|Bruins explode past Canucks in Game 3 win||06.06.11 at 11:02 pm ET|
The Stanley Cup finals finally saw one team win a game convincingly, and the Bruins were on the right side of it as they crushed the Canucks, 8-1, in Game 3 Monday night at the TD Garden. Boston now trails Vancouver, 2-1, in the best-of-seven series.
The Bruins got goals from Andrew Ference, Mark Recchi (two), Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder, with the first four coming in the second period and the B’s beating Roberto Luongo four more times in the third. Luongo remained in the game the whole way despite allowing a career-high eight goals.
Both Marchand and Paille scored shorthanded goals, while Recchi’s first of the night was his second power-play tally in as many games, Krejci now leads the NHL in postseason goals with 11. Jannik Hansen scored the Canucks’ only goal, ending a Tim Thomas shutout bid with 6:07 left in regulation.
While it was a big win for the Bruins, the lasting image of the game will be a motionless Nathan Horton lying on the ice at the blueline after taking a blindside hit to the head from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. Horton had dished the puck to Milan Lucic seconds earlier and was defenseless when Rome dropped him, causing the back of Horton’s head to hit the ice first. The first-line winger left the game in a stretcher and was transported to Mass General Hospital. The Bruins later issued a statement saying he was able to move his extremities.
Thomas turned in a solid showing, making a number of Canucks’ nights frustrating on 40 saves. Thomas made two huge saves on Mason Raymond in the first period and stopped Chris Higgins on a breakaway in the third period. For all the whining about him not staying in the blue paint, Thomas provided some irony in the third period by leveling Henrik Sedin in the crease.
The teams will play Game 4 at the Garden Wednesday before traveling to Vancouver for Friday’s Game 5.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Marchand has shown this postseason that he can go a few games without scoring, but the slumps always end before they hurt the Bruins too badly. This marks the third time in these playoffs that the rookie has gone four games without a goal and scoring the fifth game. His shorthanded goal in the second was a beauty.
- Ference did plenty to bounce back from a costly showing in Game 2. In addition to his goal to put the B’s on the board in the first period, No. 21 registered six hits through the first two periods on Monday. No better way to make people forget a couple of bad moves with the puck Saturday than by turning in a performance like the one Ference gave Monday.
- Before the game, it was easy for some to question Claude Julien‘s decision to sit Tyler Seguin in favor of Shawn Thornton. Thornton made his coach look smart, playing with an edge while not crossing the line. Thornton was flying around the ice and, unsurprisingly, hitting everything that moved. He landed a hit on his first shift of the game that got the crowd on its feet. Then in the second, he blew by Jeff Tambellini on a rush into the zone and drew a hooking call that led to Recchi’s power-play goal.
- We pointed it out when Johnny Boychuk was on the ice for eight straight goals against, so it’s only fair to do the same when it comes to Ryan Kesler knocking off half that in just one period. Kesler was on the ice for all four of the Bruins’ second-period goals, and he tipped Recchi’s pass to Rich Peverley through the five-hole of Luongo before the puck made its way to Peverley. Kesler punched Dennis Seidenberg in the third period when the B’s defenseman was down.
- Recchi scored a power-play goal for the second straight game, further silencing critics who wanted him off the man advantage. Recchi held the puck in the lower right circle before centering a pass for Peverley that deflected off Kesler’s stick and through Luongo’s five-hole. Even if Kesler hadn’t tipped it in, the pass was going straight to Peverley’s blade. It was Recchi’s first two-goal game since Nov. 24 against the Panthers.
- It isn’t really a secret that Luongo can be beaten high to the glove side, but the Bruins hadn’t been able to test him there much in Games 1 and 2. They did in Game 3, though. Ference’s goal knuckled right by Luongo’s glove as the netminder had trouble reading it. Later in the second, Krejci beat Luongo high-glove, too, when he buried the rebound of a Michael Ryder shot. Marchand also beat Luongo high, but the goalie was already down on that one thanks to Marchand’s patience.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- If Rome wanted to remind people exactly what Rule 48 is, he should have just recited it in pre-game media availability. Horton is the last player who would be on the deserving end of such a dirty hit, as the 26-year-old winger plays a tough style without crossing the line. If Rome isn’t suspended for the remainder of the series, the NHL will be opening its doors for criticism even further.
|Nathan Horton leaves in stretcher after blindside hit from Aaron Rome, transported to hospital||at 8:37 pm ET|
Bruins forward Nathan Horton was motionless on the ice roughly five minutes into the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Monday after taking a blindside hit to the head from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. Horton did not have the puck as Rome dropped the first-line forward at the blueline. The back of Horton’s head was the first thing to hit the ice. After minutes without moving, Horton was taken off the ice in a stretcher. Rome was given a five-minute interference major and game misconduct.
The Bruins announced later in the period that Horton was transported to Mass General Hospital and is moving his extremities.
|Bruins scratch Tyler Seguin in favor of Shawn Thornton||at 7:58 pm ET|
The Bruins have scratched rookie Tyler Seguin in favor of Shawn Thornton for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. This is Seguin’s 12th healthy scratch of the playoffs, as he sat out the first two rounds before playing Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals and scoring three goals in his first two games.
Thornton has not played since Patrice Bergeron returned from his concussion in Game 4 of the conference finals.
Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia, Joey the Fish and plenty others from TD Garden for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. Down two games to none, the Bruins are looking to use home ice to find their way back into the series.
NESN Bruins analyst and former defenseman Gord Kluzak called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Kluzak said that the Bruins could have won either of the first two games had they played slightly better.
'I think they have had breakdowns at times that have really hurt,' Kluzak said. 'I think if they get back to what they can do ' and the model is Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay ' this thing is very winnable. I’m much more optimistic than I hear you guys were this morning.
“I don’t think Vancouver is as good as advertised. I’ve never been overly impressed with the Sedins. I think [Ryan] Kessler may be hurt, the way that [Johnny] Boychuk hit happened early on in Game 2. I didn’t think Kessler was the same player, and I think if you’re the Bruins you’re trying to be as physical as you can with him because he is the key, in my opinion. I think this is still very winnable. The Bruins obviously have to play near-perfect hockey, but I think they can do that.'
'Chara up front in the power play is just a waste of energy and time,' Kluzak said. 'Look at the way Milan [Lucic] scored his goal. It was a rebound in front. Well, that's what the power play is all about. That's why you need him out there, and it doesn't help you to have the guy that you rely on the most in your own zone up front of the net on the power play when you have a guy that's probably better at it and would be more suited to it.'
Kluzak said he thought that Peverley's speed 'would open the ice up a little bit more for Bergeron.'
Kluzak said he did not think fatigue is an issue for Chara. 'This is a guy who rides 110 miles on a bike through the mountains every summer day,' Kluzak said. 'This guy is the best-conditioned athlete I think I've ever seen.'
Despite Shawn Thornton‘s physicality, Kluzak said more playing time for the enforcer is not the answer for the Bruins.
'The guy you would have to take out of the lineup is [Daniel] Paille, and Paille is an outstanding penalty-killer,' Kluzak said. 'He's executed that, and I think you really need that skill set. You don't want to use your better offensive players in that penalty-killing situation.'
The Bruins have a tall task ahead of them as they look to overcome an 0-2 hole and turn the Stanley Cup finals into an actual series. Both games have been determined by just one goal thus far, and though the Bruins have played poorly from the most part, the first two games have shown the B's can hang with the Canucks, even if they haven't totally shown up yet. With the number three in mind, here's a preview of Monday’s Game 3.
THREE THINGS THE BRUINS NEED TO DO
- Get better looks vs. Roberto Luongo and establish a net-front presence. We'll say it until it changes, and it didn't change enough in Game 2. The Canucks have been able to box the Bruins out so far in the series, but look at how the B's scored their goals in Game 2. Milan Lucic buried a rebound from in front, and Mark Recchi redirected a shot in front of Luongo. When the Bruins were able to set up shop and do things from close range, the puck went in. It seems trying it any other way is an exercise in futility.
- Keep moving Zdeno Chara around on the power play. Recchi's goal came as a result of Claude Julien moving Chara back to the point, but Julien should keep mixing it up when it comes to the Bruins' mammoth captain. He still appeared to be a nuisance in front of Luongo in Game 1, so Julien should have enough confidence in Chara's abilities in both areas to play him in different spots from power play to power play.
- Use the home crowd to their advantage. Whether or not they want to admit it, Rogers Arena was absolutely electric and had to have been a tough place to play. If the Garden can turn down the music and let the fans create an authentic atmosphere, maybe the Canucks can truly feel like they're at an opponent's home and not a wrestling match.
- Both the Bruins and Canucks have seen four of their last five games be determined by one goal. The Bruins are 2-3 in that span, while the Canucks are 4-1.
- The four goals Tim Thomas has allowed over the last three games ties this stretch with his best of the postseason. Thomas let in four goals over Games 2 through 4 of the conference semifinals vs. the Flyers, though the difference is that the Bruins won all three of those games and have lost two of the three games in this stretch.
- Brad Marchand has gone four games without scoring. In the other two instances this postseason in which he went four straight without a goal, he scored the following game.
THREE PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
- Tim Thomas: He plays aggressive ' the sky is falling! As bad as the game-wining goal he allowed in overtime Saturday looked, the reaction by some suggest nobody has actually watched Thomas before. He's all over the place, and he plays farther out of his net than most. It will be interesting to see how be performs in Game 3 given all the heat he's been under for his style this series.
- Alexandre Burrows: The Bruins have every reason to be furious that Burrows wasn't suspended for Game 2, though they're not showing it. At any rate, their No. 1 concern should be finding away to stop the guy who showed Saturday that his offensive ability (2 G, A in Game 2) is just as sharp as his teeth.
- Rich Peverley: Where to play the speedy winger? Peverley has seen time on the second line, third line and fourth line (and the first if you want to count him taking one of Nathan Horton's shifts in Game 7 of the conference finals when Horton was banged up) in recent games. Peverley could continue to take some of Mark Recchi's shifts on the second line, or he could skate with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder, as he did from late in the second period Saturday to the end of the contest. If and when Julien makes a move to get Shawn Thornton in the lineup at the expense of Tyler Seguin this series, the line of Kelly centering Peverley and Ryder would make sense.
Also, don't rule out Peverley having a target on his back in Game 3. His two-handed slash to the back of Kevin Bieksa's knee didn't go over well with Bieksa, his teammates or his coaches. Given the nature of the play, it shouldn't have. Peverley really got away with one, and had he scored on his shot that followed the non-penalized slash, it would have looked even worse.
|Alain Vigneault calls Rich Peverley’s slash on Kevin Bieksa a ‘cheap shot’||06.05.11 at 10:32 pm ET|
Upon his arrival in Boston late Sunday afternoon, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault called Rich Peverley's slash on Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa in the second period of Saturday's Game 2 a dirty play.
'Kevin didn't get hit,' Vigneault said when asked about the Canucks matching the physical play of the Bruins. 'He got a cheap shot in the back of the knee, so that's totally different. He went down by something you don't want to see in the game. But at the end of the day, we know they're a big, physical team and we can play a speed game but we can play a physical game, which I think we've shown throughout the playoffs.'
Bieksa returned after limping to the bench and no penalty was called on the play. The Canucks outhit the Bruins, 40-31, Game 2 Saturday after the Bruins held a 31-30 advantage in Game 1.
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