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Bruins aim to even series in Game 4

by Corey Masisak /

(Vancouver leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1)


Big story: Boston will try to hold serve at home and even the series, while Vancouver will try to move past one of the worst losses in Stanley Cup Final history and come within one victory of clinching the franchise's first championship.

Team scope:

Canucks: Vancouver probably needs to forget about Game 3 and regroup after an 8-1 beating by Boston on Monday night. It equaled the second-worst loss in a Cup Final, surpassed only by Pittsburgh's 8-0 win against the Minnesota North Stars in 1991.

Nothing went right for the Canucks in Game 3. The power play was 0-for-8 and yielded a pair of shorthanded goals. Vancouver was the top team with the man advantage among the final eight in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs after converting more than 28 percent of its opportunities in the first three rounds, but the Canucks are 1-for-16 in the Final.

Roberto Luongo gave up all 8 goals -- 4 each in the final two periods. He told coach Alain Vigneault he didn't want to come out midway through the third, but then the Bruins poured in three more goals in the final 2:21 of the contest.

"We need to be better," Daniel Sedin said. "I think obviously having a good PK. It's more us, what we do out there. We're not moving the puck good enough, the passes aren't really on the stick. We're at our best when we're unpredictable. Right now we're predictable."

Bruins: Boston must balance the high of erupting for 8 goals and winning a Cup Final game for the first time since 1988 with the low of being without top-line right wing Nathan Horton for the rest of this series. Horton was released from the hospital Tuesday but is expected to be out for the remainder of the Cup Final with a concussion.

The Bruins will likely add rookie Tyler Seguin to the lineup. They had scored only 3 goals in their previous three games before the explosion in Game 3. Mark Recchi, 43, now leads all players in the series with 3 goals after potting a pair in the win.

Tim Thomas silenced doubters with a standout performance, particularly when the contest was still in question, and added an exclamation point to Boston’s dominance when he leveled Sedin at the edge of the crease with a big hit.

"We're focused on Game 4 now," Shawn Thornton said. "All this other stuff we've turned the page on it. Now we have to have at least the same effort if not better for game four we know they're going to be better. It's going to take everything in us. We'd like to go up there 2-2 instead of 3-1, that's for sure."

Who's hot: Alex Burrows has 5 goals in the past six games for Vancouver, and he's the only player on the team with more than 1 in this series. Recchi leads everyone in this series with 3 goals, surpassing 41-year-old Igor Laironov's 3 in the 2002 Final as the oldest to score that many in the championship round.  David Krejci has 4 goals and 7 points in the past five games for Boston.

Injury report: Vancouver will be without Aaron Rome, who is suspended for the rest of the series for his hit on Horton. The Canucks could also be without fellow defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who hasn't played since a hip check on Milan Lucic in Game 1. The Bruins are now without two of their top scorers in Horton and center Marc Savard, who are both out with concussions.

Stat pack: Vancouver's 8-1 victory was the most lopsided in the Cup Final since Colorado defeated Florida by the same score exactly 15 years prior (June 6, 1996). Recchi's 143 career playoff points are third among active players behind Nicklas Lidstrom (183) and Mike Modano (146). He's also tied with Ron Francis for 32nd overall.

Puck drop: "He's been a huge part of our success. He's been clutch throughout these playoffs. Those were two huge goals to help us advance to the next round. He's a big part of the reason why we're here." -- Bruins forward Chris Kelly on Nathan Horton

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