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Tim Thomas got flattened. Ryan Kesler drove to the net with his stick in the air and plowed into Boston’s goalie. Thomas landed with a thud on the ice, setting up a Bruins power play.

The penalty was obvious, but the fans were clearly displeased, breaking into a booming, “Ref You Suck!” chant that filled Rogers Arena.

Roberto Luongo made a pair of easy saves, and Vancouver killed the power play. That kept the game scoreless 13 minutes into the second period.

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Punching. Fighting. Protective gloves. Blood. The Stanley Cup finals? Well, yeah, but the Canucks and Boston Bruins have some bone-crunching company on the sports calendar. It’s a double dip of violence this weekend in Vancouver because UFC 131 will take place Saturday night in Rogers Arena, a night after Game 5.

There’s no penalty box in the octagon for these vicious hits.

Junior Dos Santos fights Shane Carwin in the main event. UFC president Dana White understands his event is on the Canadian undercard.

“Let me tell you what, I don’t ever fool myself on what the No. 1 sport in Canada is, believe me,” White said. “I’ve got no problem playing second fiddle to their hockey team playing here for the championship. I get it.”

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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.

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Story Continues →