Top 10 games No. 2: Bruins conquer Canucks in Cup Final preview

Lucic/By S. Bradley

This post is part of a series looking back at the top 10 games of the Bruins’ 2010-11 regular season.

It was billed as the six-game road trip that would define the rest of the Bruins’ season.

When they got back home, it was obvious they had a team that was built for some sort of a lengthy run.

With games against some of the league’s worst teams filling most of the docket, Boston’s Feb. 26 visit to Vancouver figured to be the toughest task of the trip. What unfolded that night was one of the team’s best wins of the regular season — a game worthy of No. 2 on the list of top 10 games of the regular-season as picked by TheBruinsBlog.net.

Prior to the trip, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli got a jump on the trading deadline by swinging deals for Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley and Tomas Kaberle. With a new-look roster, the Bruins won the first three games of the trip by combined score of 13-6, including a hard-fought 3-1 win over Calgary.

The Bruins then had three days off in Vancouver to prepare for their game with the team with the league’s best record. the night didn’t start well for the Bruins, who fell behind 1-0 in the first 20 minutes on a goal Manny Maholtra scored while falling down.

Along the way, the Bruins lost defenseman Andrew Ference to a knee injury that would keep him out for a few weeks. Even while shorthanded on the back end, the Bruins showed their trademark resiliency and tied the game 9:56 into the second period when Nathan Horton stuffed in his own rebound after Milan Lucic threw the puck to the front.

Lucic, however, wasn’t done burning his hometown team.

With just 4:38 left in the third period, Lucic put the Bruins ahead to stay when he went to the net and cashed in on a rebound of a Dennis Seidenberg shot. With 1:13 left, Patrice Bergeron’s empty-net goal — assisted by Lucic — sealed the victory.

Tim Thomas left his mark on Vancouver for a first time this season with a 27-save performance. Lucic was plus-3 and Horton was plus-2. The Bruins won the last two games for a perfect 6-0 road trip.

No one could say they that after watching Boston’s victory in Vancouver or the entirety of that road trip that they definitely thought the Bruins would be back in British Columbia in June for a rematch. All anyone really knew was that the Bruins had emerged as one of the league’s Cup contenders.

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