Seventh heaven awaits Boston Bruins or Vancouver Canucks

Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:05am EDT
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By Steve Keating

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Bruins mauled the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 Monday to send the Stanley Cup final back to Canada's west coast for a winner-take-all Game Seven.

An 82-games regular season and two-months of punishing playoffs will reach a dramatic conclusion Wednesday in Vancouver with the Canucks claiming their first NHL championship or the Bruins ending a 39-year title drought.

"At the end of the day, they won and we're going back home in front of our fans," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault told reporters after another lopsided loss in Boston. "They've won at home, we've won at home, and we're going back home.

"One game showdown to win the Cup. That's it."

Five Stanley Cup banners hang from the rafters of TD Garden and the Bruins are still on track for a sixth after a comfortable win tied the best-of-seven series 3-3.

Home-ice advantage has been the one constant in a hard-hitting and occasionally ill-tempered final that has seen wild swings in momentum. Boston lost all three games in Vancouver by one-goal margins but dominated at home winning 8-1, 4-0 and 5-2.

With the Stanley Cup in the building and the champagne on ice in the event of a Canucks win, the suspense hung heavy over a packed arena that crackled with electricity Monday.

Backed by a seething black-and-gold crowd, the Bruins were quickly on the attack, Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic scoring 35 seconds apart before Andrew Ference's power-play goal made it 3-0 and chased a reeling Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver net.   Continued...

<p>Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand (R) punches Vancouver Canucks' Daniel Sedin during the third period in Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff in Boston, Massachusetts, June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>