Tim Thomas secured his third shutout of the 2011 postseason and the hometown fans at TD Garden were treated to a great show as the Boston Bruins evened the Stanley Cup Finals at two games apiece with a strong 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday night. Rich Peverley was credited with two goals to equal his to-date playoff total and David Krejci added two assists to lead the Bruins scoring charge.
The first period started off with both teams pressing their physical advantages, with the teams eventually tallying twenty-seven hits in the period. Two powerplays for Vancouver were unsuccessful and Tim Thomas managed to stop all 12 shots in the period to preserve the zero. Just under twelve minutes in David Krejci poked a pass through to Peverley, who jumped into the zone unmolested and snuck a shot through Roberto Luongo’s five-hole, giving the Bruins the early lead. Neither team scored to end the period and the teams went to the locker room with a one-goal difference.
The second period started up with the Canucks looking to come back and take advantage of some man-advantage time. However, Thomas and the Bruins were able to negate their advantage and turn those penalty kills into momentum. The Bruins erupted for two goals. The first was the result of an excellent neutral zone pass from B’s rookie Tyler Seguin to Michael Ryder who sniped a shot under Luongo’s glove to extend the lead to two-nil. The Bruins furthered their advantage just over two minutes later, when a great forecheck by the “Wolverine”, Brad Marchand produced a turnover behind the goal line, and Patrice Bergeron won a puck battle to get the puck to Marchand who roofed it past a surprised Luongo to put the Bruins up by three. The teams both put up around twelve shots in the period, and while the Bruins tallied two, Thomas dominated another period and kept the zero on the board.
In the third, the B’s killed off three additional powerplays and Tim Thomas managed to shut down the offensive charge of the ‘Nucks. Milan Lucic advanced the Bruins’ cause further when he took a Krejci pass up the boards and dangled around Kevin Bieksa to find some open space and feed Peverley for his second goal and gave the B’s a four-goal edge. A Brad Marchand penalty and hip check on Daniel Sedin sparked a fight between him and Keith Ballard which devolved into a ground hug-fest. Adam McQuaid challenged several Canucks to a fight but was denied and earned a 10-minute misconduct. More shenanigans ensued when Tim Thomas and Alex Burrows engaged slashes and jumped each-other, and the Captain Zdeno Chara and Ryan Kesler each earned misconducts for their actions. The Bruins killed of the ‘Nucks PP and kept the zero.
The next game is scheduled for Friday in Vancouver, as the Canucks will hope to preserve their home team advantage. The Canucks won the faceoff battle for the second game, by a total of 39 to 32 (55%). The Canucks outshot the Bruins 38 to 29 and the teams tied with 27 checks thrown apiece. Tim Thomas now leads the playoffs in GAA, Save %, shots faced and wins. Roberto Luongo allowed twelve goals on fifty-eight shots in the two games in Boston.