Vancouver Canucks winger Alex Burrows wasn't suspended for biting the glove and finger of Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final because the NHL found no "conclusive evidence" that Bergeron had been chomped.
Fans around the NHL, former referees, the entirety of NBC's on-air talent … there were plenty who felt Burrows escaped punishment by the skin of his teeth. But he wasn't suspended, he played in Game 2 … and ended up devouring the Bruins' hopes to secure home ice advantage with a goal 11 seconds into overtime against Tim Thomas, giving Vancouver the 3-2 win.
It was Burrows' second goal of the game, to go along with a primary assist on Daniel Sedin's game-tying goal in the third period. A player many felt shouldn't have been available to his team in Game 2 was the difference in that game — and that's going to be tough for Bruins fans to swallow, even if Coach Claude Julien said the Bruins would be a "lame team" to use that as an excuse for the Game 2 loss.
Coming up, the Canucks' goals and Burrows' role in them.
The Canucks opened the scoring at 12:12 in the first period, on the power play:
Burrows was aggressive heading into the zone, taking on two Bruins defenders. Vancouver caught a break when Andrew Ference failed to clear. After Chris Higgins settled the puck, Burrows snapped a quick shot that Thomas wasn't read to stop for the 1-0 lead.
The Bruins went up 2-1 in the second period, including a power-play goal (gasp!) from Mark Recchi (double gasp!). But in the third, Burrows again was the catalyst for a Vancouver tally:
Burrows was all over the offensive zone on this shift: setting screens in front, hitting Milan Lucic on the half boards, buzzing around. Alex Edler's point shot hit Burrows in front, and he alertly tucked a pass to Daniel Sedin for what amounted to an empty net goal with Thomas flailing to tie it 2-2.
Finally, in overtime, this happened:
These playoffs have seen their share of quick overtime goals, and this was one the quickest. The Bruins turned it over in the neutral zone. Daniel Sedin made an alert play to spring Burrows into the zone. Chara couldn't catch him. Thomas dove to stop him and ended up losing his stick. The wraparound played out in slow-motion, as this individual effort 11 seconds into overtime ended Game 2 of the Final.
Bergeron, who claimed Burrows bit him in Game 1, was out there for the game-tying and game-winning goals, witnessing what so many others in the NHL have witnessed in the last few seasons:
Whether it's with his mouth or with his stick, Alex Burrows is going to end up pissing you off.
- Alex Burrows
- Vancouver Canucks
- Daniel Sedin