Bruins host Canucks in Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final

The Sports Network
6/8/2011 7:33:29 PM
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(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to stay hot offensively and forge a tie in the Stanley Cup Final when they host the Vancouver Canucks tonight in Game 4 at TD Garden.

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The Bruins scored a total of two goals in losing the first two games of this best-of-seven series in Vancouver, but Boston's offense came alive in Game 3 as the B's destroyed the visiting Canucks, 8-1.

Monday's rout was the first Stanley Cup Finals game in Boston in 21 years, and the Bruins made it a memorable one as they cut Vancouver's lead in the series to 2-1.

Boston exploded for four goals in the second period of Game 3 and Tim Thomas did the rest with a 40-save performance to help get the Eastern Conference champions back into the series.

"Well, what I can say to you in the playoffs, we've mentioned that throughout the whole playoffs since day one, whether you lose a game in overtime or you lose a game 10-0, it's only a loss, in the loss column," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "So we won by a big score tonight, but it's only a win, and we're still down 2-1. That's the way I've approached it. That's the way I've seen it."

Mark Recchi had two goals, Michael Ryder had a goal and two assists while Andrew Ference, Daniel Paille, Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had a goal and an assist in the win.

Boston is in a tough spot historically, as only two teams have ever taken a Cup Finals series after getting swept in the first two games on the road. However, the last time was in 2009 when Pittsburgh beat the Red Wings in seven games despite falling behind 2-0 in the series after losing the first two tests in Detroit.

Roberto Luongo, who gave up just two goals in the first two games, was tagged for all eight goals on 38 shots in Game 3. Jannik Hansen provided the only goal in the lopsided loss.

"In the playoffs, a loss is a loss," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault. "You lose in OT or you lose like we did tonight, it's a loss in the loss column. We're going to take tomorrow to analyze certain aspects of our game, then we're going to come here on Wednesday and we're going to get ready to play a good game."

Both Boston and the Canucks lost players for the rest of this series as a result of a vicious hit by Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome on Bruins forward Nathan Horton.

In the early part of Monday's first period, Horton was skating through the neutral zone and sent a pass just before he reached the Vancouver blue line. Rome stepped up and put a shoulder high into Horton, who immediately fell backward and hit his head on the ice.

Horton suffered a severe concussion on the play and will miss the remainder of the playoffs. Rome was given a four-game suspension for the late hit and if this series ends before Game 7, the ban will carry over to the start of the 2011-12 regular season.

Horton is tied for second among Bruins players in playoff scoring this spring with 17 points on eight goals and nine assists. He's netted three game-winning goals this postseason, including series-winners in Game 7 against both Montreal and Tampa Bay.

With Rome out and fellow Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis still doubtful with a lower-body injury, either Keith Ballard or Christopher Tanev are expected to move into the lineup tonight.

Boston improved to 8-3 as the host in these playoffs with the blowout victory in Game 3. The home club has won all three games so far in this series and hosts are 14-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals since 2009.

Monday's victory was also Boston's first Stanley Cup Finals win on home ice since May 21, 1978 against Montreal. The Bruins, who haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1972, lost to the Canadiens in six games in '78.

Vancouver, which will host Game 5 on Friday, is 5-4 as the visiting team in this year's playoffs.

The Canucks have never won a Stanley Cup title and are in the Finals for the first time since 1994 when they were ousted by the New York Rangers in seven games.

Despite the big win on Monday, the Bruins still have a dismal 6-22 record in the Stanley Cup Finals since winning their last title in '72. The Game 3 triumph was just Boston's second victory in its last 14 games on the NHL's biggest stage.

The Canucks and Bruins have never faced each other in the playoffs and the clubs only met once in the regular season with Boston notching a 3-1 decision at Rogers Arena on Feb. 26.

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