Bruins maul Canucks to claw back into Stanley Cup

Tue Jun 7, 2011 10:10am EDT
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By Steve Keating

BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston clawed their way back into the NHL Stanley Cup Finals by mauling the Vancouver Canucks 8-1 on Monday after they were stung into action by a vicious hit on Nathan Horton.

After losing the first two games of the best-of-seven final series in Vancouver, the Bruins returned home with coach Claude Julien declaring his team had not come this far just to roll over and accept defeat.

The Bruins responded with their best effort of the postseason, handing the Canucks a beating on the scoreboard and on the ice in an ill-tempered Game Three filled with fights, trash-talking and ferocious hits.

The series momentum took a dramatic shift early in the first period after Aaron Rome's blindside hit to the head of Horton left the Boston winger unconscious and twitching on the ice.

Medical staff were quickly on the ice, carefully strapping the motionless Horton onto a backboard then transporting him to a local hospital where he was reported moving all extremities.

"You always make mention about the guy that's gone to the hospital, I'm sure being there, he (Horton) would like to see this team win this hockey game," Julien told reporters.

"It's always something to motivate yourself with, ... when a guy goes down the way he did.

"Looking back at the hit, you say: 'was it a dirty hit?' I think what I would call it is it was a blindside hit that we've talked about taking out of the game."   Continued...

<p>Boston Bruins' Tim Thomas (R) is congratulated by teammates Johnny Boychuk (C) and Brad Marchand after they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff in Boston, Massachusetts, June 6, 2011. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>