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Bruins-Canucks Game 4 preview: 4 keys, stats and players to watch

06.08.11 at 2:20 am ET
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The Bruins, coming off an 8-1 win over the Canucks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, have a chance to tie the series up Wednesday in Boston. Thus far in the playoffs, the Bruins have followed up their first win of a series with another one the next day. Here is a preview of Game 4:

FOUR THINGS THE BRUINS NEED TO DO

- Figure out life after Nathan Horton, and fast: At the very least, David Krejci and Milan Lucic will be playing with someone they haven’€™t played with much this season, so they’€™ll need to click fast. Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley seem to be the best options.

- Beat them physically, but watch out: The refs are going to be on extra lookout for extra curricular stuff. The Canucks might want to entice the Bruins, but the B’€™s have to keep in mind that the other guys aren’€™t interested in fighting as much as they are in drawing penalties. As for the finger stuff, there probably aren’€™t many players who want to be the one that ends up costing his team a goal because he stuck his fingers in another players’€™ mouth.

- Keep the pedal to the metal on the power play: The Bruins have now scored power play goals in back-to-back games for just he second time this postseason. The other time occurred in Games 3 and 4 of the conference semifinals vs. the Flyers.

- Treat it as a must-win: The Bruins can either tie the series or end up going to Vancouver down three games to one. It would be hard to imagine the B’€™s overcoming such a deficit, so the level of desperation has to be high on Wednesday night.

FOUR STATS

- The Canucks outshot the Bruins, 41-38, in Game 3. The B’€™s are now 10-4 in games in which they’€™ve been outshot. They had a 6-0 mark in such games through the first two rounds, and have gone 4-4 when being outshot the last two rounds.

- Tim Thomas allowed five goals in the team’€™s Game 6 loss to the Lightning. Since then, he’€™s allowed five goals over four games.

- Former Boston College and Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts has had a negative rating in four of the five games he’€™s played this postseason. The 16:28 he played in Game 3 made for a postseason high. Part of that is a result of the team having five defensemen for all but five minutes of the game.

- Chris Kelly‘€™s goal in Game 3 was his first since removing the full cage from his helmet. Kelly had four goals while wearing the cage, but had gone 11 straight games without a goal, nine of which were cageless. Now, the curse of the cageless Kelly can be laid to rest.

FOUR PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

- Tyler Seguin: The rookie hasn’€™t registered a point since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, and he hasn’€™t played particularly well since Game 3 of that series. Now his scoring ability is more of a need for the Bruins than a luxury with Horton out.

- Roberto Luongo: Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault didn’€™t want to pull Luongo, and Luongo didn’€™t want his coach to pull him on a night in which the floodgates opened wide. Now it’€™s a matter of how he bounces back. There’€™s no history to guide this one, as he had never allowed eight goals before, and the only time in which he allowed seven was Game 6 against the Blackhawks last year in the second round, a contest in which Vancouver was eliminated.

- Henrik and Daniel Sedin: It has to have dawned on the Sedin twins that they haven’€™t been their dominant selves this series. Aside from a two-point performance in Game 2 from Daniel, the Sedin twins have been kept off the scoring sheet. Daniel has an even rating this series, while Henrik has only a minus-1 rating and a big hit from Thomas in Game 3 to show for himself.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Andrew Alberts, David Krejci, Milan Lucic
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