The Vancouver Canucks are very protective of their playground.

The Canucks finished the season with a league-best 27-9-5 record at Rogers Arena. They complemented that effort by going 9-2 at home in the Western Conference playoffs while dispatching with Chicago, Nashville and San Jose.

The Bruins face formidable odds as they attempt to gain home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup finals beginning with Game 1 Wednesday night in Vancouver. Saturday's Game 2 is also at Rogers Arena.

The Bruins haven't been to the finals since 1990 and won their last Stanley Cup in 1972.

"This is a great position to be in as a hockey player and it's going to get harder and harder," said Bruins right winger Nathan Horton.

Horton scored the game-winning goal at 12:27 of the third period against Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night at TD Garden.

"We haven't done this for a long time as an organization but this is all that matters," said Horton. "We have a great group of guys."

The Bruins had the NHL's fifth-best record on the road during the regular season (24-12-5) and are 5-3 in the playoffs. The Bruins had several significant road wins during the year, mostly against conference foes. But the win with the most compelling story line was the Bruins' 3-1 victory over the Canucks on Feb. 26.

Bruins winger Milan Lucic enjoyed an emotional homecoming at the Canucks' expense. Lucic played junior hockey with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League and his youthful ambition was to play for the Canucks. With a gallery of friends and family in attendance, Lucic scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, had one assist and was named the game's first star. Goalie Tim Thomas (27 saves) was the runner-up.

Lucic went to the playoffs in three straight seasons (2008-10) without getting beyond the semifinal round. The victory over the Lightning was a high moment in Lucic's career and it's fitting that the Stanley Cup final begins on the road — in his home — in Vancouver.