x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Burrows bites back in the way his parents wanted

The winger's overtime winner gave Vancouver a 2-0 lead going in to Game 3 tonight.

In a mere 11 seconds, Alex Burrows used the strengths of the Boston Bruins' two best defensive players against them. And in one moment, the Vancouver Canucks' scrappy forward made sure he will be remembered for something other than his infamous bite in the Stanley Cup finals.

Everybody knew Burrows was fast. Just not this fast.

Burrows circled the net and scored a stunning goal right off the overtime face-off, giving the Canucks a 3-2 win with the second-speediest overtime goal in NHL play-off history.

Vancouver will take a 2-0 lead in the finals into Boston for Game 3 tonight. Only four teams have rallied from an 0-2 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup finals in 46 tries; Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins did it against Detroit in 2009.

The Canucks are in a good position, thanks to Burrows, who was heavily criticised but avoided suspension after being accused of biting Boston's Patrice Bergeron in Game 1.

"My parents don't really like the negative press I get sometimes," Burrows said. "It hurts them, not me. My dad told me I should go out and score some goals, because that's what's really going to hurt them."

Burrows scored on a power play in the first period, and he set up Daniel Sedin's tying goal midway through the third period with a sharp pass from the slot.

After the overtime draw, Burrows received a pass from Sedin and streaked down the side, eluding Zdeno Chara, the Boston captain, behind the net. He extended his stick for a wraparound shot and beat out-of-position goalie Tim Thomas for his second goal of the game.

"As soon as I got the puck, I knew I was going to fake a shot and try to beat him," Burrows said. "I lost the puck in front of Tim Thomas, but I got it back, and I got it in."

The speed of Burrows turned the strengths of Chara and Thomas into huge problems. Although the 6ft 9ins Chara is a massive obstacle, he was not mobile enough to match the slick turn by Burrows behind the net, not even with his enormous reach.

Thomas is an aggressive goalie who has won the Vezina Trophy, but his aggression sometimes gets him away from the net.

"We knew our scouting report on Thomas," Burrows said. "We know he likes to come out and challenge and freeze you, so if I shoot there, I think he stops it and covers all the angles, so I wanted to walk around."

The winning goal nearly was the fastest overtime score in finals history, taking just a bit longer than Brian Skrudland's strike for Montreal nine seconds into overtime against Calgary in 1986.

"Burr comes in to make a sick play," said Sedin, who tied it with 10:23 left in the third period. "It was crazy. Outreach a 6ft 9ins player? I didn't think he was going to be able to score from where he was. I don't know what happened, but it was really nice to see it go in."

Roberto Luongo made 28 saves for the Canucks. Thomas stopped 30 shots for the Bruins but was left lamenting his positional error.

"A mistake is a mistake, no matter what," Thomas said. "You've just got to move on."