Bruins Rout Canucks, Get On The Board

Published June 7, 2011

The Bruins celebrate a third period goal in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against Vancouver, Monday. (AP)

The Bruins celebrate a third period goal in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against Vancouver, Monday. (AP)

For a period it was tense, and a bit dangerous.

Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome clocked the Bruins’ Nathan Horton as he passed the puck and came across the Canucks’ blue line at the 5:07 mark of the first period. Horton lay on the ice for several minutes motionless and dazed and was eventually taken off on a stretcher.

Before the period was over, the Bruins alerted the media that Horton had been taken to Mass General Hospital and all of his extremities were in working order. However, reports after the game had Horton thinking he was still in Vancouver. Rome was ejected from the game and suspended for four games, so he’ll be out for the rest of the series. The Bruins announced this morning that Horton has a severe concussion, so we also won’t see him for the remainder of the Stanley Cup finals.

After that hit, the Bruins’ play looked a bit like they were in shock mode — and who could blame them. But when they came out to begin the second period, they were a team with renewed purpose. After Andrew Ference fired a shot from the blue line that made its way through a few bodies and behind goaltender Roberto Luongo, the rout was on.

The Bruins finally scored on the power play and the highlight of the night came on the penalty kill. Ference poked the puck away from a Canucks player and Brad Marchand skated down the right side, played the puck off the boards past a defender to himself, swooped in on Luongo and lifted the puck over the prone goalie to notch a 3-0 Bruins lead.

The Bruins scored four more in the third, including again on both the power play and shorthanded. Surprisingly, Vancouver never changed goaltenders.

What this game was about was the Bruins taking it to Vancouver. The Sedin twins were basically invisible as Daniel Sedin had just two shots on goal and Henrik Sedin was never a threat. Ryan Kessler, who hasn’t been the same since Milan Lucic’s heavy check on him in Game 2, was a totally ineffective minus-3 and his frustration led to him picking a fight with Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

Unlike in Games 1 and 2, Boston never let down and kept the pressure on the Canucks. Vancouver had some solid scoring opportunities, but Bruins’ goalie Tim Thomas was again spectacular, stopping 40 of 41 shots. Home ice and the energy from the crowd at the TD Garden certainly seemed to make a difference.

The Bruins have now cut the Vancouver lead to two games to one. It was a giant step in trying to get this final series back on an even keel, but a win will take the same type of effort tomorrow. There is more work to be done and they need to go back to British Columbia with this series tied, shifting the pressure on the Canucks and their Vezina Trophy-candidate goaltender.