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BOSTON (AP) — The tattered, kitschy Bruins jacket has been moving around the Boston locker room for the past few months, going to the most valuable player in every victory.
It belonged to Nathan Horton when he went down with a serious concussion two days earlier in the Stanley Cup finals. He showed up in the Bruins’ locker room Wednesday night, delighting his teammates by putting the jacket on Rich Peverley.
That strange, old jacket bought on eBay has become the Bruins’ most valuable trophy.
After two dominant games in Boston, the Bruins are halfway to winning a bigger, shinier prize.
Tim Thomas made 38 saves in his third shutout of the playoffs, Peverley scored two goals after replacing Horton on Boston’s top line, and the Bruins emphatically evened the finals at two games apiece with a 4-0 victory over the foundering Vancouver Canucks in Game 4.
The Bruins rolled through Game 4 on an emotional high that began with a stirring pregame tribute to Horton, who will miss the rest of the series after a late hit in Game 3 from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome, who was suspended for four games.
“When I personally got to see him in the locker room, I was incredibly happy,” Thomas said. “It gave me a big boost. He was there to pass the jacket on. The team would have been happy leaving it with Horty for the rest of the series, but he wanted to give it away and keep the tradition going. ... Watching him going down, we want to finish what we started for him.”
Michael Ryder and Brad Marchand also scored and the Bruins chased Roberto Luongo early in the third period after Vancouver’s star goalie allowed his 12th goal in less than two brutal games in Boston.
“It’s always easier to be at home,” Marchand said.