VANCOUVER — Everybody knew Alex Burrows was fast. Just not this fast.
With the second-speediest overtime goal in NHL playoff and final history, Vancouver's bitingly talented forward moved the Canucks halfway to their first Stanley Cup title.
Burrows circled the net and scored a stunning goal 11 seconds into overtime, and Vancouver took a 2-0 lead in the Cup final with a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday night.
Right after the opening faceoff of overtime, Burrows got a pass from Daniel Sedin and streaked down the side, eluding Boston captain Zdeno Chara behind the net. He extended his stick for a wraparound shot, beating out-of-position goaltender Tim Thomas for his second goal of the game.
"As soon as I got the puck, I knew I was going to fake a shot and then try to beat him," Burrows said. "I lost the puck in front of Tim Thomas, but I got it back, and I got it in."
Only four teams have rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup in 46 tries, though Pittsburgh did it against Detroit in 2009.
Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic scored for the Bruins, who trailed 2-0 in the first round of these playoffs against Montreal — losing both games at home — before rallying to win the series in seven games. The Bruins also defeated the Lightning in seven in the East final.
"It was better today than in Game 1, and we're going to have to keep that up if we want to score some more goals," Lucic said.
Burrows' winner nearly was the fastest OT goal in final history, taking just a bit longer than Brian Skrudland's goal for Montreal nine seconds into Game 2 against Calgary on May 18, 1986.
"Burr comes in to make a sick play," said NHL scoring champion Sedin, who tied it with 10:23 left in the third period. "It was crazy. Outreach a 6-(foot)-9 player? I didn't think he was going to be able to score from where he was. I don't know what happened, but it was really nice to see it go in."
Roberto Luongo made 28 saves for the Canucks, but the night belonged to Burrows, who avoided suspension for this game after being accused of biting Boston's Patrice Bergeron in Game 1. He scored on a power play in the first period, and he even set up Sedin's tying goal with a sharp pass from the slot.
Thomas stopped 30 shots for the Bruins, but his trademark aggressiveness put him too far away from his net in OT. Burrows used his speed to elude the 6-9 Chara before slipping the puck into Thomas' unguarded net.
"We knew our scouting report on Thomas," Burrows said. "We know he likes to come out and challenge and freeze you, so if I shoot there, I think he stops it and covers all the angles, so I wanted to walk around."
Recchi put the Bruins ahead in the second with a power-play goal just 2:35 after Lucic scored Boston's first goal of the series. Recchi, the NHL's oldest active player at 43, ended the Bruins' 5-for-68 power-play drought with a deflection from the slot.
"I think we lost the game ourselves," Boston forward David Krejci said. "Obviously they played well, but we had the game in our hands and we just gave it away."
The Canucks got a pregame boost from the inspirational return of center Manny Malhotra, who hadn't played since a career-threatening eye injury on March 16. The Canucks also played without top defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who missed his first game of the playoffs after getting hurt midway through Game 1 while delivering a check. Andrew Alberts filled in, playing his first game in four weeks.
First—1, Vancouver, Burrows 8 (Higgins, Salo), 12:12 (pp). Penalties—Chara, Bos (interference), 10:24.
Second—2, Boston, Lucic 4 (Boychuk, Krejci), 9:00. 3, Boston, Recchi 3 (Chara, Bergeron), 11:35 (pp). Penalties—Bieksa, Van (delay of game), 1:03; Rome, Van (holding), 10:26; Rome, Van (interference), 18:59.
Third—4, Vancouver, D.Sedin 9 (Burrows, Edler), 9:37. Penalties—Seidenberg, Bos (tripping), :52. First Overtime—5, Vancouver, Burrows 9 (D.Sedin, Edler), :11. Penalties—None. Shots on Goal—Boston 11-14-5-0—30. Vancouver 11-10-11-1—33. Power-play opportunities—Boston 1 of 3; Vancouver 1 of 2. Goalies—Boston, Thomas 12-8-0 (33 shots-30 saves). Vancouver, Luongo 14-6-0 (30-28). A—18,860 (18,810). T—2:35. Referees—Dan O'Halloran, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen—Jay Sharrers, Jean Morin.
WINNIPEG HITS GOAL: Fans in Winnipeg, who got an NHL team back last week, helped the club hit its goal of 13,000 season tickets sold in a matter of minutes. True North Sports and Entertainment, which bought and relocated the Atlanta Thrashers, had said it hoped to sell 13,000 packages before the NHL board of governors votes to approve the transaction June 21. The tickets sold out in 17 minutes, but the company said the online queue was full in two minutes. The remaining 15 minutes were required to process the sales.