Canucks edge Bruins in Cup rematch
|Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler is congratulated by teammate Christopher Higgins after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins in the first period action during their NHL hockey game in Boston, Massachusetts January 7, 2012. (REUTERS/Adam Hunger)
BOSTON - Henrik Sedin scored one of three consecutive power play goals that lifted the Canucks over the Bruins, 4-3, in a rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
Alexandre Burrows, Cody Hodgson and Ryan Kesler also tallied for Vancouver, which lost the seven-game Cup Finals last June after being shut out by Tim Thomas in the decisive contest.
But the Canucks beat Thomas four times on 36 shots Saturday thanks to the man advantage scoring all four of their goals during a power play. Hodgson's tally, coming 69 seconds into the third period, was the deciding score.
Kevin Bieksa had two assists and Cory Schneider made 36 saves to earn the win, Vancouver's second in a row.
Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley and David Krejci each lit the lamp for Boston, which had won nine of its last 10.
Hodgson blasted a slap shot past Thomas for what would become the game winner at the 1:09 mark of the third. Dan Hamhuis gathered the puck and circled around the Canucks' net before heading out on the rush. Hodgson took the pass around the blue line before pulling back and letting the disc fly from the slot.
Krejci's goal 42 seconds later made it a 4-3 game, but Vancouver smothered the Bruins for the remainder of the period to lock up the win. Joe Corvo let a shot rip from just inside the blue line, but it was knocked down in traffic in front of the net before Krejci corralled the puck and backhanded it into the back of the net.
Peverly put Boston up 2-1 in the second after ripping a goal past Schneider from the slot. Benoit Pouliot was able to cause a Canucks turnover before Peverly handled the puck and beat Luongo top shelf.
But the Canucks came back to make it a 2-2 game with just over 4 1/2 minutes left in the second period. Hodgson ripped shot from the slot but Burrows redirected the puck over Thomas' glove for his 16th goal of the season.
Vancouver took a 3-2 lead with 13 seconds to play in the second stanza after Sedin sent the disc over Thomas' far shoulder from the slot.
The Canucks took advantage of an early power play when Kesler one-timed a Sami Salo shot into the back of the net. Salo pulled back as if he was going to shoot but sent the puck to Kesler, who lit the lamp for the 11th time this season.
Vancouver is a perfect 5-0 against the Northeast Division this season...Burrows caught a Bruins player in the face with his stick sparking a multi-player fight just four minutes into the game...Boston's Patrice Bergeron picked up his team-best 23rd assist.