The dormant Boston Bruins offense finally woke up.
Boston scored four goals in both the second and third periods to blow out the Vancouver Canucks, 8-1, in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight in Boston.
With the win, the Bruins cut the Canucks series lead to 2-1.
The first Stanley Cup Finals game in Boston since 1990 included plenty of fireworks. It started in the first period, when an Aaron Rome hit sent Nathan Horton to the hospital. After sending a pass to a teammate in the neutral zone, Horton attempted to skate into the Canucks zone. Rome stopped near his own blueline, took two strides and checked Horton. His shoulder went directly into Horton's head, sending the forward to the ice.
Horton laid on the ice for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. Rome was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
It was later reported that Horton was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital. He had feeling in his arms and legs.
Andrew Ference would spark the offensive onslaught just 11 seconds into the second period. The defenseman fired a knuckling puck past a screened Roberto Luongo and into the net for his third goal of the postseason.
Mark Recchi stretched the lead to 2-0 at 4:22 of the period. With Jeff Tambellini in the box for hooking, Recchi took a pass from Michael Ryder at the left circle. His cross-ice pass got through the pads of Robert Luongo for the veteran's fourth goal of the playoffs.
Brad Marchand continued the scoring at 11:30 of the period. With the Canucks on the powerplay, Marchand caused Daniel Sedin to turn the puck over in the neutral zone. He played the puck off the boards, skating past the Canucks defense. He cut across the crease and Luongo went down on the ice. He put the puck to the top of the net for his seventh playoff goal.
David Krejci ended the second period scoring at 15:47, pushing the lead to 4-0. Ryder carried the puck over the blueline and fired a shot on Luongo. The rebound came to Krejci between the circles, and he fired the puck past Luongo's glove for his 11th of the playoffs.
The offense would continue to flow in the third period, but the bigger story became the chippy on-ice play. The two teams combined for 116 penalty minutes, including nine game misconducts. Post-whistle scrums involved all ten skaters on the ice, and frustration boiled over. Several times, Bruins players stuck their fingers near the mouths of Canucks skaters. Mild-mannered players like Daniel Sedin collected game misconducts.
Tim Thomas stopped 40 shots in the win. Luongo made 30 saves in the loss.
Game 4 is Wednesday night at the TD Garden in Boston.