Bruins-Canucks Preview

John Tortorella knows something about losing to the Boston

Bruins in the postseason but talk about the 2011 Stanley Cup finals

is off limits to him.

The Vancouver Canucks coach has chosen Roberto Luongo as his

goalie Saturday night when the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins

visit Rogers Arena for the first time since that series in a

matchup of streaking teams.

Boston (22-8-2) has pleasant memories of its last game at

Vancouver, winning 4-0 in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals

that set off rioting in the city.

Tortorella wasn’t coaching the Canucks then, but his ill-fated

tenure with the New York Rangers ended with a five-game loss in the

Eastern Conference semifinals the last time he saw the Bruins last

season.

The coach made clear his disdain for talking about that epic

Canucks-Bruins series.

“That’s all you guys talk about is Boston,” said Tortorella

after his team’s 4-0 home win over Edmonton on Friday. “Didn’t that

happen about 20 years ago? We’ll play the game hard. They’ll play

the game hard and we’ll see what happens in 60 minutes.”

Luongo will face Boston for the first time since he was one of

the scapegoats for that Cup finals defeat with a 4.67 goals-against

average in the final five games.

He made 19 saves for his 65th career shutout Friday – one behind

Patrick Roy for 14th on the all-time list. This is the Canucks’

seventh set of back-to-back games. Luongo has started both of them

just once previously, beating Columbus on Nov. 22 and losing 2-1 to

Chicago the next day on goals nine seconds apart in the third

period.

“I think it’s just a fun game to play in,” said Luongo about

Saturday’s contest. “It’s been a few years now and I think we’ve

all moved on but that being said, there’s a history there and those

are the type of games you want to be playing in.”

Vancouver (19-10-5) is one of the hottest teams in the NHL,

seeking its first seven-game win streak since March 22-April 3,

2012. Boston is looking for its first five-game win streak and a

four-game sweep of this Canadian road trip.

It’s unclear if Tuukka Rask will start opposite Luongo after he

sat out Thursday’s 4-2 win at Edmonton due to the flu, with Chad

Johnson taking his place.

The Bruins are also without injured players in Chris Kelly

(broken leg), Loui Eriksson (concussion), Adam McQuaid (lower-body

injury) and Dougie Hamilton (lower-body injury).

Boston also found out earlier Saturday that forward Shawn

Thornton was suspended for 15 games without pay for punching and

injuring unsuspecting Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik a week

ago. Thornton has already served three games of the ban.

The short-handed club used a fast start to prevail against the

Oilers, taking a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Bruins were outshot

27-13 the rest of the way.

”It’s a road win, and we have to be happy with it,” said Brad

Marchand, who had two goals and an assist in the Game 7 win. ”We

know we are not going to put our best game on the ice every night,

but we want to keep building. With all of the injuries we have

right now, every win is huge.”

The Canucks have killed off all 17 penalties during their win

streak while the Bruins are 3 for 7 on the power play on this

trip.

The Sedin brothers combined for five points in the 2011 Stanley

Cup finals and have totaled just one in the Canucks’ last three

games, but their coach isn’t putting any extra emphasis on this one

as Vancouver tries to sweep its five-game homestand.

“We respect Boston, it’s a good hockey club but this is just

another game in our schedule,” Tortorella said. “We talked about

this homestand, we’ve gotten four of them, now we’ve got to get

ready to play another good team.”