Going in for the kill

Results exemplary when shorthanded

No momentum
By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / June 8, 2011

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The Canucks entered the Stanley Cup Final with a flammable power play, having scored on 28.3 percent of their man-up situations through three rounds. In Game 3, though, the power play was their downfall.

“We gave them momentum,’’ said Vancouver center Henrik Sedin. “We kill all the momentum we get from the power plays. You’re not going to score on every power play. But you need to get some for your team. If you’re on the bench and you’re watching them score on the power play, that’s a killer.’’

In Game 3, the Bruins were perfect on the penalty kill, turning aside Vancouver on all eight of its power plays. The Bruins limited the Canucks to 13 power-play shots.

Through three games, the Bruins have allowed only one power-play goal on 16 opportunities. As the cliché goes, Tim Thomas has been Boston’s best penalty killer. But he has gotten plenty of help from his teammates.

In Game 3, the Bruins were aggressive on the penalty kill. They challenged the Canucks and prevented their skilled players from making plays. As a result, they scored two shorthanded goals — one by Brad Marchand, the other off the stick of Daniel Paille.

“We were forcing turnovers, moving our feet, challenging the D,’’ said Boston center Gregory Campbell. “Every time they have a power play, we have to respect it. They have extremely good players. We did a good job last night. But it’s only one game.’’

Two shorthanded plays stood above the rest.

The first was Marchand’s one-man dangle through Vancouver’s three best players — Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, and Roberto Luongo. After Marchand went upstairs on a splayed-out Luongo to complete the rush, the Bruins had grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead at 11:30 of the second period.

The other was a courageous Campbell block. Early in the third, while Michael Ryder was in the box for roughing, Sami Salo wound up for one of his signature slap shots. Salo can hit it with the best of them (see his two five-on-three goals against San Jose in the Western Conference final).

But Campbell thought nothing of hitting the deck and throwing himself in front of Salo’s shot.

“Shows a lot of guts on his part against a guy that shoots the puck that hard,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “It’s about sacrifice more than anything else. Our penalty kill has taken a lot of pride in these playoffs to be very, very good. And it has been.’’

Jacket stays put
As the last steward of the game jacket — the gloriously garish garment awarded to the Bruin most deserving after each win — it would have been Nathan Horton’s call to select its next guardian. After his deciding goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final, Horton was given the jacket from Chris Kelly, its previous winner.

After the 8-1 thumping of the Canucks, many players could have earned the jacket. There was Thomas, a save away from a shutout. Or Mark Recchi, who potted two goals. Or Shawn Thornton, who delivered some serious bang for the buck in 5:50 of ice time.

But after the win, the Bruins decided it wouldn’t have been proper to give away the jacket without Horton having a say. So the jacket remained in Horton’s stall, where it is likely to stay for the rest of the series.

“It wasn’t right for someone else to give it out when he had it the last time,’’ said Ryder. “We all talked about it, so it was everybody.’’

Rough stuff expected
NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy spoke with both teams yesterday morning regarding the chippiness of the series. However, the Bruins aren’t intending to tone down their physical play, which is at the heart of their identity. “The physicality of the game has to stay there,’’ Julien said. . . The Hurricanes hired former Bruins coach Dave Lewis yesterday to serve as an assistant to Paul Maurice. Lewis coached the Bruins in 2006-07 . . . TD Garden was unavailable to the teams yesterday because of “Glee Live.’’ The Canucks held an optional practice at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena. The Bruins didn’t practice yesterday but handled their media obligations at the BU facility.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto

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