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Boston Bruins forward Mark Recchi ended a couple of playoff droughts that were getting a bit old.
Already the oldest active player in the NHL at 43, Recchi became the oldest to score a goal in the Stanley Cup finals when he ended an 11-game slump during a power play after the Bruins had connected only five previous times in the playoffs with the man advantage.
The goal gave the Bruins a one-goal lead midway through the second period on Saturday night, but the positives ended there for Boston.
Vancouver rallied to win 3-2 in overtime and take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals. Only four of 46 teams have overcome such a deficit in the finals to win the Cup.
Recchi has captured it twice, and the British Columbia native says he will retire if he adds a third title this year. For now, the Bruins will rely on the 22-year NHL veteran to help settle them down and lead them back as they return home for Games 3 and 4.
"You could be frustrated, but you know what, we can't focus on that right now," said Recchi, who is almost two years older than Detroit's Igor Larionov was when he scored in the 2002 finals. "The guys are really disappointed, but we'll regroup."
They have before.
Boston came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first round to beat archrival Montreal in overtime of Game 7. They will draw upon that experience as they try to end the franchise's 39-year Stanley Cup drought.
Ending their power-play struggles would surely help.
Recchi's goal came 2:35 after Milan Lucic got the Bruins even at 1, and it seemed to carry Boston through a second period it largely dominated.
And it came after some adjustments. Boston, mired in a 1-for-20 slump over six games with the man advantage, moved 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara away from the net and back to the point.
Recchi deflected Chara's long wrist shot over Roberto Luongo as the Bruins backed up their pledge to get more traffic in front after they were shut out in the opener. That tough 1-0 loss was decided when Canucks forward Raffi Torres scored with only 18.5 seconds left in the game.
"You have to take only the positive things," Bruins top-line center David Krejci said. "You have to forget about it and just take the positive things. There s no room for negatives in these playoffs."
Krejci set the screen that led to Lucic's goal - Boston's first in four periods of the finals against Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.
"We finally knew we can score on that guy," he said. "It was a big one, and right after we got some momentum, we were coming at them."
Recchi certainly did on the power-play goal, going hard to the net to convert on a reworked power play that had only one goal on 33 previous chances on the road.
Recchi downplayed the significance of it, saying the media worried more about the lack of power-play goals than Bruins did. He added that his goal, whether it came on the power play or at full strength, was a big one for Boston.
Still, Claude Julien liked what he saw with his team up a man.
"We had good traffic in front, whether it was Zdeno, the other time it was Lucic. Then Recchi timed it well for that goal, tipping it in," he said. "We're battling away in the special-teams areas."
This program aired on June 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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