Much like early in game one, both the Bruins and Canucks traded early chances, but this time around, the officials kept their whistles at their sides and allowed the game to take its own course. The result was an inspired offensive effort from Boston and a strong counterattack from Vancouver, which got a huge burst from the return of Manny Malhotra from an eye injury in mid-March.
There was lots of open ice, thanks mainly in part to a much more physical presence from both teams - Johnny Boychuk laid an early hit on Ryan Kesler that left the Vancouver centerman to skate to the bench in obvious pain. Kesler stayed in the game, but was shaken up for a bit after the contact. Dennis Seidenberg was on the receiving end of a couple of big hits in his own zone, but also had the biggest play of the early going, batting a loose puck that had crept past Tim Thomas out of the crease, ending Vancouver's best chance of the first seven-plus minutes.
Andrew Alberts, playing in place of the injured Dan Hamhuis, made his presence felt when he laid a big hit on Mark Recchi in the neutral zone a little later in the period, but Recchi also remained in the game.
A strong checking game from Vancouver in the middle of the period kept Boston from gaining the attacking zone with any regularity, as the Bruins spent a lot of time trying to pass their way through the Canucks' trap.
An Alberts' miscue led to a great chance for Michael Ryder in a 2-on-1 with Tyler Seguin midway through the period. After Alberts left his lane to attempt a hit on Chris Kelly, the ice opened and Ryder kept the puck, wristing it at Roberto Luongo and knocking the Vancouver netminder's mask off in the process.
On the next shift, Zdeno Chara attempted to shut down Kesler gaining the Boston zone, but it was ruled that he stopped moving his skates to do so, putting Vancouver on the game's first power play. The Canucks power play immediately set up in the Boston zone, creating much more space than they had at any point in the first game.
With Kesler, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin manning the forward slots on the first shift, the Canucks were quick to take a shot anytime they had the lane, but Thomas was up to the task.
After a couple strong shifts by Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand in the attacking zone while on the kill, the Canucks got the puck back low and got back to doing what they're best at when Alexandre Burrows got a no-angle shot from the goal line past Andrew Ference and through Thomas' legs and into the net.
Both Boston and Vancouver seemed to settle in after the first goal, with each team getting some possessions in the attacking zone before Vancouver's forecheck again isolated the Bruins from their offensive end. Boston generated a couple looks in the waning minute of the period when they caught Vancouver pinching, but the Bruins certainly have their work cut out for them if they hope to leave Vancouver with the series tied.
SOG Boston 11 Vancouver 11
Penalties Boston: Chara (Interference), 10:24.
Goals Vancouver: Burrows (8), PPG: Higgins, Salo; 12:12.