Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Four

Bruins force the issue while Canucks meltdown take 3-0 lead after two periods

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The Canucks problems in Boston continue tonight and it all starts with their defense’s inability to handle the Bruins pressure. While the Canucks are outshooting Boston 24-18 after two periods, the Bruins are capitalizing on all their chances.

It began at 11:11 of the second when Michael Ryder came tearing up the left wing side and let loose with a shot that may or may not have glanced off of Sami Salo’s stick, but regardless of that it’s a shot Roberto Luongo should’ve had as Ryder ripped it over his shoulder to give Boston a 2-0 lead.

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Just over two minutes later during a four-on-four after Rich Peverley and Andrew Alberts were sent off for matching penalties, Patrice Bergeron would force Keith Ballard and Kevin Bieksa into a fit of turnovers by their own net and Bergeron would feed Brad Marchand for a killer goal to give Boston a 3-0 lead. Alain Vigneault would call a timeout after that to settle his team down, but the damage has been done.

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Vancouver’s defense seemingly can’t help themselves to make bad plays as Boston is bringing the kind of pressure that’s exposing their wont to pinch in to help keep the play alive. The result means the Bruins are getting odd man rushes headed the other way in all situations. Vancouver’s got to figure that out or else they could be toast the rest of the night and perhaps the rest of the series.

Now we’ll wonder how the Canucks respond in the third period. Do they suck up some pride and fight back (the right way) or do they roll over the way they did in Game 3 and just let Boston do what they want.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

Justin Abdelkader
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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: