For 59 minutes and 41.5 seconds, Tim Thomas was unstoppable. He was a brick wall, stoning the Vancouver Canucks at every chance and almost single-handedly keeping the Boston Bruins in it at Rogers Arena in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. But with just 18.5 seconds to go, a defensive breakdown, and a beautiful pass by Ryan Kesler, sprung Raffi Torres and gave him that inch of space needed to beat Thomas and net the hockey equivalent of a buzzer-beater.
Game 1 was full of action despite the zeroes on the board and the ending was just about as fitting of a conclusion one could've imagined. As the Bruins gave the puck away in their own zone, Kesler threaded a pass to Jannik Hansen, who was streaking towards the net. Hansen threw it across the face of goal to Torres, who gently redirected the pass into the net as bedlam erupted at Rogers Arena. The two passes leading to the goal were superb, and needed to beat Thomas, whose performance in Game 1 had been outstanding.
Thomas finished with 34 saves, but let that one late shot slip through in the loss. Roberto Luongo was just as excellent, saving 36 shots and recording a clean sheet in the win for Vancouver. Kesler and Hansen were each credited with assists on Torres' goal, as well. Each team amassed 14 minutes of penalties, though the third period was clean.
With the win, Vancouver takes a 1-0 series lead. The Canucks and Bruins get back at it on Thursday at Rogers Arena.
For the latest on Game 1, stay with our Stanley Cup Finals StoryStream. For more on the Canucks, be sure to check out Nucks Misconduct. For more on the Bruins, head over to Stanley Cup of Chowder.