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Postgame Reaction: Game 3 vs. Vancouver

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins – After a game full of emotions, goals and penalties, the Boston Bruins find themselves back in the Stanley Cup Final series after picking up the 8-1 victory in tonight’s Game 3.

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The game began with a similar tone to each of the first two contests of this series thus far—with lights-out goaltending and minimal scoring. The teams skated end-to-end, but neither was able to find the back of the net.

While the Garden came out rocking loud, the sold-out crowd of 17,565 collectively held their breath just over five minutes into the game, when Bruins forward Nathan Horton was on the receiving end of a check from Aaron Rome. The check sent Horton off the ice in a stretcher and Rome to the dressing room after receiving a five-minute interference penalty in addition to a 10-minute game misconduct.

“You could tell he had his bell rung a bit. But he’s a tough guy, he’s a warrior. He’s been one of, if not our best forward throughout the playoffs,” forward Milan Lucic said of Horton.

The B’s laid six shots on Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo during the resulting five-minute power play, but the Canucks netminder stayed strong and kept the B’s off the board.

Boston clearly wasn’t happy with the outcome of the first period, as they went on an offensive rampage throughout the second frame. The Bruins netted four goals including a man-advantage tally and a man-disadvantage tally.

David Krejci (goal, assist), Andrew Ference (goal, assist) and Michael Ryder (two assists) picked up multiple points in the period.

The Canucks had two-plus power plays in the period and three-plus through the first two, but despite having a prolific power play in the regular season and throughout the playoffs thus far,  Boston’s penalty kill has continued to stifle the Canucks. Last night's special teams affiars were highlighted by Brad Marchand’s unassisted shorthanded goal. The tally was the third of the night for Boston and the seventh of the postseason for Marchand.

“I think it was a key point in the game,” Marchand said of his goal. “They were on a power play there and if they would have been able to capitalize on that then it would have been a two-one game, a completely different situation so to get that it was a key point in the game but obviously a lot of guys stepped up after that.”

Vancouver started the third period with the remainder of a four-minute power play resulting from a Johnny Boychuk high-stick late in the second. The Canucks quickly followed that up with another power play just under three minutes into the third. But the Bruins penalty kill held strong throughout the entire game, leading the Bruins to the victory.

“They’re very skilled and a lot of dangerous weapons on the power play and really wanted to make sure we bared down and did the little things right on the penalty kill, force them and make sure we took their time and space away. A lot of guys blocked shots at the right time, obviously Timmy’s [Tim Thomas] there to back us up,” Marchand said of the team’s penalty killing.

“We got lucky, a lot of good bounces for us, the puck was kind of hopping a little bit. So it’s not going to happen like that every night but it went well for us tonight.”

Entering the third period, the B's had thr 4-0 lead before Daniel Paille scored shorthanded to give the B’s their fifth goal. Then Mark Recchi and Chris Kelly followed that up with goals of their own and Ryder finished things off with less than two minutes to go. Vancouver netted a goal in-between, leading to the final 8-1 score.

The Bruins have gotten closer to hoisting the Cup with their first win of the series, making it 2-1 and the B’s will look to even things out in Game 4 on Wednesday.

“I think it’s nice to get a first one. You know, it’s a two-one series, so now we have to get ready for the fourth game. We know they’re going to be better than they were tonight and we have to be better,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said.

“So we have to get ready for that one.”

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