Stanley Cup Finals: Bruins rest as long season gets longer
BOSTON ó The Prince of Wales trophy sat untouched on a table in the middle of the ice. Itís not the one that Zdeno Chara is hoping to take for a skate.
Instead, the Boston Bruins captain waved his teammates over to pose for a picture.
ěI liked the touch that Zee had, bringing the group around the trophy. I havenít seen that before,î general manager Peter Chiarelli said Saturday, a day after the Bruins beat Tampa Bay 1-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to earn a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. ěYou know, it was just a good time. It was a good moment, just for the organization, and it was a feel-good moment. So I was able to enjoy that for a little bit.î
Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots for his third career playoff shutout ó his second of the conference finals ó and Nathan Horton deflected a pass from David Krejci into the net with 7:33 left for the only goal. With that, the Bruins earned the right to play the Vancouver Canucks for their first Stanley Cup since 1972.
ěIt was a special feeling,î Chiarelli said. ěYou look over and see the ice, see these guys and watch how they celebrate, how they, how emotional they are. You felt good for them, you really felt good for them. … Then immediately after that feeling passed, I realized that we have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. And Iím still feeling that today. Thatís a great feeling.î
Although four of the first six games of the conference finals were high-scoring affairs that left both goaltenders struggling for answers ó and left Tampa Bayís Dwayne Roloson on the bench ó the finale was defensive duel with no penalties at all. Lightning coach Guy Boucher said the entire game felt like sudden-death overtime, and it might as well have been.
Hortonís goal allowed the Boston fans to celebrate, but it wasnít until the final seconds ticked off the clock that the players streamed over the boards and fans began showering the ice with souvenir towels. The Bruins surrounded Tim Thomas to congratulate him on his second shutout of the series, and no one seemed happier than backup goalie Tuukka Rask, who has not played in the postseason.
ěTuukka was like mugging about 10 guys,î Chiarelli said. ěHe was moving around the most and jumping on guys.î
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