The Boston Bruins flew back home after Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals down 2-0 to the Vancouver Canucks. Writers wrote their eulogy and analysts predicted the series ending quickly.
All along, the Bruins players and coaches believed they were one or two mistakes away from finding their game. After Game 4, they proved their optimism wasn't just smoke and mirrors.
Boston scored three goals in the second period en route to a 4-0 defeat of the Canucks at the TD Garden tonight. The two teams head back to Vancouver for Game 5 with the series tied, 2-2.
Richard Peverley, who took the lineup spot of injured Nathan Horton, scored two goals in the win. Michael Ryder and Brad Marchand also scored.
Tim Thomas stopped 38 shots for his third shutout of the playoffs.
Through the first two games, Boston couldn't find any offensive production. They managed a meager two goals in the two losses to the Canucks. But since the Nathan Horton hit, they have outscored Vancouver, 12-1.
Peverley scored the game's first goal at 11:59 of the first period. David Krejci poked a loose puck at center ice past Raffi Torres, sending Peverley in on a breakaway. The Bruins center skated down the right wing and fired a shot through the pads of Roberto Luongo for his third goal of the postseason.
Ryder extended the lead to 2-0 at 11:11 of the second period. Ryder carried the puck into the right circle and fired a shot toward the net. Sami Salo deflected the attempt, and the puck knuckled past the glove of Luongo for Ryder's 11th goal of the playoffs.
Marchand extended the lead to 3-0 at 13:29 of the middle frame. Patrice Bergeron caused a turnover behind the net, and the puck trickled to the front. Marchand lifted a backhand that deflected off his left arm and into the net for Marchand's eighth goal of the postseason.
Peverley's second goal at 3:39 of the third period capped the scoring. Milan Lucic carried the puck into the defensive zone, dekeing around Canucks' defenseman Kevin Bieska. His pass across the net was deflected by Luongo into Peverly and into the net.
Canucks' coach Alain Vigneault pulled Luongo after that goal. In the past two games, he's allowed 12 goals on 56 shots. It's the second time he's been pulled from a game during the postseason.
The Stanley Cup Finals are now a best-of-three series, with Game 5 coming Friday night.
Horton, out for the rest of the Stanley Cup Finals, was in the locker room after the game. He presented "The Jacket," a team award, to Peverley after the game...Thomas' 701 postseason saves are second to former Canuck's goalie Kirk McLean's 761 during the 1994 playoffs...Daniel and Henrik Sedin totaled just 4 shots in a combined 43:06 of ice time...The Bruins improved to 10-1 when scoring first in the postseason...Bobby Orr led the pregame ceremonies, waving a flag with Horton's name and number.