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Vancouver's Stanley Cup fate rests between the pipes

Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo makes a glove save against the Boston Bruins during the second period of game 5 Stanley Cup final playoff hockey action in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, June 10, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Jonathan Hayward/CP

Roberto Luongo sometimes plays two poor games in a row, but he rarely plays three consecutive stinkers.

That he held to form allowed the Vancouver Canucks to move one win away from the Stanley Cup.

The Canucks beat the Bruins 1-0 in Game 5, and Luongo recorded his NHL-best fourth shutout of the playoffs with a 31-save performance. He bounced back from two ugly games in Boston, and looked confident from the get go.

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Now if he plays like that in Game 6 Monday, the Canucks should finish off this puppy and be Stanley Cup champions for the first time in 40 years.

Some other thoughts and impressions on Game 5...


1. Alexander Edler: Every now and then, he puts that big body to good use. That was the case Friday, as Edler was physically dominant and was credited with 10 hits. When you see nights like that, you wonder why Edler doesn't play that way every game?

2. Top six forwards: They went scoreless again, and the power play went 0-for-4 to slide to 1-for-26 in the series. Still think the Sedin line, the Ryan Kesler line, and/or the power play or going to have to score to at some point.


1. Tim Thomas: He flourishes when challenged, and his counterpart sent him one with post-game comments about Thomas's style of play. "It's not hard [to make the save on Maxim Lapierre's goal]if you're playing in the paint. It's an easy save for me, but if you are wandering out and aggressive like he does, that's going to happen."

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2. Zdeno Chara: He possess the hardest shot in the NHL, yet he had six of them blocked. That's the desire and sacrifice needed to win a Cup, and the Bruins will have to match Vancouver's will on home ice Monday.

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About the Author
B.C. sports correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Matthew spearheads the Globe's sports coverage in B.C., and spends most of his time with the NHL Canucks and CFL Lions. He has worked for four dailies and TSN since graduating from Carleton University's School of Journalism a decade ago, and has covered the Olympic Games, Super Bowls, Grey Cups, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA Finals. More

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