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Veteran Mark Recchi leaves in winning notes, with another Cup and much respect

VANCOUVER - He's been a Penguin (three times), Flyer (twice), Canadien, Hurricane, Thrasher, Lightning and Bruin. And now 43-year-old Mark Recchi leaves the ice a three-time champion.

Recchi and linemates Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron were a force in the Bruins' decisive 4-0 win over the Canucks in Wednesday's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

Recchi confirmed his retirement after the game.

"That's it for me, I'm done,'' said Recchi, a native of Kamloops, B.C., who also won Cups with Pittsburgh in 1991 and Carolina in 2006.

"I knew I would be ready for this series. We have worked so damn hard to get to this. It's an incredible feeling. We play our best when our backs are against the wall. Game 6 and Game 7 showed that.''

The veteran forward has been a calming influence for the Bruins, helping Bergeron among others.

Bergeron revealed after the game that he had talked to Recchi the night before.

"I was feeling a little nervous and I asked him to give me some advice. he told me to just relax and go out there and play our game. And I wanted to do it for him.

"Obviously it could be his last game. I've learned so much from him on and off the ice."

Said Marchand: "He kept pushing us forward. He's such a big factor to our team. Him being the leading scorer in the finals just shows you what an amazing player he is."

Marchand and Bergeron each scored twice Wednesday. Recchi had an assist and was a plus-three on the night.

Recchi has played 1,652 regular season games with 577 goals and 956 assists.

Wednesday was his 189th career playoff game. He has collected an additional 61 goals and 86 assists in the NHL post-season.

"He’s been great for us. We can't say enough," Boston coach Claude Julien said prior to the final. "We've talked about him all year and maybe his speed isn't where it might have been at some point, but his experience has certainly made up for that.

"He's contributed in a lot of different ways and scored some big goals and obviously made some big plays at opportune times. He's a guy that shows up every game no matter what the situation is.

Recchi scored at least 10 goals for 21 seasons and exits the game ranked fourth in all-time games played and 12th in career points.

He was also the 30th player to record 1,000 points and 1,000 penalty minutes.