The Bruins weathered the Vancouver forecheck for a couple of shifts in the first period before getting a gift of a penalty when Kevin Bieksa was sent off for delaying the game even though his clearing attempt hit the glass on its way out of play.
The Bruins power play, however, struggled to create momentum of any kind on the man-advantage, with Michael Ryder generating the only chance when he beat Manny Malhotra off the half-wall and found Mark Recchi in front of the net. Recchi wasn't able to beat Roberto Luongo, however, and the Canucks killed the penalty.
The Bruins started to mix-and-match their lines a bit following the power play, with Tyler Seguin moving up alongsit Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, but it was again Boston's first line that generated their best chance of the game when David Krejci and Nathan Horton worked a strong cycle down low and Krejci found Horton in the low slot for a shot that Luongo barely turned aside.
Johnny Boychuk had struggled mightily of late, having been on the ice for the last eight goals against, but midway through the period, he launched a bomb from the left point that Luongo stopped, but left a rebound on the doorstep that Vancouver native Milan Lucic picked up and snuck under the extended right leg of Luongo to tie the game.
Two shifts later, Aaron Rome was whistled for holding, and the Bruins power play went back to work. This time, Zdeno Chara was back in his usual spot on the point, with Lucic down low in front of the net. But it was a Chara wrister that was tipped in by Mark Recchi - he who so many Bruins fans had been clamoring to get off the power play - that gave the Bruins their first lead of the series.
The goal, which was Recchi's 59th career playoff goal, gave the Kamloops, BC native sole possession of first place in the all-time postseason goals race, breaking a tie that he'd been in with Mike Modano, Luc Robitaille, Guy Lafleur and Boom Boom Geoffrion.
A strong Canucks' counterattack was countered by the Bruins as the period wound down, and Boston earned themselves another power play after Rome went for interference with just a minute to play in the period. They didn't convert, but they'll have a minute of man-advantage time to start the third period.
In game one, Boston played a very strong road game - essentially, played fundamentally sound, created chances when they presented themselves, didn't make a lot of mistakes and made Vancouver beat them. At no point in the four prior period in this series had the Bruins really generated a consistent offensive attack. They started to in this period, showing Vancouver and - more importantly - themselves just how good they can be when they want to.
But this game's a long way from being over, and they know that. They'll need to up the effort even more in the third period if they want to maintain their lead and take home-ice advantage away from Vancouver.
SOG Boston 14 (25) Vancouver 10 (21)
Penalties Vancouver: Bieksa (Delay), 1:03; Rome (Holding), 10:26, Rome (Interference), 18:59.
Goals Boston: Lucic (4): Boychuk, Krejci, 9:00; Recchi PPG (3): Chara, Bergeron, 11:35.