January 7, 2012

Post-Game Breakdown: Canucks send B's to maddening 4-3 loss

By Jesse Connolly

It took just 3:54 for the Bruins and Canucks to revive the hatred they share for one another in Saturday's matchup at TD Garden. (Getty)

It took just 3:54 for the Bruins and Canucks to revive the hatred they share for one another in Saturday's matchup at TD Garden. (Getty)

Final: Vancouver 4, Boston 3

Recap: In only a matter of minutes, the bad blood between the Canucks and Bruins was renewed. The two Stanley Cup finalists got in a full-fledged brawl when Shawn Thornton was mobbed in front of the Vancouver bench. Milan Lucic allegedly came off the bench to partake in the fisticuffs and was not only given the gate but could face a ten-game ban.

Vancouver tallied first when Ryan Kesler beat Tim Thomas on the 5-on-3 power play that stemmed from that fracas. Brad Marchand, however, knotted things up late in the frame on a gorgeous backhand goal past Cory Schneider.

Boston jumped ahead 2-1 in the second period when Rich Peverley was the recipient of a turnover by Alex Edler. But Vancouver climbed back in the lead thanks to a major clipping penalty on Marchand late in the frame. The Canucks tallied twice to carry a 3-2 lead into the third.

There, they pushed the lead to two when a Cody Hodgson slapper found twine at the 1:09 mark to make it 4-2. Boston came right back when David Krejci scored 42 ticks later, but the tying tally just wasn’t in them. Vancouver held on for a 4-3 victory.

Key Play of the Game: Marchand’s penalty, justified or not, ultimately undid the B’s. With power-play tallies from Alex Burrows and Henrik Sedin during the five-minute major, the Canucks completely turned the tide.

Records: Boston 26-11-1, 53 points; Vancouver 26-13-3, 55 points

Connolly’s Commendations: Dan Paille had himself a solid game despite not winding up on the score sheet. No. 20 was digging pucks out of the corner, creating chances and even earned a penalty shot on a shorthanded breakaway.

It was a solid afternoon for Joe Corvo as well, who picked up a helper on Krejci’s tally and fired a game-high five shots on goal.

David Krejci was also highly effective despite losing his left winger in Lucic early. Krejci came up with a big goal and extended his point streak to eight games.

Connolly’s Critiques: If there’s anyone worthy of criticism today, boy oh boy, it was the men in zebra stripes. Overly critical of the Bruins while turning a blind eye to many a Canuck infraction, the number of penalties was disturbing lopsided. Vancouver had a mind-blowing 11 power plays on the afternoon to the Bruins 7.

Furthermore the non-calls really cost the Bruins late. On one shift, David Krejci was clearly boarded, while only seconds later, Dennis Seidenberg was visibly tripped. With just five minutes to go in a one-goal game, the B’s would’ve appreciated the refs being just as whistle happy when the Canucks were the guilty party.

Notes: The two teams combined for 107 penalty minutes. After playing three games in four nights, Boston had to play with just ten forwards for the final twenty minutes.

Final Thoughts: Absolutely maddening afternoon at the Garden for those who showed up to support the Black and Gold. Experiencing that against the Canucks of all teams made it doubly painful, as the divers and whiners escaped with a 4-3 win.

Next: The Bruins will have a few days off before taking on the Jets at TD Garden on Tuesday night.