien said, “Good effort, not good enough.’’

Amalie Benjamin can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.

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