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The Boston Bruins put together another rousing performance for the Garden faithful in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, as they beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 to tie the series at 2 games apiece.
In a game that had it all it was the man behind the mask who was the savior yet again. Vezina Trophy favorite Tim Thomas put together another remarkable performance in this career-defining playoff run.
The scoring was bookended by forward Rich Peverley, who filled in nicely for the injured Nathan Horton by netting the Bruins first and last goals on the night.
The Bruins are now the closest they’ve been to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup since they won two games against the Philadelphia Flyers back in the 1974 Cup Finals.
Boston struck first when David Krejci tipped a nice pass to Peverley who beat Roberto Luongo five hole with a quick snap shot midway through the first period. Krejci and Zdeno Chara assisted.
At the 11:11 mark in the second period, Michael Ryder handcuffed Luongo to beat him glove side on his seventh goal of the playoffs. Only two minutes and 18 seconds later Brad Marchand was left alone in the slot after a defensive breakdown for the Canucks. The little 5’9” forward buried the pass from Patrice Bergeron with a backhand to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
Rich Peverley didn’t waste any time in the third, scoring his second goal just 3:39 into the period.
After the Bruins pushed the deficit to four, Luongo was relieved for Cory Schneider and forced to watch the rest of the game from the bench. Luongo gave up the four goals on only 20 shots.
The chippiness in this series continued in the third period, but this time minus the fingerbaiting. Brad Marchand dropped the gloves ready to mix it up with Canucks’ defenseman Keith Ballard. After the undersized Marchand sat Ballard down, B’s defenseman Adam McQuaid joined the fracas, but Ballard turtled and dropped to the ice like he was shot. Even Tim Thomas got in the mix and took a few swings at old friend Alex Burrows.
In the end the Bruins headed back to the dressing room with a Game 4 win and have outscored the Canucks 12-1 in the last two games.
After the game, Nathan Horton surprised his teammates when he showed up in the locker room to pass on the coveted Bruins’ game MVP jacket to Rich Peverley for his performace in Horton’s absence. The Jacket was left hanging in Horton’s locker following Game 3 when he left the ice on a stretcher with a severe concussion.
Tim Thomas who was delighted to see his teammate said:
“When I personally got to see him in the locker room, I was incredibly happy,” Thomas said. “It gave me a big boost. He was there to pass the jacket on. The team would have been happy leaving it with Horty for the rest of the series, but he wanted to give it away and keep the tradition going.” He went on to say “Watching him going down, we want to finish what we started for him.”
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller