- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

BOSTON (AP) - First power play for Boston, and it was a good penalty kill for the Canucks. Boston managed just two shots with the advantage, and Vancouver even had a decent shorthanded scoring chance.

The Bruins‘ power play has been struggling in the playoffs. They couldn’t score in their first 21 chances of the postseason before finally breaking through against Montreal in the first round. Things have picked up a bit: They are 3 for 13 in the series _ make that 3 for 14 _ but they did score twice on the power play in Game 3. (Of course, they scored every which way in that 8-1 blowout.)

Mason Raymond was sent off for high-sticking this time. Vancouver is killing penalties at a rate of over 80 percent.

___

The first period’s over in Boston, and the Bruins have a 1-0 lead over the Canucks in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Rich Peverley has the only goal so far, with an assist by David Krejci that moved him into a tie for the NHL lead in playoff scoring. Krejci has 11 goals and 10 assists, tying him with Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin and his two goals, 19 assists.

Vancouver has four players in the top seven in scoring.

After Krejci, Boston’s next-best scorer is Nathan Horton, who is seventh with 17 points but out for the rest of the series with a severe concussion. Boston forward Patrice Bergeron is also in there, with four goals and 13 assists.

___

Rich Peverley has given the Boston Bruins a 1-0 lead in their attempt to even the Stanley Cup finals at two games apiece.

David Krejci poked it past the last line of defense, and Peverley went in all alone on Roberto Luongo before putting it through the five-hole with 8:01 left in the first. That’s the first first-period goal for Boston in the series.

Just the fourth shot of the game for Boston.

Give Zdeno Chara the other assist.

___

The first power play goes to Vancouver.

Michael Ryder was sent off for tripping on an obvious call near the blue line right in front of the ref. The Canucks had the best power play in the regular season, but they were just 1 for 16 in the first three games of the finals. In fact, they gave the Bruins two shorthanded goals on Monday night in Game 3.

Not much doing on this one, either. Although they put some pressure on the Bruins‘ zone in the latter half of the advantage, they managed just one shot _ a scorcher from the point that Tim Thomas turned away cleanly.

___

We’re back at the TD Garden for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals.

A couple of changes in the lineups as a result of the hit that sent Nathan Horton to the hospital: Rookie Tyler Seguin is in for the Bruins after being scratched for Game 3. Keith Ballard is on defense for the Canucks in place of Aaron Rome after he was suspended for the remainder of the series for the late hit on Horton. Ballard is making $4.2 million, but he’s only played two of the previous 12 games and hasn’t appeared in the finals.

Horton is out for the rest of the series with a severe concussion. But he went home from the hospital yesterday and was said to be exchanging text messages with his teammates.

Should be interesting to see if this one looks like the first two games, which were tightly played, one-goal Vancouver victories, or the third. In Game 3 on Monday night, Boston broke it open after a scoreless first period with four goals in the second and four in the third. A high-scoring contest could favor the Bruins, who are 9-4 in the playoffs in games with five or more goals and 4-4 with four or fewer.

The Bruins got things going early by playing highlights from Monday’s game, along with some key goals from previous Cup runs. Speaking of which: Bobby Orr, referred to in these parts simply as “No. 4,” is in the building, hanging out with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper before the game.

Even the Red Sox are jumping on the Bruins bandwagon: They called up a catcher named (Luis) Exposito on Wednesday.