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Stanley Cup Final Game 4 live blog

by Shawn P. Roarke /
20:00 Well, the stage is certainly set for a wild Game 5 as Boston takes this one 4-0 in dominating fashion. We'll see you in Vancouver in 48 hours and then back here three days after that. It should be fun.

That didn't take long. Alex Burrows and Tim Thomas just had a set-to. First, Burrows chopped Thomas' stick out of his hands and Thomas slashed Burrows in the back of the knee before Burrows went right at Thomas, who was ready for him. Ryan kersler and Zdeno Chara exchanged pleasantries in ensuing scrum and penalties were doled out all around. The legend of battlin Tim Thomas grows here in Boston and he is now Public Enemy No. 1 in Vancouver.

Well, the animosity is not going anywhere. Brad Marchand just relit the fuse. On an aggresive forecheck, he ragdolled Christian Ehrhoff to the ground and when Daniel Sedin went after him, he bent over and sent the Sedin cartwheeling over his back, which, as you can imagine, started a pretty good melee. Likely did not help that Marchand wiped his hands as he passed Vancouver bench.

It's hard to put into words how much fun these two games have been for Bruins fans. nobody does angst better than them, but withy a four-goal lead in each third period, it has been one non-stop party for the Bruins faithful. And, the Boston fans can do party almost as good as angst. Atmosphere has been great.

Nath-an Hort-on, Nath-an Hort-on cHants now ringiNg around Garden. Bruins fans love their heroes and horton has become a rallying cry for the team and its fans ever since he was injured on a suspendable late hit by Aaron Rome.

While he probably didn't want to make an appearance under these circumstances, this has to be a big thrill for Cory Schneider, who replaced Roberto Luongo. Schneider is a Massachussetts boy, who starred at Boston College and played a number of games here, including the annual Beanpot games. Hard to imagine Alain Vigneault doesn't go back to Roberto Luongo in game 5 at home, but nice to get the understudy some work on game's biggest stage.
Roberto Luongo's night is now done. He just redirected a soft David Krejci shot into traffic and the hard-charging Rich Peverley redirected it into the net. Yes, the play happened because Kevin Bieska missed a hit at the blue line, but Luongo had to do better with the initial shot. Goal, BOS 4-0

Vancouver killed the Henrik Sedin penalty, but Luongo had to make a couple of quality saves. It's a good way to rebuild his confidence here.

Not only did Boston kill the rest of the penalty, but they forced vancouver into a penalty of its own. Henrik Sedin took it for slashing. This is third time in game, Boston has turned a sUccessful kill into an immediate offensive chance.

Start of third period

End of second period

Bruins kill first 71 seconds of the penalty, allowing two shots. Must be sharp when Vancouver gets fresh ice in third for final 49 seconds of man advantage. Vancouver leads in shots 25-18u, but second period was more even in that category and Boston did get the three goals.

Dangerous point here for Bruins. Johnny Boychuk just took a delay of game penalty and Vancouver has a chance to get back in it on the power play. But, they need to wake it up first.

You have to give Roberto Luongo credit for battling. He has stopped all 4 shots since the Marchand goal, but is not as sharp as usual. He has allowed 11 goals in less than four periods to a team not known for its ability to finish. That has to cause some confidence issues.

Boston was hoping it could take advantage of Vancouver's decimated defense and they just did. Keith Ballard, in for the suspended Aaron Rome, was knocked off the puck by an aggressive forecheck by Patrice Bergeron. Then, Ballard was slow to get up as Bergeron reclaimed the puck by digging it out of Ballard's skates to the right of Roberto Luongo. Bergeron then shovelled the puck into slot where Brad Marchand claimed it and beat Loungo with a backander. Goal, BOS 3-0

The Bruins score on the counter-attack to make it 2-0. Michael Ryder took a cross ice pass to get him into the circle to Roberto Loungo's right. Hoping to use sami Salo as a screen, Ryder ripped off a snap shot. Instead of a screen, though, the puck hit the crook of Salo's stick and fluttered under the glove of Luongo, who has allowed 2 goals on 12 shots. Tim Thomas has stopped all 21 he has faced. Goal, BOS 2-0

Again, Vancouver was building a bit of momentum, but this time it was its own worst enemy. Mason raymond took an offensive zone high-sticking penalty on Andrew Ference. It allows Boston to catch its breath and maybe keep its PP red hot. It had two goals last game remember.

Every time Vancouver generates a bit of momentum in Game 4, Tim Thomas has been there to snuff it out. Vancouver just had Boston's fourth line pinned in its own end, eventually causing a turnover that allowed Raffi Torres and uncontested shot from the middle slot. Thomas calmly blockered it away and has 19 saves now.

Vancouver is having a hellacious time dictating play in the Boston zone. They have 4 shots, but all have been long range and none have generated a continuation of zone time. Meanwhile, Boston's second line just had a dominant shift really wearing on top Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who played almost 10 minutes in first period.

Start of second period

End of first period

Great first period all around. Hitting, scoring chances, a goal. Looks like we see more of same in second. Vancouver out-shot Boston 12-6, but couldn't solve Tim Thomas.

Second straight PK by the Bruins. Vancouver only got one shot and it was in last seconds and from center ice. Right after penalty, Milan Lucic had a great chance with adeceptive wrister that Luongo had to stretch to glove.

16:10 Bruins are going to the PP well again. The super-aggressive Brad Marchand just took a cross-checking penalty on Kevin Bieksa while pressuring on the forecheck. Vancouver is just 1-for-17 against Boston in this series. Vancouver has 9 shots so far this period.

Rich Peverley, back on top line, pays dividend, using his speed to chase down a pushed David Krejci pass and go 5-hole on Roberto Luongo, faciung just his fifth shot. The Vancouver defense was caught there flat-footed and then Raffi Torres made an ill-advised lunge at a loose puck. Instead Krejci got his stick there first and shoveled the puck into space for Peverley to claim. Goal, BOS 1-0.

The mixing-and-matching has begun for Bruins. Last shift by top line featured Michael Ryder in Nathan Horton's place. It had been Rich Peverley for first couple of shifts. One Bruin that is feeling it though is second-line winger Brad marchand. He has already had two breath-taking rushes in this game, although he failed to get a shot on net on either.

Bruins kill penalty, allowing just 1 shot, and get some momentum from 16th kill in 17 tries, with first line cycling in Vancouver end and Milan Lucic with great chance in slot.

Michael Ryder just took a tripping penalty on Ryan Kesler at the Bruins blue line. Kesler's speed had put the Bruins ill at ease there. Can the Canucks get their power play going, though? They are just 1-for-16 and were 0-for-8 last game.

This is the most conservative of the four starts in this series. No penalties yet and each team has just two shots. Lots of physical contact though. Still entertaining.

Rich Peverley has had two shifts with top line and has looked good on both, using speed to creat chances. More importantly, Milan Lucic is playing the body regularly.

And we are off. Henrik Sedin just had the game's first shot -- a tester handlked by tim Thomas. We have also had a few collissions. It does not appear tempers have cooled. By the way, that was Henrik's first shot in this series.

8:04 p.m.
The roof did not explode, but it was dang close when Bobby Orr was introduced as honorary captain. What a moment, made even more memorable when Orr took the banner for Nathan Horton and began waving it over his head in a tribute to the injured Bruin. One of most memorable moments in two months of memorable moments. 

8:01 p.m.
Bobby Orr is the honorary team captain tonight and he will start the festivities in a few minutes by passing the flag to fans tyo start its way around the garden's lower bowl. The Bruins do this every game with a different captain. But, none are as big as Orr. He is the Boston Bruins. His statue sits outside the Garden, immortalizing him to generation after generation of fans. He doesn't make many official appearances, so each one is special. This one, though, may be even more special. I expect the roof to blow off. 

7:48 p.m.
Speaking of Nathan Horton, who suffered a concussion on the Aaron Roime hit in Game 3, the news is good. Just minutes ago, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli said that Horton's headaches were getting better and he was resting comfortably. That is amazingly good news all around. The live in-game blog sends out its best wishes to Horton and his family as well.

7:41 p.m.
Both teams have interesting lineup decisions to make heading into the game. Judging by warmups, it looks like they have been made. Vancouver's Alain Vigneault needs a defenseman for the suspended Aaron Rome and it appears he has chosen Keith Ballard. He has also made a change up front, inserting Tanner Glass onto the fourth line, replacing Jeff tambellini, who had some struggles in Game 3. For Boston, Tyler Seguin is in for the injured Nathan Horton, but will not take his place on the top line. Judging by line rushes, it will be Rich Peverley in Horton's spot and Seguin on the third line with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder as his linemates. Before the game is over, it is likely that Ryder and, perhaps even, Seguin could get shots at playing with No. 1 Center David Krejci and winger Milan Lucic.

7:35 p.m.
Welcome to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final here in sultry Boston. Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees today on a perfect late sprind day here. But, it is pretty cool in the Garden now as the teams take the ice for warmups. It should be an interesting game as the talk has escalated in the 45 hours or so since Boston barged back into this series with an 8-1 victory in Monday's Game 3.  Both teams have already been warned by the League to cut out the post-whistle shenanigans that marred Game 3. But, even if that happens, there should still be a lot of hitting and animosity in this series.

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