BOSTON – The first power play goes to Vancouver.
Michael Ryder was sent off for tripping on an obvious call near the blue line right in front of the ref. The Canucks had the best power play in the regular season, but they were just 1 for 16 in the first three games of the finals. In fact, they gave the Bruins two shorthanded goals on Monday night in Game 3.
Not much doing on this one, either. Although they put some pressure on the Bruins' zone in the latter half of the advantage, they managed just one shot — a scorcher from the point that Tim Thomas turned away cleanly.
We're back at the TD Garden for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals.
A couple of changes in the lineups as a result of the hit that sent Nathan Horton to the hospital: Rookie Tyler Seguin is in for the Bruins after being scratched for Game 3. Keith Ballard is on defense for the Canucks in place of Aaron Rome after he was suspended for the remainder of the series for the late hit on Horton. Ballard is making $4.2 million, but he's only played two of the previous 12 games and hasn't appeared in the finals.
Horton is out for the rest of the series with a severe concussion. But he went home from the hospital yesterday and was said to be exchanging text messages with his teammates.
Should be interesting to see if this one looks like the first two games, which were tightly played, one-goal Vancouver victories, or the third. In Game 3 on Monday night, Boston broke it open after a scoreless first period with four goals in the second and four in the third. A high-scoring contest could favor the Bruins, who are 9-4 in the playoffs in games with five or more goals and 4-4 with four or fewer.
The Bruins got things going early by playing highlights from Monday's game, along with some key goals from previous Cup runs. Speaking of which: Bobby Orr, referred to in these parts simply as "No. 4," is in the building, hanging out with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper before the game.
Even the Red Sox are jumping on the Bruins bandwagon: They called up a catcher named (Luis) Exposito on Wednesday.