BOSTON -- The Bruins answered the bell in a big way in Game 3 as they fed off the 17,565 fans at TD Garden and throttled the Canucks 8-1 to cut Vancouver's series lead to 2-1.
After watching Nathan Horton, one of their top wingers, take an open-ice hit and get carried off on a stretcher, the Bruins exploded for four goals in the second period and four more in the third. The power play went 2-for-4 and the penalty kill stifled all eight of the Canucks' power plays.
Thornton replaces Seguin, has immediate impact. Coach Claude Julien made a bold move and scratched rookie Tyler Seguin, inserting Shawn Thornton back into his spot on the energy line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille. Thornton had an immediate impact, playing physical hockey on his first shift then flicking the puck into the Vancouver bench after a whistle, getting under the skin of the Canucks as they could be seeing yapping back and forth with Thornton.
Thornton then drew a hooking call on Jeff Tambellini 2:42 into the second period, which led to a Mark Recchi power-play goal at 4:22. The Bruins seemed to feed off his physical play and energy, playing by far their best game of the series. Thornton was called for a 10-minute misconduct 7:58 into the third, but his impact had been felt by then.
Horton sent to hospital after open-ice hit by Rome. Canucks forward Aaron Rome laid out Horton with a shoulder-to-head open-ice hit 5:07 into the game, leaving the Bruins winger motionless on the ice and the TD Garden crowd in stunned silence. Horton eventually moved his hands and was taken off on a stretcher to Mass General Hospital, where he was moving all his extremities and was alert, according to the team.
Thomas huge ... again. After getting some of criticism over his unorthodox style that the critics claimed led to Alex Burrows’ overtime winner in Game 2, Tim Thomas once again silenced his critics. Thomas showed his Vezina Trophy form, making 40 saves and stemming the momentum of the Canucks whenever they tried to build some. He also laid a huge hit on Henrik Sedin in front of the net just more than six minutes into the third period.
Bruins' power play, Recchi connect again. The Bruins scored a power-play goal for the second straight game when Mark Recchi scored his second power-play goal in his last two games 4:22 into the second period. Michael Ryder added another power-play strike at 19:29 of the third period. It marked the second time the Bruins scored power-play goals in two straight games (Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers). The Bruins did fail to score on the five-minute power play from the Rome hit on Horton, but were 2-for-4 on the power play as they continue to move the puck around better with crisp, quick passing and timely shots.
Depth players come up big. One of the keys to the Bruins' playoff success has been the play of their depth players, but until Game 3, only the top line had really delivered in this series. On Monday night, the rest of the forwards showed up in a big way. Recchi had two goals, Ryder had a goal and two assists, Marchand had a goal and an assist, Chris Kelly scored and Daniel Paille had a goal and an assist.
Penalty kill comes through. Marchand and Paille both scored short-handed goals and the Bruins' penalty kill continued its dominance of the Canucks' lethal power play, killing all eight Vancouver power plays.