Boston—The Stanley Cup was resting in its carrying case, ready to be transported to TD Garden for its annual shining moment.
Now it's on its way to Vancouver. The Boston Bruins emphatically made sure of that Monday at TD Garden.
The Bruins rocked the Vancouver Canucks for the third time in as many games on their home ice. They scored four times before 10 minutes had elapsed, chasing Roberto Luongo to the bench and setting themselves up for a free ride to the finish line of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Boston 5, Vancouver 2.
Game 7 is Wednesday at Rogers Arena. History will be made.
The Bruins' four goals in a span of 4:14 in the first period set a record for the fastest four goals by one team in the Stanley Cup Final. It shattered the previous record of 5:29, set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1956.
Boston scored its four goals within the first 9:45 of the game, but Luongo was benched 70 seconds earlier after giving up his third goal on eight shots.
Luongo's final stats in three starts at TD Garden in the Stanley Cup Final read like a horror story for a goaltender: 8.05 goals-against average, .773 save percentage. He allowed 15 goals on 66 shots over 111 minutes and 52 seconds of playing time. He was pulled in the third period of Game 4 and before nine minutes had elapsed in the first period of Game 5.
He left to the fans serenading him with a derisive "Luuuuu-ongoooo, Luuuuu-ongoooo, Luuuuu-ongoooo" chant that started up again midway through the second period and came and went as the rest of the game unfolded.
Suffice to say, Luongo won't be vacationing in Boston this summer.
The Bruins, though, also gave a rude welcome to hometown boy Cory Schneider by scoring on their second shot against him to go up 4-0. Schneider at least made it through the rest of the game allowing only a 5-on-3 goal to David Krejci with 13:01 to play in regulation.
Boston's first-period onslaught began with a goal from Brad Marchand at 5:31. He got a pass from Mark Recchi in stride, skated into the right circle and wired a wrist shot into the near corner, over Luongo's catching glove.
It was the first of three assists for Recchi in Game 6. The 43-year-old veteran has 6 points in the series and 13 points in the playoffs. Game 7 could be Recchi's last in the NHL. He already has two Stanley Cup rings.
Before most in the press box could finish jotting down the specifics of Marchand's goal in their notebooks, Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead. He put the puck through Luongo's five-hole from inside the left circle 35 seconds after Marchand scored. Johnny Boychuk sent the puck up to Rich Peverley, who knifed down the middle of the zone before setting up Lucic with a backhanded drop pass.
Alex Edler gave the Bruins their first power play less than two minutes later when he ignored a potential icing and boarded Peverley behind the Canucks' net. It took Boston just 40 seconds to make Vancouver pay. Andrew Ference's shot from the left point sailed through traffic and beat Luongo, giving the Bruins a 3-0 lead on their eighth shot of the game.
That was it for Luongo.
At least Game 7 is at home, where Luongo is 3-0 with two shutouts, an 0.67 GAA and .979 save percentage in this Final.
Boston added one more goal for good measure when Michael Ryder beat Schneider for his eighth goal of the playoffs by getting a piece of Tomas Kaberle's one-timer from the left point. The sequence started with Canucks rookie defenseman Chris Tanev giving the puck away by tossing an errant pass up the left wing boards.
By the end of it the scoring barrage, every Canuck except Tanner Glass, Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond was a minus-1.
Raymond, though, had no chance to help his team as he was injured 20 seconds into the contest when he was rammed into the corner boards backside-first by Boychuk. He was helped off the ice by Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler and was taken to the hospital. No further update was given from the Canucks.
Vancouver finally had something positive happen early in the third period when Henrik Sedin scored a power-play goal at 22 seconds, giving him his first point of the Final. The Canucks were inches away from scoring another goal less than three minutes later, but Jannik Hansen's one-timer from the slot hit off the bottom part of the left post and came out.
The Canucks celebrated as if it was a goal and the officials stopped the play, but replays clearly showed the puck did not cross the line.
Shortly after, Krejci scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal off a pretty cross-crease feed from Recchi to slam the door on any potential Canucks' comeback. Maxim Lapierre added one more for the Canucks off a feed from Daniel Sedin, but it was simply window dressing.
The fans had fun chanting "Luuuuu-ongoooo" a few more times and then "We want the Cup" before pouring out onto Causeway Street for a celebration.
Will it resume Wednesday with Boston's first Stanley Cup party since 1972, or will Vancouver get the celebration it's been waiting for since the Canucks were born in 1970?
Game 7 at Rogers Arena starts at 8 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC, RDS). One of these franchises won't be suffering for too much longer.
(Courtesy of: www.nhl.com)