Ever since the horrific injury to forward Nathan Horton during the first period of game 3, the Bruins have played out of their hockey loving minds. A Tim Thomas shutout plus two goals by Horton’s replacement Rich Peverly has led to a 4-0 Boston win putting the Stanley Cup Finals at two games all.Brad Marchand and Michael Ryder each added a goal of their own, while Vancouver’s star offensive players were nowhere to be found. The Sedin twins had twin stat-lines as well, both of them earning a plus/minus of -1.
Compounding the offensive woes of the Cancuks, goalie Roberto Luongo appeared to still be snake bitten from his woeful game 3 showing. The Veznia Trophy finalist, who very well could lose that award to Thomas, let in all four goals scored and ended up being replaced by Cory Schinder after a slow dribbler off the body of Peverly found its way into the net. Luongo has allowed twelve goals in his last 103 minutes of time on the ice.
To make matters worse for Vancouver, they went 0-for-6 on the power play. They are now 1-for-22 with a man advantage in the Stanley Cup. The Bruins who were widely criticised for their less than formidable power play numbers have an unexpected edge in the category having converted 3 of their 17 power plays. Neither team scored a power play goal in game four.
The aggression that became the theme of game three continued in game four as well. While there was less fighting in this game, many players were caught on camera chipping at each other with their sticks looking to aggravate injuries. Boston’s Zdeno Chara, Marchand, and Adam McQuaid were all ejected in the third period for their involvement with various scraps. Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler received a game misconduct and was tossed from the game as well.
The Vancouver Canucks outshot the Bruins 30-eight to 20-nine, but Boston’s aggressiveness controlled the pace of the game leaving the Canucks with very few real opportunities to make the game competitive. The Canucks best chance came in the first period when Henrik Sedin had control of the puck and a wide-open net in front of him. Sedin’s stick ended up breaking apart in his hands forcing the normally dependable scorer to attempt kicking the puck into the net to no avail.
Game 5 will take place this Friday in Vancouver. Both teams are undefeated at home in the series.
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