Although Jannik Hansen ended Tim Thomas’ shutout bid in the back end of the third period, the Canucks lone goal did little to stem the tide of Boston’s amplifying dominance in Game 3. Mark Recchi’s fourth of the playoffs at 4:22 of the second period made it 2-0 and proved to be the winner, but the Bruins would bury three more goals in the Vancouver net before Hansen answered. Despite a total of nine pucks crossing the goal line the story of Game 3 will be told as one full of mockery and one in which Nathan Horton had to be carted of the ice on a stretcher.
Thomas turned in a stellar performance, making 40 saves and delivering one of the evening’s finest hits, while his teammates rode usually underwhelming special teams to an 8-1 thumping in the first Stanley Cup Final game to ever take place at TD Garden. The teams were scoreless at the end of one, but the Bruins struck just 11 ticks into the second period before Recchi potted his first of two on the power play. Brad Marchand would make it 3-0 nothing with a shorthanded goal at 11:30 and that effectively closed the book on Vancouver’s night.
The game had a physical tone early, which would eventually turn scary when Horton got drilled. Aaron Rome left his feet and laid into Horton with a late hit just over five minutes into the first period, which the Canucks defenceman would earn a five-minute interference major and game misconduct for. The collision rocked Horton pretty good and he would slam his head off the ice upon landing. He appeared to be unconscious as the Bruins training staff and medics made their way onto the ice.
Early reports stated that Horton could move his extremities when he was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. This ought to draw a look from the league. It was certainly a late hit, but the greater impact was Horton’s head hitting the ice. I would be surprised if Rome walks away without a one-game suspension, at least.
…And the rest of the story
From there things got chippy, and Mark Recchi let Maxim Lapierre know how he felt about his biting taunts:
When he wasn’t turning aside pucks, Tim Thomas was laying some body on Henrik Sedin. If these Sedin twins are in fact wizards, their most mystifying trick may be their ability to disappear.
Claude Julien on Maxim Lapierre‘s taunting from Game 2:
“The NHL ruled on something and (the Canucks) decided to make a mockery of it. It’s totally up to them. If that’s their way of handling things, so be it. We can’t waste our time on that sort of stuff.”
It seems Milan Lucic must have missed the point in the game where Recchi returned the taunting favour to Lapierre:
Maybe Milan felt this was his way of contributing.
Overall it was an ugly game. The Canucks looked sluggish out of the gate and the Bruins gradually exposed their sloppy ways until finally blowing it wide open. Roberto Luongo had little left by the end of this one, but his teammates failed to give him a chance. A huge statement from Boston in Game 3.
What did Twitter have to say about Game 1?