The Boston Bruins scored two goals in the second period 2:18 seconds apart and Tim Thomas was unbeatable as the Bruins shut out Vancouver 4-0 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals; the series is now tied at 2 heading back to Vancouver for Game 5 on Friday. Thomas made 38 saves as the Canucks offense has come to a grinding halt as they have only scored one goal in the last two games.
The first period started at a high tempo, as both teams were skating and hitting trying to get the upper hand. Vancouver had the first power play of the game; the Canucks had some good pressure, but once again could not beat Thomas. Vancouver’s defense is jumping into the play and it appears to be causing some confusion for the Bruins. Vancouver looks much more serious about winning this game as they appear to want to go back to Vancouver up 3-1. Boston got the only goal of the first period as David Krejci sent Rich Peverley in on a breakaway and he beat Luongo between the legs and Boston got the all important first goal as they went into the first intermission leading 1-0. Vancouver got another power play chance in the period, but managed only one shot on goal at the tail end of the power play and was never a threat to score. Vancouver has only scored one power play goal in the series, which is surprising as they figured to have the advantage in special teams. With under a minute to play Boston almost made it 2-0 when Michael Ryder hit the post. Even though Vancouver did not score they had a number of scoring chances and had it not been for Tim Thomas could have had the lead, they have to feel good the way they played in the opening period.
Even though Boston has been outshot 25-18 through two periods, they lead where it counts on the scoreboard as Boston scored twice in the period to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Boston carried the play early in the second period and that led to Vancouver taking their first penalty of the game. Boston is 3-13 in the series and was ineffective on their first power play. Boston scored the first goal of the second period as Michael Ryder’s snap shot eluded Luongo’s glove and Boston had a 2-0 lead, Luongo is not looking very confident as he should have been able to make the save. Boston increased the lead to 3-0 when Henrik Sedin turned over the puck to Patrice Bergeron and he passed in front to Brad Marchand and he back handed the puck over Luongo glove and all the momentum is with Boston, Sedin’s turnover is another example of his poor play in the series.
If Vancouver was going to get back in this game they knew they had to score the next goal and they had a chance to do that early in the third when they had: 49 of power play time to start the third period. Vancouver failed to capitalize as there power play was 0-6 in the game and it is now an embarrassing 1-22 in the series. Boston put the game away about two minutes later when Milan Lucic centering pass bounced off Rich Peverly into the net and Boston lead 4-0. That goal was the last we would see of Roberto Luongo who was replaced by backup goalie Cory Schneider for the second time in the playoffs. The last two games have not been Luongo’s best as he has allowed 12 goals. Schneider actually made some big saves in the third period or the score would have been more lop sided. After Boston made it 4-0 it looked like the Canucks lost their will to compete and really was no threat the rest of the game. Vancouver will have until Friday to figure how to recapture the momentum they built up in games 1 & 2.
Notes: Keith Ballard replaced Aaron Rome…The Sedin Twins are a combined -11 in the Stanley Cup Finals.
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Written by Kevin Kelly