The Boston Bruins will have to do something they haven’t managed so far in the Stanley Cup Final to end their 39-year wait for a National Hockey League title -- win on the road.
All six games in the series have been claimed by the home team. Last night, the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 in front of a capacity crowd of 17,565 at TD Garden in Boston to set up a deciding Game 7 in Vancouver tomorrow.
“We know how to beat these guys,” said Jeff Nagle, 22, a Bruins fan and recent graduate of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. “We can beat them.”
The Bruins left the ice to thunderous chants of “We want the Cup” last night after tying the championship series at three games apiece. As fans poured out onto Causeway Street after the game, the top floors of Boston’s Prudential Center were lit up with “Go Bs.”
The Bruins scored four goals in a four minute, 14-second first-period span to take control of Game 6.
The opening goals by Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic were 35 seconds apart. When Andrew Ference scored the third, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo was benched in favor of Cory Schneider, a Massachusetts native who played for Boston College.
Boston’s second shot against Schneider yielded the fourth goal, a deflection into the net by Michael Ryder of a Tomas Kaberle slap shot.
After a goalless second period, the Canucks scored early in the third through Henrik Sedin. David Krejci made it 5-1 for the home team before Maxim Lapierre added another for the Canucks.
A disappointed Raymond Kirk traveled from Calgary to cheer for the Canucks.
“They never make it easy,” said the 37-year-old office manager, who was wearing a team jersey bearing Mason Raymond’s No. 21. “They have one chance to win the cup. I’ll take that.”
Vancouver hasn’t won the title since joining the NHL in 1970, two years before the Bruins got the last of their five Stanley Cups. The Game 7 host has a 12-3 record in the Stanley Cup Final, though Pittsburgh won at Detroit in the last decider two years ago.
“I go home. I pack. I go to Vancouver,” Bruins fan Mark Wallace, 38, who works in Boston for an environmental data company, said after last night’s win.
Wallace said he’ll “cheer with thunderous roars” tomorrow from his seat 11 rows behind the net at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
“I think I might cry” when the Bruins hoist the cup, he said.