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VANCOUVER (AP) — The good news for the Bruins is they are headed back to Boston, where they waxed the Canucks by a 12-1 score the last to games, to save their season in Game 6.
The bad news is they would still have to come back to Vancouver for Game 7.
The hosts have won the first five games of this Stanley Cup finals after the Canucks’ 1-0 victory on Friday night. That won’t be an easy trend to interrupt, even if Vancouver won all three of its games on goals scored after the second intermission.
“I don’t know how to explain it, especially in a series where you don’t have home-ice advantage,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. “You’ve got to find a way to win at least one game on the road if you want to come out on top, and for some reason we haven’t been able to.”
Milan Lucic Game 5 Post
It’s hardly a new trend. The host has now won the first five games of the last three Cup finals.
The Canucks are hoping to repeat what Chicago did last season, clinching the Cup by winning Game 6 on the road in Philadelphia.
Boston is hoping to follow the path of Pittsburgh, which won Game 6 at home and Game 7 in Detroit back in 2009.
“It seems like so far the home crowds have helped the teams,” Boston goalie Tim Thomas said. “It’s not always the case, but going home for Game 6, we hope it’s the case one more time. We’ll worry about the road crowd after that.”
In the 20 years prior, the home team only won the first four games once — in 2003 between Anaheim and New Jersey — but the hosts are 16-2 over the last three years. Rarely have the wins been as dominant as Boston’s first two victories by a combined 12-1 — a trend the Canucks hope to reverse.
Since the Stanley Cup finals became a best-of-seven series in 1939, the home team has only won all seven games three times: in 1955, 1965 and 2003.
“We’re going to take (Saturday) to travel to Boston, relax tomorrow, have a good practice the next day,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “And then we’re going to focus on the process, focus on what we need to do to put our best game on the ice.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)