Getty ImagesSTANLEY CUP FINALS: After Friday night's 1-0 loss in Vancouver, the Stanley Cup finals moved back to Boston for a do-or-die Game 6 on Monday night. The Stanley Cup was inside the Garden- if the Canucks won, it was theirs for the taking.
But the Bruins had other ideas, and unlike Friday night they got on the board and got on the board early. Brad Marchand opened up the scoring with an even strength tally at the five and a half minute mark in the 1st period. Barely 30 seconds later, the Bruins doubled their lead when Milan Lucic beat Luongo at the 6:06 mark to make it 2-0.
With the lead, the Bruins would uncharacteristically cash in on the man advantage after Alex Edler went to the sin bin for a boarding minor. Andre Ference would chase Luongo for the night just under a minute into the Bruins man advantage. Cory Schnieder went in between the pipes after Vigneault pulled Luongo. Although Schneider stopped all 9 shots faced against the Bruins late in Game 4, he allowed Andrew Ference to tip one in just a minute and 10 seconds after coming in in relief of Luongo to make it a 4-0 game. The four goals in 4 minutes and 14 seconds by one team were a record for the Stanley Cup championship game.
Just when it looked like the Bruins had the game put away, the Canucks would get on the board with Henrki Sedin's first goal of the Stanley Cup finals on a power play to open up the 3rd period. Despite the 3 goal lead, Vancouver threatened to steal away the momentum when shortly after Sedin's goal, a shot that rang off the goalpost was ruled a no-goal after a video review.
However, Boston got the momentum back when they had a 5 on 3 man advantage and for the 2nd time in the evening managed to get one past Cory Schneider 7 minutes into the 3rd period to make it a 5-1 game. The Canucks would get one more with about two and a half minutes left in regulation, but would ultimately fall by a 5-2 final.
Tim Thomas faced 38 shots on the night, turning aside 36 while Roberto Luongo faced only 8 shots, stopping five. Cory Schneider faced 32, turning aside 30.
The win tonight forces a Game 7 in Vancouver on Wednesday night at 5 PM Pacific, 8 PM Eastern. The game will be televised on NBC in the USA and the CBC in Canada. While Boston has outscored Vancouver by a composite 17-3 in the Graden during the final, it had lost the three previous games played in Vancouver by exactly 1 goal.
OTHER NOTES FROM TONIGHT: Canucks Forward Mason Raymond was sent to the hospital with an undisclosed injury after a collision with Johnny Boychuck against the boards in the first period.
Nathan Horton made an appearance at the Garden in Game 6, getting a standing ovation from the crowd.
RED SOX: After a lengthy rain delay on Thursday night in the Bronx, the Yankees got off to an early 2-0 lead against Josh Beckett before the wheels started to come off for CC Sabathia in the top of the 7th, when the Red Sox would score 7 runs and chase Sabathia from the mound.
So completing a come-from behind win and vaulting into first place with a 3 game sweep of the Yankees, the Red Sox headed north of the border into Toronto for a weekend series against the Blue Jays.
Clay Buchholz was on the bump Friday night for the Red Sox 5-1 win against Toronto- and that was actually the closest game of the weekend series. Saturday afternoon's game was a brutal 16-4 beating that saw Jays 2B Mike McCoy come in and pitch some relief (and actually get a 1-2-3 inning for his efforts on the mound). On Sunday afternoon, the Jays managed to hold the Sox offense to a mere 14 runs in their 14-1 loss. Lackey got the win on Sunday while Jon Lester got the win on Sunday.
The Red Sox will next travel to Tampa to take on the Rays. Tampa Bay is coming off a 2-1 loss at Detroit's Comerica Park thanks to a controversial call that cost them a run in the 7th inning on Monday night. The game was a makeup of a May 25th rainout in Detroit. Tim Wakefield (3-1; 4.84 ERA) is expected to get the start against James Shields (5-4; 2.85 ERA). First pitch is at 7:10 and the game will be broadcast on NESN.
ELSEWHERE IN MLB: Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky's 18 year old son Trevor Gretzky was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2011 MLB Draft. The younger Gretzky had previously committed to the San Diego State Aztecs, and he would play under Baseball hall of famer Tony Gwynn is he and the Cubs cannot reach an agreement on their contract.
NCAA FOOTBALL: The BCS has stripped the University of Southern California Trojans of their 2004 title. The decision was made official after the NCAA rejected USC's appeal of sanctions resulting from RB Reggie Bush and his family accepting improper benefits while playing for the Trojans.
Other NCAA sanctions against the school include a two year suspension from postseason play and the revocation of at least 30 scholarships over three seasons.