After falling in a pair of tight, low-scoring games in Vancouver in which they managed to score just two goals, the Bruins broke loose in a big way as they thrilled the Garden faithful with an 8-1 rout of the Canucks in Game 3 on Monday.
It was a huge win to get Boston back in the series, but the Bruins were quick to stress that it was just one win, and it will still take three more to win the club's first Cup since 1972.
"It's one game," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "We're still down 2-1 in this series. There's a lot of work to do. I'm happy with the win, but there's no real statement games until the end. It was a good effort by everybody, but we have a lotta, lotta work left to do still."
The Bruins proved themselves that there's not much carryover from game to game. They shook off what could have been two devastating defeats, falling 1-0 in Game 1 on a goal with 18.5 seconds left and 3-2 in Game 2 on a score just 11 seconds into overtime.
So while rolling to the big win on Monday was exhilarating, the Bruins know those goals won't count in Game 4 on Wednesday when it all starts over at 0-0, and the Bruins still need a win to pull even in the series.
"The next game is completely different and we realize that," said Bruins forward Daniel Paille, who scored a shorthanded goal and added an assist. "They're not going to want another game like that. They're going to be a lot stronger and a lot harder to play against. It was nice to see us contribute the way we did tonight, but we do know it's very rare and it's not going to happen too often."
Still, there is some hope that this win will be a turning point in the series that the Bruins can build on.
"I hope so, we finished really strong," Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. "We didn't lose our focus throughout the game, so we can build off that. But they're just going to try to forget about this game and start from zero again. It's a brand new game and we just have to come out as we did today."
One area that could carry over a bit is the Bruins' renewed confidence, particularly on offense. Boston scored eight goals after managing just three in their previous three games combined. And they did it with contributions throughout the lineup after top-line right wing Nathan Horton was sent to the hospital on a vicious blindside hit by Aaron Rome in the first period.
"What's maybe encouraging is we had our issues in scoring on [Vancouver goalie Roberto] Luongo," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And tonight we managed to find a way to score a lot of goals on him. [That's] certainly good confidence-wise, but I don't think it's any reason for us to think that all of a sudden things have turned around. We expect a tough game next game. I'm sure they're going to want to rebound back the way we did from those two tough losses."
The Bruins couldn't score on the five-minute major to Rome, but did have two power-play goals on the night, another positive sign with their struggles on the man advantage throughout the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Bruins penalty killers held Vancouver's potent power play scoreless on eight chances, while Brad Marchand and Paille scored shorthanded goals.
Goalie Tim Thomas also answered the critics of his aggressive style with a spectacular 40-save night.
"It helps a little bit for sure, especially the way Timmy played," Paille said. "The way everyone produced, it definitely gives us a little bit of confidence."
The Bruins also played their most physical game of the series, out-hitting the Canucks 40-31 in a game that featured 125 penalty minutes, seven misconducts, three major penalties and two game misconducts.
"It's part of our game, we want to play physical and when we do, we play a little better so we have to keep playing like that," Marchand said.
If the Bruins keep playing like that, they will have a chance to pull even in the series on Wednesday and take this whole thing over the next four games. But they won't get there by expecting Monday's rout to roll into another easy night on Wednesday.
"We just have to maintain focus," Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle said. "One game doesn't mean anything. We know that. Tomorrow's a new day and now we know that we're behind just one game, so we just have to make sure that we win Game 4."
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