BOSTON – This is a whole different series now.
Not just because the Bruins have won for the first time, but because they've done it with an offensive outburst no one saw coming. After seven tightly contested periods (plus 11 seconds of overtime), the Bruins erupted for four goals in the second period of Game 3 and then added four more in the third.
It's 8-1. And it's final.
Give the latest goals to Mark Recchi — his second of the game — Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder. The first two came just 27 seconds apart.
Game 4 is Wednesday night. And now Game 5 in Vancouver is a sure thing, too.
There goes the shutout.
Jannik Hansen scored for Vancouver with 6:07 left in the third period to spoil Boston's bid for its first shutout in the Stanley Cup finals since 1978. It's 5-1, and it seems like the teams now would be happy to get out of this one without any more serious injuries. Assists to Raffi Torres and Maxim Lapierre.
And the gloves are off.
Vancouver's Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler are done for the night, along with Boston's Dennis Seidenberg and Milan Lucic after mixing it up with 8:44 left in the third period. They all got 10-minute misconduct penalties along with assorted majors and minors.
The penalties left Boston shorthanded, but no matter. Daniel Paille scored 22 seconds into Vancouver's power play to make it 5-0.
It was Boston's second shorthanded goal of the game, meaning they have more shorthanded goals in the Stanley Cup finals than power play goals.
Just about every whistle is bringing fisticuffs now.
NHL scoring champion Daniel Sedin and Andrew Ference were sent off for matching 10 minute misconducts for mixing it up, and the next time play stopped it was Bruins forward Shawn Thornton going off — two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. There was still 12:02 left in the game, but Thornton went off to the Bruins locker room, throwing his stick down and displaying some generally antisocial behavior in the hallway.
Getting chippy here in Game 3.
Zdeno Chara and Alex Burrows both went off early in the third period for unsportsmanlike conduct for whacking at each other with their sticks while waiting for a faceoff. Chara joins Michael Ryder in the box; he went off for roughing at 17:10.
The Bruins started the third period killing off the last 1:36 of Johnny Boychuk's double-minor for high-sticking.
But Vancouver wasn't able to score on any of the power plays.
And it's still 4-0 Boston.
Frustration is spilling over from the Vancouver Canucks after allowing four goals in the second period to give Boston a 4-0 lead.
After the buzzer, Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara hooked Vancouver's Ryan Kesler, which led to some jawing, and Kesler had to be held back by the linesman.
The Canucks finished the period with a 4-minute power play on a double-minor by Johnny Boychuk for high sticking. But they couldn't get much going. In fact the Bruins had the best scoring opportunity, almost picking up their second short-handed goal of the game.
As it is, it's Boston's highest-scoring game in the Stanley Cup final since a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of the 1978 championship series.
And we've still got 20 minutes to go.
Make it four straight goals for the Boston Bruins.
David Krejci scored on a long rebound to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Vancouver Canucks. That's blown open the game and brought the Boston crowd back into it.
Of course, no one here needs to be reminded of last year's collapse, when the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers. (Boston also led the series three games to none before the Flyers came back to force a seventh game.) So no one is ready to call it a night yet.
We'll see how the Bruins play with a lead. The only other time they've led in this series was in Game 2, when they took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period and Vancouver tied it up midway through the third. The Canucks won it just 11 seconds into overtime.
The Bruins are threatening to turn what had been a close series into a blowout.
Brad Marchand made a nice move around the defense and went in all alone on Roberto Luongo for a shorthanded goal that gave Boston a 3-0 lead in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Vancouver Canucks.
It was Boston's third goal of the second period after a scoreless first.
In the first two games of the series, no team had led by more than one.
Yep, they just announced a scoring change: It's Mark Recchi's goal, and an assist to Michael Ryder and Andrew Ference.
And it's 2-0 Boston — the first two-goal lead of the series.
The Bruins picked up a rare power-play goal when Canucks forward Ryan Kesler deflected a crossing pass through his own goalie's legs at the 4:22 mark of the second period.
Mark Recchi was trying to get the puck across to Rich Peverley. But before it reached Peverley on the other side of the crease, Kesler laid his stick on the ice and knocked it in.
The goal was credited to Peverley. We'll see if that stands.
That's how long it took the Canucks to win Game 2 in overtime on Saturday night, and that's how long it took Boston to break a scoreless tie at the start of the second period in Game 3.
The Bruins won the faceoff to start the period and brought it into the Vancouver zone, and the puck came around to Andrew Ference at the point. His high slapshot beat Roberto Luongo and gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Give the assists to Rich Peverley and David Krejci.
The time: 11 seconds into the second.
So far the news is good on Bruins forward Nathan Horton.
The Bruins announced that Horton is moving his arms and legs after a frightening hit by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome left him laid out on the ice, motionless. Horton was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, and the team said he's moving his extremities. That got a standing ovation from the crowd when it was posted on the scoreboard.
Bruins coach Claude Julien told the TV broadcast that he had no other information on Horton, who is in the playoffs for the first time in his NHL career.
"It's a tough thing to swallow right now," Julien said. "Our spirits are OK. I heard guys saying, 'Let's do it for Horty.' So we're good to go."
Bruins forward Nathan Horton was taken off the ice on a stretcher, strapped to a backboard, after a frightening collision with Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.
Horton had just passed the puck to Milan Lucic and was coming over the blue line when Rome lowered a shoulder into him and knocked him backward. Horton, who appeared to hit his head on the ice, lay motionless, with his right arm in the air, as trainers rushed to attend to him.
Rome was called over to the penalty box, then ushered off the ice with a major for interference and a game misconduct.
The crowd gasped when the replay was shown on the scoreboard.
The Canucks have the same guys out there as in Game 2. That means Dan Hamhuis is out, and former Bruin Andrew Alberts is in on defense.
Hamhuis missed his second straight game after hurting himself delivering a check on Milan Lucic midway through Game 1.
Also in the lineup for Vancouver is Manny Malhotra, who had been out since March 16 after taking a puck to the face and having two operations on his left eye. The team thought his season was over, but he returned to practice three weeks ago and returned for Game 2.
He took the opening faceoff and lost it to Patrice Bergeron.
The Bruins have shaken up the lineup a bit in an effort to get more scoring.
Rookie Tyler Seguin is a scratch for the first time in the Stanley Cup finals. In comes Shawn Thornton, who's one of only two Bruins to have won the Cup before. He was on the Anaheim Ducks team that won it all in 2007.
The other Bruin with his name on the trophy is Mark Recchi, who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins when they won it in 1991 and for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. (There's no truth to the rumor that the 43-year-old Recchi, the oldest player in the NHL, played for the Montreal Maroons when they won it all in 1926.)
Seguin has been a puzzle for the Bruins to figure out.
The No. 2 overall pick in the draft, Seguin sat out the first 11 games of the playoffs before getting into the lineup in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had a goal and an assist in Game 1, then two goals and two assists in Game 2 — but he hasn't scored since.
The Stanley Cup finals are back in Boston tonight for the first time since 1990.
Game 3 is at the TD Garden, and the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks have finished their warmups and headed back to the locker rooms for a last-minute pep talk.
The crowd is still filtering in, but already there seem to be a lot of fans in blue and green sprinkled through the stands. It's about 3,000 miles from Vancouver — that's about 5,000 kilometers, for those of you scoring in Canada. But it's only about a 5 hour drive from Montreal or Quebec and the Eastern provinces.
It's the first time the finals have been played in the TD Garden. When the Bruins played the Edmonton Oilers in 1990, the old Boston Garden was still up.
The Oilers won in '90 in five games. That was their fifth title in seven years, and the second time in three years that they went through Boston to win the Cup. In 1988, playing in the old Garden, the heat in the un-air conditioned building caused fog to rise from the ice and forced the officials to stop play from time to time to let it clear. But with the score tied 3-3 in second period, the power went out.
The game was canceled and replayed in its entirety in Edmonton, which won to complete the sweep.