Canucks banking on home advantage to regain momentum

Thu Jun 9, 2011 10:12pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Vancouver Canucks returned home on Thursday after two crushing losses to the Boston Bruins that has left the Stanley Cup up for grabs.

After two narrow wins on home ice to open the best-of-seven series, Canucks fans had every reason to think their long wait for the Stanley Cup was almost over.

But the celebrations were put on hold after the Bruins won their two home games 8-1 and 4-0 to level the finals at 2-2.

The series took a gigantic shift early in game three when Aaron Rome's vicious late hit on Nathan Horton left the Boston forward unconscious on the ice and out of the series with a severe concussion.

Rome was subsequently suspended for the next four games and the loss of Horton only served to galvanize the Bruins, but the Canucks are confident the return home will help them regain the initiative.

"If somebody would have told me at the beginning of the year that we could play for the Stanley Cup, best two-out-of-three series with home ice advantage in front of our fans, I would have taken those odds," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. "I would have taken that anytime to play for the big prize.

"That's what we've got right now. We're going to put these last two games behind us.

"We play real well at home. We're going to go and feed off the energy from our fans and give it our best shot."   Continued...

<p>Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider (35) pauses as players drop their gloves to fight in the final minutes of the third period in Game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Massachusetts, June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>