By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
After blowing out Vancouver 8-1 in game three, the Bruins looked to tie the series 2-2 in game four. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they would be without Nathan Horton, who was ruled out with a severe concussion and would miss the rest of the playoffs. The man who delivered the dirty hit to Horton, Aaron Rome, was serving the first of his four-game suspension. Since Horton was out of the lineup, Claude Julien would definitely have to shake up the lineup. Ryder, Seguin, or Peverly could replace Horton on the first line. Pregame took place with Boston legend Bobby Orr waving a big Nathan Horton flag and Rene Rancourt pumping up the crowd after singing the national anthem. Game four was here, and the quest for the cup was in full swing.
Bruins Lead after the 1st Period
The puck was dropped, and right away, Thomas made a huge save on Henrik Sedin. A minute later, Daniel Paille laid out Victor Oreskovich, and the Boston crowd roared. 6:58 into the first, the first penalty was called. Ryder was called for tripping, and Vancouver looked to score first. The Bruins killed off the penalty and immediately pressured Luongo with quick shots. Luongo turned away shots, and it was still a scoreless tie. The scoreless tie didn’t last long as 11:59 into the first; Peverly scored a beautiful breakaway goal and beat Luongo five-hole. Claude Julien looks pretty shrewd for putting Peverley on the first line.
Roughly five minutes later, Marchand was called for cross-checking, and Vancouver had a chance to tie the game at one apiece. Vancouver didn’t score for the second powerplay in a row, and Boston successfully killed off another penalty. The last minutes of the period would brush by, and Boston took a 1-0 lead heading into intermission. The Canucks outshot the Bruins, 12-6, but Tim Thomas was playing outstanding, and the Bruins’ chances have been of high quality. Zdeno Chara is leading a Boston defensive corps that is punishing the Sedins at every opportunity.
Bruins Manhandling the Canucks
The second period was underway, and for the first seven minutes, the action was at a standstill, with both teams going back and forth. 7:41 into the period, Mason Raymond headed to the box for high-sticking, and Boston was on their first powerplay of the night. Up to this point, Vancouver is outshooting Boston 20-7. The Bruins weren’t able to score on the powerplay, but two minutes later, Michael Ryder made it 2-0. Michael Ryder fired a quick wrister just inside the left faceoff circle that zipped under Luongo’s glove. It was a pinpoint shot by Ryder, but Luongo had a good look; it didn’t appear as though the goalie was screened. Tyler Seguin, who made the cross-ice pass to the open Ryder, picks up an assist, as does Chris Kelly.
Two minutes passed, and Suddenly, Roberto Luongo has to be having Game 3 flashbacks. The Bruins score their second goal in little more than two minutes when Marchand takes a chip in front from Bergeron and backhands it high glove-side past the Canucks goalie. Bergeron made the play happen, first beating Henrik Sedin in a battle for the puck along the boards, then hustling over to beat Ehrhoff to the loose puck. The goal came in a 4-on-4 situation after Peverley and Andrew Alberts were in the box on matching penalties.
With a little over a minute left in the period, Boychuk headed to the box for delay-of-game, and Vancouver had a chance to cut the Bruins lead to two. Vancouver couldn’t score in the last 1:11 of the period while on the powerplay, and after 40 minutes, Boston had a 3-0 lead and all the momentum. Going into the third, Vancouver will have 49 seconds left on the powerplay.
Boston Wins Game 4/Series Tied 2-2
Third-period action was underway, and Boston killed off another penalty. Three seconds later, it was Vancouver who was going to be shorthanded. Henrik Sedin was heading to the box for slashing. Boston couldn’t score on the powerplay once again, but a minute later, Rich Peverley scored his second of the game, essentially crashing the puck into the net after Milan Lucic threw it on net while breaking in along the right boards. David Krejci made the play happen, chipping it ahead to Lucic and sending him on his way. Much to the crowd’s satisfaction, Luongo was pulled after giving up four goals on 20 shots, with former BC netminder Cory Schneider coming in relief.
Just like in game three, the tempers were flaring in the third period, and lots of penalty minutes were being given out. Between the shoving, fighting, and screaming, there were a combined 52 penalty minutes. One of the highlights of the third period came with 1:51 remaining in the game. Tim Thomas made his feelings clear about Canucks pest Alex Burrows, whacking him in the leg with his stick as the Vancouver forward set up in front of the net. Burrows got a few swings in on Thomas before Dennis Seidenberg planted him on the ice. Bruins fans are unanimous in their approval. The final minute of regulation would tick down, and the Bruins once again dominated Vancouver and won game four by a final of 4-0.
Rich Peverley scored twice, David Krejci had two assists, and Tim Thomas stopped 37 shots as the Bruins would head back to Vancouver tied at 2-2. The Bruins made sure to send Vancouver a message during these last two games, saying don’t mess with the “Big Bad Bruins.” Game five would take place on June 10th back in Vancouver.