Canucks beat Bruins to trigger Olympic size party

Thu Jun 2, 2011 7:59am EDT
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By Steve Keating

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Raffi Torres scored with 19 seconds to play in regulation and Roberto Luongo earned the shutout as the Vancouver Canucks stopped the Boston Bruins 1-0 to draw first blood in the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday.

With overtime looming, Torres was the unlikely hero, redirecting a perfect feed from Jannik Hansen past Tim Thomas to trigger a thunderous celebration not heard in Vancouver since Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal to give Canada a victory over the United States in the 2010 Olympic men's final.

"It (Torres goal) was huge," Luongo told reporters. "At one point I thought we might be playing all night here.

"It's just real exciting, especially for a guy like Torres to get a goal like that. He does a lot of stuff that goes unnoticed. But it's nice to see a guy like that get rewarded.

With Vezina Trophy finalists manning both nets, the series opener turned in a goaltending duel between Thomas and Luongo.

Luongo stopped all 36 shots he faced for his fourth career post-season shutout while Thomas was almost as brilliant, handling 34 shots.

Game Two of the best-of-seven series is in Vancouver on Saturday.

"We got two of the best goaltenders in the league battling it out, so obviously scoring is going to be a challenge for both teams," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told reporters. "Obviously two totally different styles of goaltending.   Continued...

<p>Vancouver Canucks left wing Raffi Torres (13) scores a goal past Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff game in Vancouver, British Columbia, June 1, 2011. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>