The Boston Bruins did an abrupt about face on Monday night defeating the Vancouver Canucks 8-1 in their first game on home ice in the Stanley Cup finals. It was one of the uglier games by the end that you would ever see.
Boston appeared to be far more aggressive than they had been in the first two games in Vancouver, especially in the final two periods. By the time the game was over, Vancouver was exhausted and ready to head to the dressing room.
In the scoreless first period, Roberto Luongo looked strong, stopping seven Bruin shots including six on a five minute power play where he was spectacular. Vancouver appeared to be in control with 12 shots and playing much like they had in the first two games.
The second period was all Bruins, starting with a goal by Andrew Ference eleven seconds after the puck drop. That was followed with goals from Mark Recchi, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci as Boston took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission.
It got no better for the Canucks in the final period. Boston scored four more goals in the final 8:22 of the game, totally embarrassing the visiting team. Goals came from Daniel Paille, Mark Recchi (again), Chris Kelly, and Michael Ryder. Jannik Hansen's goal did nothing but spoil Tim Thomas's shutout.
With all the scoring, Tim Thomas's near shut out was somewhat overlooked. Thomas stopped 40 of 41 Canuck shots. Luongo gave up eight goals on 38 shots in the loss.
The much maligned Boston power play picked up two goals while they also scored a pair of short handed goal including Marchand's goal which was probably the most interesting in the post season since Bobby Ryan's beauty against Nashville.
Tempers boiled over on both sides as bad blood reigned throughout the game. Things stated down a bad path when Aaron Rome laid out Nathan Horton five minutes into the game sending Horton the the hospital and Rome to the showers with a game misconduct. It will be interesting to see if Rome receives supplemental discipline since it is difficult to tell if it was a rule 48 violation or if Horton should have been paying better attention to the situation, and expecting a late hit.
In addition to Rome's game misconduct, Vancouver had 10 minute misconducts handed to Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows, and Ryan Kesler. Boston stayed on par with the Canucks with four 10 minute misconducts to Ference, Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, and Dennis Seidenberg.
The bottom line of game three is that Boston was basically facing near elimination with a loss, but with the win, they have the opportunity to make it a long series. My thought is that this was an anomaly for Vancouver and that game four on Wednesday night will return to what was sen in the first two games in Vancouver.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass