BOSTON -- Boston Bruins fans may not be happy with the result, but they had to love the entertainment level in the 2011 Stanley Cup rematch Saturday afternoon.
The Canucks beat the Bruins 4-3 in front of a raucous TD Garden crowd, and power plays proved to be the difference in an emotional game between last season's Cup finalists. Cody Hodgson's power-play tally 1:09 into the third period was the difference.
Emotions carry over and Lucic could face suspension as result: So much for the past being the past. The Canucks and Bruins combined for 107 penalty minutes the majority of those in the first period. The mayhem began 3:54 into regulation when Shawn Thornton slashed Daniel Sedin, Alexandre Burrows speared Thornton and Thornton suddenly found himself taking on five Canucks by the Vancouver bench.
After the game, Thornton said that Maxim Lapierre slashed Paille and acted like he was going to fight Thornton, and then speared Thornton in the throat. (Thornton later said he was mistaken, clarifying that it was indeed Burrows who speared him.)
In any case, his teammates immediately came to his aid in the fray, with Milan Lucic coming back onto the ice after a change and Nathan Horton fighting Dale Weise. Lucic received a game misconduct for leaving the bench during an altercation, and according to NHL rules he could face up to a 10-game suspension. According to Bruins public relations spokesman Matt Chmura, the NHL was deciding if Lucic's act occurred during a legal or an illegal line change.
Those heated emotions continued throughout the game as these two teams once again looked a lot like bitter division rivals.
Canucks burn Bruins on power play while Bruins' power play is stymied: One of the negatives of an emotional game like this is that one team usually ends up with plenty of power plays. That was the case Saturday as the Canucks held a decided edge with 11 power plays and took advantage of the Bruins' lack of discipline. Vancouver was 4-for-11 on the man-advantage. Meanwhile, the Bruins struggled once again on the power play, resembling their mediocre form of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, going 0-for-7. One of those power plays came with 30 seconds left in regulation and a chance to tie the game.
Thomas vs. Schneider: Unless you're a local friend of Corey Schneider or a Boston College alum, this wasn't the goalie matchup you wanted. Instead of giving Roberto Luongo a chance to redeem himself for his nightmarish three games here in Boston during the Cup finals, Alain Vigneault gave former Eagles goalie Corey Schneider the nod between the pipes. Schneider performed well, making 36 saves, but the crowd made it clear who they wanted to see in net for Vancouver as they constantly taunted Luongo throughout the game. On the other end, Thomas played well, but it didn't help that the Bruins allowed so many power plays. Thomas finished with 32 saves.
Bergeron, Seguin and Krejci stay hot: Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and David Krejci all extended their point streaks Saturday. Bergeron assisted on Brad Marchand's first-period goal and has a three-game point streak going, with six points during that stretch; Seguin also assisted on Marchand's goal and has a four-game point streak going, with six points during that stretch; and Krejci scored the Bruins' third goal to extend his team-leading eight-game point streak, with 12 points over that span.
Marchand returns, scores and then gets kicked out: Brad Marchand returned to the lineup after missing the Bruins' last game with the flu and made an immediate impact. Marchand scored the Bruins' first goal 14:57 into the second period, and it was a beauty. After taking a hit in the corner to the right of Tim Thomas, Marchand hustled back to catch up with the play as it went up ice, and crossed to the center in front of Schneider to bury a beautiful feed from Seguin. Marchand has 16 goals, tied for the team lead with Seguin. But Marchand would be forced to an early exit as he got called for clipping 18:47 into the second period and was handed a five-minute major and thrown out of the game. Like Lucic, Marchand could face suspension.
With Marchand back in, Zach Hamill was up in the press box as a healthy scratch and Benoit Pouliot returned to his normal spot on a line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Here's what the lineup looked like Saturday:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley