BOSTON -- The Canucks were looking to win the all-important third game and take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup final over the Bruins. The 1942 Maple Leafs were the only team in professional sports to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a championship series to win a title.
The Bruins first needed to find a way to beat Roberto Luongo after scoring just twice in the first two games. They quadrupled their two-game outcome in the second and third period alone, sending a sellout crowd into the streets with an 8-1 victory over the Canucks.
Boston's power play had been atrocious in the playoffs, converting just six of 70 in the 20 games before scoring three times with the extra man in Game Three. Luongo had been 11-3 after getting benched in the first round against Chicago after he gave up 10 goals over two games. He should have been pulled from this one before the third period rather than staying in the crease and giving up four more.
Game Three had all the elements required for an intense series. The two teams have come to dislike one another in short order, evidenced by the 25 penalties called against the two teams. The biggest was Aaron Rome knocking out Nathan Horton with a blindside hit. Rome is almost certain to be suspended for Game Four.
Vancouver has been the better team overall, which is why they have the lead. Luongo has been superb in net, going 11-3 in his last 14 games since being benched in the first round.
13:01 remaining: Daniel Sedin and Andrew Ference are given misconducts, a good move by the officials before this game gets out of hand. It has been chippy since the Bruins' fourth goal and could get ugly.
12:02: Shawn Thorton is given a minor for roughing and a misconduct. He heads to the dressing room rather than come out for the final two seconds that would have remained in this penalty.
8:44: Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler are sent to the box with minors and misconducts, ending their evening after a scrum behind the Boston net. Was Lucic sticking his fingers near Burrows' mouth? Yes, he was.
9:22: Bruins 5, Canucks 0. Paille scored with on wrist shot that bounces off Luongo's glove and lands in the net. This is getting ugly. They need to get Luongo outta there.
6:07: Bruins 5, Canucks 1. Jannis Hansen swats a pass from ex-Sabre Raffi Torres past Tim Thomas, breaking the shutout bid. There's not enough time for a full comeback in this one.
2:31. Bruins 6, Canucks 1. Mark Recchi scores his second goal. The floodgates have been opened.
1:54: Bruins 7, Canucks 1. Chris Kelly just scored, adding the extra point.
0:31: Bruins 8, Canucks 1. Michael Ryder completes the scoring. Luongo should have been pulled a long time ago out of mercy.
0:00: Bruins win Game Three, bringing them within 2-1 in the series and ensuring a fifth game back in Vancouver.
19:49: Bruins 1, Canucks 0. Andrew Ference scores through a screen after Alex Edler loses his stick. The shot from the point appears to bounce off Edler before finding the net. Luongo had no chance. The goal came 11 seconds into the period. Remember, Alex Burrows needed 11 seconds to win Game Two in OT. It's a good sign for Boston, which is 8-1 in the postseason when scoring first.
15:28: Bruins 2, Canucks 0. Mark Recchi scores his second goal in two games. This one came when his cross-pass for Michael Ryder bounces off Ryan Kesler and slips between Luongo's legs. They initially gave the goal to Ryder before making the correct change.
8:30: Bruins 3, Canucks 0. Brad Marchand scores unassisted after stealing the puck in the neutral zone, skating around Kesler and beating a sprawled Luongo with a shot into the top corner. The Canucks appears to be unraveling. Plus, they're down to five defensemen after Aaron Rome was tossed.
4:13: Bruins 4, Canucks 0. David Krecji scores from the left circle after picking up Michael Ryder's juicy rebound. Ryder skated into the zone and unloaded with a hard wrister that handcuffed Luongo before Krecji found the open side. Is it time to pull Luongo?
0:00. Bruins 4, Canucks 0. Now, we have a series. Canucks fans should start prepping their voices for Game Five.
19:29 remaining: Luongo stops Patrice Bergeron from the slot on a neat backhand. It could allowed Luongo to get his feet under him and settle into his crease on the road.
14:53: Nathan Horton appeared to be knocked unconscious by a senseless, if not filthy, hit from defenseman Aaron Rome at the blue line. Scary scene with Horton apparently out cold before waking up and wrestling briefly with the medical staff. They had the stretcher out there quickly, presumably after having similar scares with Bergeron and Marc Savard.
Horton was moving his extremities before being taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Rome was given a major for interference and a game misconduct. He can expect to be suspended for at least one game if not several for the hit, which goes to the heart of Rule 48. That's the rule prohibiting hits to the head from the blind side.
12:41: Luongo makes a terrific save after Milan Lucic's pass for David Krecji bounces off defenseman Alex Edler.
9:53: The Canucks kill off the major penalty, allowing six shots in the five minutes. Jannis Hansen does a great job blocking shots.
8:19: Adam McQuaid is sent to the box for delay of game after swatting a loose puck into the stands in his own zone. Vancouver's PP doesn't look much better than Boston's.
1:10: Tim Thomas makes two great saves on Mason Raymond, who had forehand and backhand chances in succession. Thomas has been giving up more rebounds.
0:00: End of first period. Bruins 0, Canucks 0. If you're scoring at home, the Canucks win the period as they have for most of the series.