Yet again, the Boston Bruins stunned the Vancouver Canucks to even the Stanley Cup Finals at two games apiece.
After struggling through two disappointing losses in Vancouver, the Bruins have regained their swagger on their home ice, outscoring the Canucks 12-1 over the past two games.
Losing forward Nathan Horton to a crushing blindside hit in Game Three woke the sleeping bear and the momentum in this series has totally shifted away from the Canucks.
The Bruins have responded to Horton's loss by mauling their opponents all over the ice, denying the talented Sedin Twins the time or space to operate, and stifling a previously unstoppable Canucks power play.
So What to Expect for Game Five?
Vancouver is slinking home after giving up a 2-0 series lead and wondering where this terrifying version of the Bruins came from.
On the other side, Boston is fired up after thoroughly dominating the Canucks on their home ice and they have to think they can steal one road game to bring home the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.
Bruins netminder Tim Thomas has been incredible in the series, allowing just five goals in four games against an offense that features the NHL's last two scoring champions, Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Over the past two games in Boston, Thomas has stopped 78 shots, allowed only one goal, and recorded his third shutout of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo has allowed 12 goals in his last two games and was finally pulled in favor of backup Cory Schneider after allowing four goals in 20 shots in Game Four. The Canucks cannot be confident they can contain what has suddenly turned into a high-scoring Bruins team after the beatings they took in Boston.
The energy level on the Boston side has soared since the first two games of the series and they're going back to Vancouver carrying all the momentum on their side. The Bruins are going to continue denying the speedy Canucks offense the space they need to work by fore checking in the neutral zone and trying to create turnovers.
Unless the Canucks can figure out what's the matter with their power play - which was best in the NHL during the regular season but after going 0-6 in Game Four is just 1-22 for the Finals - the series is going to end with disappointment.
The Bruins need to keep getting goals from unlikely places and across the depth chart to steal the game in Vancouver they need to win the Cup. Forward Rich Peverly, who replaced Horton on the Bruins top line, scored two goals in the Game Four victory, doubling his total for the playoffs.
The Canucks are shaky heading back home and need to try and regain some of their mojo before Game Five in Vancouver on Friday night. They need to play better defense, get more offense across the board and especially from the Sedins, and hope that Luongo regains his earlier form. That's a tall order, to say the least.
The Bruins are looking for another all-out team effort and counting on the inspiration provided by the injured Horton to, in the words of goalie Tim Thomas, finish what [they] started for him.
PREDICTION: Carrying all the momentum into Vancouver and riding another stellar performance by Thomas, the Bruins come out on top in a closer game than the two played in Boston.
SCORE PREDICTION: Bruins 3 Canucks 1