HUFFINGTON POST CANADA/THE CANADIAN PRESS -- The road to the Stanley Cup just got a lot harder for the Vancouver Canucks after getting trampled by the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the final series.
In Vancouver, the roaring crowds that have marked the Canucks' playoff wins have been reduced to a whimper, as fans in the city's downtown wander around in stunned silence wondering what went wrong.
The Canucks lost their first away game of the Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins 8-1 in Game 3, cutting Vancouver's series lead to 2-1.
Downtown Vancouver erupted in massive celebrations each time the Canucks have won, but the post-game crowds are decidedly thinner and more sedate this time.
Bryan Milner, a 21-year-old paramedic who watched the game on a large outdoor screen, says he's disappointed the Canucks lost and admits they didn't play well.
But Milner says Boston is a good team and he never expected them to lose every game, and he's still confident about Vancouver's chances.
Game 4 is in Boston on Wednesday, and the series will return to Vancouver on Friday for Game 5.
Bruins star forward Nathan Horton is unlikely to suit up for that game after a brutal collision with Canucks defender Aaron Rome in the first period. Rome received a game misconduct for the hit -- a harsh shoulder to Horton's head -- that resulted in the Boston forward being removed from the ice on a stretcher.
But the suddenly hushed crowd of 17,565 fans at Boston's TD Garden came to life again when the Bruins started scoring. One after another. Vancouver, forced to play the majority of the game with only five defenceman thanks to the Rome ejection, folded in short order. And superstar goalie Roberto Luongo was not up to the task of staving off the buzzing Bruins forwards.
While Horton is recovering at Massachusetts General Hospital, Rome will likely face a hearing -- and a suspension from the NHL's freshly minted chief of discipline Brendan Shanahan.
The former Detroit Red Wings power forward is scheduled, ironically, to deliver his committee's first report on the blindside headshot rule at the general managers meetings in Boston scheduled for Wednesday.
After the hit, Horton lay dazed on the ice for a few uncertain moments. He regained movement in all his extremities while still on the ice, amid a huddle of doctors and trainers, before being taken to hospital overnight for observations.
Here's how the hit went down. Be warned, it's not pretty.