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Bruins head home with hill to climb

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, right, and goalie Tim Thomas get to the net too late to prevent the Game 2 winner in overtime.

Associated Press

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, right, and goalie Tim Thomas get to the net too late to prevent the Game 2 winner in overtime.

VANCOUVER — The Bruins couldn't have enjoyed the scenery late Saturday night while their team bus crawled through the raucous street party that consumed downtown Vancouver after the Canucks moved halfway to their first NHL title.

Maybe the Stanley Cup final's move east will finally give the Bruins something to celebrate.

Game 3 is tonight at Boston's TD Garden after a quick cross-continent trip Sunday.

Only four teams have rallied from a 2-0 final deficit in 46 tries. Boston must win four of the next five to beat the Canucks, the league's best regular-season team and the winner of seven of their past eight playoff games.

"We'll be disappointed, and we're allowed to be," said Mark Recchi, 43, who ended an 11-game goal drought with a power-play score in Game 2. "But we'll take a lot of positives out of these games. … We'll worry about (today) and doing our job at home."

Boston has rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win a series just once in 27 tries — but it was just weeks ago, in the first round of this postseason against Montreal.

"Now is not the time to squeeze your stick and to panic," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said Sunday afternoon after the team arrived in Boston.

In Game 2, the Bruins lost for just the third time in 41 games this season when leading after two periods. Vancouver dominated the third period for the second straight game, with Daniel Sedin tying it midway through before Alex Burrows won it with his thrilling wraparound goal 11 seconds into overtime.

"We have four lines that go out there and play the same way," said Sedin, the league scoring champion. "We get pucks deep. We forecheck really hard. It wears teams down. It's been like this the whole season."

Still, Boston's defense held the Canucks' top line scoreless for the first five periods of the series, bullying Daniel and Henrik Sedin into ineffectiveness.

"The positive is we basically lost both games by one goal," Boston forward David Krejci said. "That hurts, but we know we're in the game, and we know we can do it."

Vancouver is trying to wear out 6-foot-9 star defenseman Zdeno Chara with constant collisions, even if the Canucks take the worst of them. The Canucks believe they can wear Chara down — and it showed in his numerous misplays and turnovers.

"I guess all of a sudden you lose a game, and now we're going to start wondering about certain players," Bruins coach Claude Julien said in Chara's defense. "I think it's really about our whole team. It's not about Zdeno."

The Bruins need goals from players who didn't grow up in the Vancouver area. British Columbia natives Milan Lucic and Recchi scored in Game 3, but Boston has just three goals in its past three games going back to the East final against the Lightning.

DUDLEY OUT: reported that True North Entertainment, which bought the Thrashers and relocated the team to Winnipeg last week, will not retain general manager Rick Dudley, the former Lightning GM. ESPN said Winnipeg would offer the job to Blackhawks assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Stanley Cup final

Canucks 2, Bruins 0

Game 1: Canucks 1, Bruins 0

Game 2: Canucks 3, Bruins 2 OT

Tonight: at Boston, 8, Versus

Wednesday: at Boston, 8, Versus

Friday: at Vancouver, 8, Ch. 8 *

June 13: at Boston, 8, Ch. 8 *

June 15: at Vancouver, 8, Ch. 8 *

* If necessary

Bruins head home with hill to climb 06/05/11 [Last modified: Sunday, June 5, 2011 8:54pm]
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