for this game

Thomas gets shutout, Bruins batter Canucks to win Game 4

Jun 9, 2011 - 4:29 AM
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Although it's an overly stated concept, home-ice advantage has been a key element in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals thus far.

Rich Peverley ignited the offense with two goals, Tim Thomas made 38 saves to notch his fourth career playoff shutout and the Boston Bruins treated a raucous TD Garden crowd to a 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks, squaring this series at two victories apiece.

"The way he battles, he never quits on any pucks," Boston coach Claude Julien said about Thomas. "Even to the point where he can let a bad goal in every once in a while or a couple, when you know the game is on the line you know he's going to be standing on his head at the end."

Michael Ryder and Brad Marchand scored 2:18 apart in the second period for the Bruins, who recorded the most lopsided win in a Cup Finals game in 15 years with Monday's 8-1 beatdown, which followed a pair of gut-wrenching one-goal setbacks in western Canada.

Despite the resounding triumph, Boston lost top-six forward Nathan Horton for the duration of the playoffs to a severe concussion he suffered on a late hit by Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome, who also is finished after being hit with a four-game suspension. Rookie Tyler Seguin, a healthy scratch for Game 3, returned to the lineup Wednesday in place of Horton and collected one assist.

"Watching (Horton) go down, we want to finish what we started," Thomas said. "For him, but we also want to do it for ourselves."

Roberto Luongo, coming off a wobbly performance in which the Vancouver netminder surrendered eight goals for the third time in his career, didn't play the entire 60 minutes in Game 4, pulled in the third period after stopping just 16 of 20 shots.

The Canucks will look to regain the momentum of this series two days from now when it shifts back to Rogers Arena for Game 5, hoping the aforementioned notion continues to hold true.

"We worked hard all year to get home-ice advantage and this is where it's going to serve its purpose," Luongo said. "We want to make sure we get playing the way we did in the first two home games, establish tempo and take it to them."

While the Canucks had a 12-6 edge in shots, the first period ended with the Bruins in front on a goal by Peverley.

Vancouver got the game's first power play when Ryan Kesler drew a tripping infraction on Ryder 6:58 into the contest. But the Canucks, who went 0-for-8 with the man advantage and yielded a pair of shorthanded goals on Monday, mustered only one shot.

The Bruins opened the scoring three minutes after the penalty expired. Boston forward David Krejci chipped the puck ahead to Peverley and he beat Luongo between the pads on a breakaway at 11:59.

Moments later, Marchand cross-checked Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa, but the Canucks again were lifeless on the power play.

Vancouver maintained a significant shot advantage early in the second period before a high-sticking penalty against Canucks forward Mason Raymond gave Boston a chance to pad its lead.

The Bruins couldn't convert on the power play, but Ryder did find the back of the net at the 11:11 mark of the middle stanza. Ryder accepted a cross-ice pass from Seguin, skated across the opposing blue line and snapped a wrister from the top of the left circle that Luongo failed to snag with his oversized glove.

"They got a second goal and we seemed to play on our heels after that," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We did lose some our north-south (movement) and some of our transition."

Marchand made it 3-0 during a 4-on-4 situation.

Patrice Bergeron pressured a Vancouver player, forcing a turnover behind the Canucks' net. The puck eventually made its way out front to Marchand, who lifted a backhander under the crossbar at 13:29.

Peverley completed the scoring at 3:39 of the third. Milan Lucic skated around Bieksa and sent a soft backhander on net that Luongo swept away. However, the puck caromed in off the body of Peverley, who was charging to the net along with a backchecking Kesler. The goal was upheld following a video review.

The final couple minutes of regulation featured a bevy of scrums, including one in the Boston crease between Thomas and Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows.

Game Notes

Thomas posted the first Boston shutout in the Stanley Cup Finals since May 18, 1978, when Gerry Cheevers blanked Montreal in Game 3 of a six-game Canadiens victory...Thomas has made the second-most saves in one postseason (701). Vancouver's Kirk McLean stopped 761 shots in 1994...The Canucks were shut out for the second time in a Cup Finals game. New York Islanders goalie Billy Smith turned the trick in Game 3 of the 1982 series at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum...The Bruins played their 22nd playoff game this year, tying the franchise record set in 1988...Boston's 14 wins this postseason is a new club record, as are its nine home wins...Julien tied Don Cherry (1974-79) for the most career coaching playoff wins in Boston history with 31...The Bruins improved to 11-4 when being outshot...Cory Schneider made nine saves in relief of Luongo...Vancouver finished 0-for-6 on the power play. The Canucks are 1- for-22 in this series...Keith Ballard replaced Rome on the blue line, while fellow Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis missed his third straight game with an undisclosed injury...Home clubs have won each of the first four contests in the Cup Finals for the third consecutive season.