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Boston Bruins win Stanley Cup; Vancouver fans riot

By Benjamin Gottlieb for CNN
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Angry Canucks fans riot after loss
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police move in after Vancouver fans set vehicle afire, throw items
  • Boston overcame a 2-0 series deficit to win its first Stanley Cup since 1972
  • Vancouver, in its 41st season, was seeking to win its first NHL championship
  • The Bruins now have won six Stanley Cups, making them No. 4 all-time

For more on this story, see CNN affiliate KIRO

(CNN) -- The Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Wednesday night in the seventh and deciding game of the National Hockey League's annual championship.

The loss didn't go over well with hundreds of mostly young Canuck fans, who took to the streets and set several overturned vehicles afire a few blocks from Rogers Arena where the game was played.

Some fans stopped to pose in front of the flames. Others danced on top of another overturned vehicle. A dull cloud of gray smoke choked some areas of downtown.

iReport: Fires, rioting and looting in Vancouver

Aerial footage showed Vancouver police wading into the unruly crowd that continually taunted and threw things at the officers. Members of the crowd leaped over one street fire, and officers wrestled several fans to the ground.

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"We're unable to release anything formal at the moment but officers are busy dealing with a few core groups of people bent on committing criminal acts like mischief, vandalism, and fights," Vancouver Police Media Relations Officer Lindsey Houghton said in a statement.

"We're working hard to get everyone home safe."

Freelance Journalist Jorge Contreras told CNN that 1,000-2,000 people were on the streets in downtown Vancouver, and that six police vehicles had been set on fire.

After dropping the first two games in Vancouver, the Bruins took four of the last five games from the Canucks, who struggled to stay in Game Seven after going down 1-0 in the first period.

The Bruins blew open the game in the second, after rookie Brad Marchand sprung on a rebound off of Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo to put away his second goal of the match.

"We knew the second goal was going to be huge," Marchand, the 23-year-old rookie said in a post-game interview. "It was nice to get that one, and we kept pushing forward after that."

Marchand would finish the game with two goals and one assist.

But the game was really decided by Thomas, who polished off his spectacular playoff performance with a Game Seven shutout to take the coveted Conn Smythe trophy. Tim Thomas -- whose unorthodox goalkeeping mystified the Canucks all night -- set the NHL record for most shots faced and most saves in playoff history.

He also shattered Johnny Bower's 1960s record for most saves in a Stanley Cup final.

We finally brought our game from home on the road.
--Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
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Coming into the series, Vancouver was considered the superior squad on special teams, especially on power plays. But that wasn't the case in this year's Stanley Cup, as Boston put away five power play goals to Vancouver's two. Vancouver was also outscored 10-0 in the second period.

"We finally brought our game from home on the road," Zdeno Chara told Team Radio Canada. "We played physical and took care of the puck, played extremely hard and paid attention to the details."

Patrice Bergeron's first period goal should have been enough for fans to know the game's outcome, as the team that scored the first goal won every game in this series.

The Bruins now have won the Stanley Cup six times, fourth-most among all NHL franchises, but hadn't captured the sport's most coveted prize since 1972. They had been to the finals five other times since they last won, but this time marked their first appearance since 1990.

The Canucks have been to the finals three times in their 40 seasons in the league, but have never won. Holding the home-ice advantage, they won the first two games of the series, but lost all three games played in Boston before losing at home on Wednesday.

They were seeking to become the first Canadian team to win the NHL title since the Montreal Canadiens in 1993.