Continued from page 2

Boston 0, Vancouver 0, end of the first period.

The Bruins went 0 for 3 on the power play, and Roberto Luongo might have his groove back. He stopped all 12 shots _ he allowed 12 goals in last two games.

The Canucks came out as the aggressors, dishing the hits and feeding off a rowdy home ice.

Teams on both players are trying to draw penalties _ there’s been enough flopping and diving to last a regular-season game _ but the officials won’t bite. Hopefully they’ll ease off the antics over the next two periods.

___

What a frantic first period in Vancouver. Almost no break in the action, some near-misses on net and the Canucks have killed a pair of power plays.

Boston’s Johnny Boychuk had a great look from the slot, but the shot was blocked. Both teams have done a great job at limiting shots. Vancouver only took four shots 15 minutes into the period _ not the kind of start they want to have against Tim Thomas. Roberto Luongo has looked sharp early after two rough games in Boston.

Luongo made two stops on one opportunity, stopping a Dennis Seidenberg one-timer.

The Bruins scored 12 goals the last two games. It’s not looking early like another slugfest. ___

Do the Canucks get their appearance fee back for letting the “O Canada” singer let the crowd sing most it? Rogers Arena was loud for the opening faceoff, and Vancouver will take any kind of emotional boost it can get to get its swagger back.

The Bruins didn’t need 20,000 fans for inspiration. They needed one jersey.

Boston brought Nathan Horton’s No. 18 jersey to Canada and hung it in a visitor’s room locker. Horton will miss the rest of the series with a concussion after a late hit from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome in Boston’s 8-1 victory in Game 3.

___

Here it is, Game 5 with Boston and Vancouver tied 2-2 in the Stanley Cup finals. The Canucks couldn’t get home fast enough to familiar ice. They had an epic meltdown in Boston and embattled goalie Roberto Luongo took most of the blame.

Luongo allowed a whopping 12 goals in Boston, and there was some doubt that he’d be back in net for Game 5. But he has the Game 5 start and Vancouver can only hope the home ice helps get them back on track. Luongo needs a huge stop or two, or at least a scoreless first period, to earn back some trust.

Story Continues →