VANCOUVER — The Canucks hadn’t played in eight days when they hit the ice for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena last night.
Watching Roberto Luongo play net, however, you never would’ve known there was a layoff.
Luongo made 36 saves on 36 shots in blanking the Bruins, 1-0.
“I’ve said all along when you work hard on your game, we made some adjustments with [goalie coach] Rollie [Melanson] at the beginning of the year, you just go back to those fundamentals when you had a long stretch, make sure that you’re working on those things so you stay sharp,” said Luongo after the Canucks took a 1-0 series lead.
“Obviously the key is, not only for myself, but my teammates to practice hard like you play, then you won’t have the effects of a long layoff.”
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas nearly matched Luongo save for save until Raffi Torres beat him with 18.5 seconds left for the game’s lone goal. Luongo knew early on the game would be a goaltender’s duel.
“Probably the drop of the puck in the first period I mean, right away, Timmy made a few big saves in the first few minutes,” he said about realizing he was in for a battle. “Then they got their power play. I was feeling pretty good. As the game was moving along, obviously there wasn’t a lot of room. But when saves needed to be made, we were both making them.
“I had a feeling we were going to go to overtime and play for a little while here.”
The game didn’t make it to overtime. But it had an overtime feel. This whole series might feel like that, continuing with Saturday’s Game 2.