After a slow first two games, the Boston Bruins sprung to life as they returned home to TD Garden Arena, outscoring the Vancouver Canucks over the past two games by a 12-1 margin. The goal differential is the highest over a two-game stretch in NHL playoff history, and shows just how dominant the Bruins were at home. On Monday, it was an 8-1 blowout victory marked by fights and a hit that put both Nathan Horton and Aaron Rome on the sideline for the serious due to a concussion and suspension, respectively. In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Tim Thomas was outstanding, recording a shutout as Boston hammered Vancouver again, 4-0.
Suddenly, a series that the Canucks seemed to have a firm grasp on is back to even as the Stanley Cup Finals shifts back to Vancouver for Friday's Game 4. It was bad enough on Wednesday that Roberto Luongo found himself on the bench, shell-shocked after giving up his 12th goal in two games. On the other side of the ice, Thomas was a force, stopping all 37 shots that came his way while frustrating the Canucks again.
Rich Peverley scored two goals, the first and the last, to lead the way for the Bruins, providing Thomas all the cushion he needed in Game 4. Michael Ryder and Brad Marchand each added second period goals, scoring twice in just over two minutes midway through the period. And in the third, with Luongo out, Cory Schneider in and the blowout on, frustrations boiled over again as the Canucks and Bruins duked it out on the ice. It's been the nature of the series thus far.
Vancouver has a day to regroup and figure out went wrong after a disastrous trip to Boston and a performance from the Bruins that can only be described as dominant and demoralizing. The Canucks and Bruins get back at it again on Friday in a Stanley Cup Finals that's become a best-of-three series, though Vancouver still holds home-ice. But after two huge performances, the power has shifted to Boston, and the Bruins are alive and well after a tough trip to Vancouver to begin the series.
For more on Game 4, be sure to stay with our Stanley Cup Finals StoryStream throughout the evening. More on the game can be found over at Nucks Misconduct, SB Nation's Vancouver Canucks blog, and Stanley Cup of Chowder, SB Nation's Bruins blog.