Torres quickly flipped the puck past sprawling Bruins goalie Tim Thomas after a sharp pass from Jannik Hansen with 18.5 seconds to play, and Vancouver stunned Boston 1-0 on Wednesday night.
"I heard Raffi yelling (for the puck)," Hansen said, grinning. "It was easy to hear him."
Roberto Luongo made 36 saves in his third shutout of the postseason for the Canucks, but Thomas matched him until Torres — the only Canuck playing in the Cup final with previous final experience — slipped through the Bruins' defense for an eye-popping goal that launched a wild celebration at Rogers Arena.
"I thought we were going to play all night the way it was going," Luongo said. "It was an exciting way to start the series. It was such a close game. It could've gone either way, a flip of the coin."
Thomas stopped 33 shots for the Bruins, who went scoreless on six power plays. Boston also killed six Vancouver power plays in a stellar defensive game against the NHL's highest-scoring team until the final minute, when the Canucks' third-line wings connected.
Hansen spotted Torres streaking toward the net and floated a pass right to him, and Torres slipped it past Thomas for his third goal of the postseason.
"We brought him in because he was an emotional, physical player," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said of Torres, who lost the 2006 Stanley Cup final with Edmonton. "He comes to play, prepares himself real well. We need him to play the way he does. He's a little bit sometimes outside the box, but you've got to let him be who he is."
Torres' goal ended Thomas' shutout streak at just under 129 minutes. He hadn't allowed a goal since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final, shutting out the Lightning in Game 7.
Ryan Kesler also got an assist for forcing Johnny Boychuk's turnover that set up the scoring sequence in a tense, tight-checking game that featured stellar defense and bad-tempered play by both clubs.
Canucks forward Alex Burrows could face league discipline for a scrum after the first-period buzzer in which he is accused of biting a gloved finger of Boston's Patrice Bergeron.
Bergeron complained to officials before skating off the ice, holding up the finger, and television replays appeared to show Burrows biting the finger.
Burrows told Canada's French-language RDS network that Bergeron's finger was in his mouth but he didn't bite it.
Bergeron said he was bitten, underneath the fingernail on his right index finger, and needed to take antibiotics as a precaution.
"(Burrows) said (in the scrum), 'You put your finger in my mouth. What do you expect me to do?' " Bergeron said. "I don't mind the rough play and those scrums at the end, as long as it's just pushing and shoving and all that. But biting? I mean, come on."
Burrows got a double minor.
Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis skated off in pain four minutes into the second period after delivering a hip check on Boston's Milan Lucic, who fell head over skates to the ice. Hamhuis, a shutdown defenseman enjoying a strong playoff run, had to crawl over the Vancouver bench to get to the locker room.
Vigneault said Hamhuis was fine. He was listed as day to day.
First Period—None. Penalties—D.Sedin, Van, double minor (high-sticking), 4:03; Kelly, Bos (high-sticking), 8:47; Burrows, Van (holding), 10:18; Marchand, Bos (holding stick), 13:25; Bergeron, Bos (roughing), 20:00; Burrows, Van, double minor (roughing), 20:00.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Bieksa, Van (high-sticking), :28; Krejci, Bos (cross-checking), 4:00; Seidenberg, Bos (kneeing), 9:28; Peverley, Bos (hooking), 9:54; Burrows, Van (tripping), 10:02; Bergeron, Bos (tripping), 17:50.
Third Period—1, Vancouver, Torres 3 (Hansen, Kesler), 19:41. Penalties—None.
Shots on Goal—Boston 17-9-10—36. Vancouver 12-8-14—34. Power-play opportunities—Boston 0 of 6; Vancouver 0 of 6. Goalies—Boston, Thomas 12-7-0 (34 shots-33 saves). Vancouver, Luongo 13-6-0 (36-36). A—18,860 (18,810). T—2:34. Referees—Stephen Walkom, Dan O'Rourke. Linesmen—Pierre Racicot, Steve Miller.