The Boston Bruins broke open a scoreless game with three unanswered second period goals and rode that to a 4-1 win over the Canadiens Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. It was the Canadiens third loss in a row and ended a five game winning streak over the Bruins. Carl Soderberg, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara scored the Boston goals. David Desharnais scored for Montreal. The Canadiens outshot Boston 36-32. The three stars were Bostn goaltender Tuukka Rask, Chara and Thomas Vanek.
Adding It Up –
For Openers – The Canadiens owned the Bruins in the scoreless first period. They made the Bruins look slow and overmatched. They outshot them 14-6 and limited Boston to two scoring chances. Their speed forced the Bruins to take two penalties and six of their 14 Canadiens shots came with the man advantage. Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk had breakaways.
The Difference – The Boston Bruins know how to capitalize on their chances. In the second minute of the second period Lars Eller won a faceoff from the Bruins Carl Soderberg. Jarred Tinordi mishandled the puck beside his own net, Soderberg pounced on it and scored before Peter Budaj could set himself. 1:33 into the period it was already the Bruins fifth shot on goal in the period.
No Luck At All – Midway through the period, Andrei Markov fell at his own blueline and the Bruins had a 3-on-1 with Brad Marchand feeding Patrice Bergeron to make it 2-0. The backbreaking third goal came when Milan Lucic ran over Alexei Emelin in the Bruins end creating another odd man rush that wound up with Lucic scoring his 20th goal of the season. 3-0 after two. Not one of Peter Budaj’ best moments. And then 4-0, 23 seconds into the third when Chara drilled home his own rebound.
Same Old, Same Old – The Bruins know how to score goals when given the opportunity. The Canadiens don’t. Simple as that. Boston ranks third in the league in goalscoring. The Canadiens are 20th and now they have given up more goals (170) than they have scored (167) which is never a good sign.
Non-Starter – The pressure of being number one doesn’t sit well on Peter Budaj’s shoulders. He has two wins in his seven starts since Carey Price went down. It’s now 4 straight losses and in his seven starts he’s given up 23 goals; a goal against average of 3.51 and horrible .868 save percentage.
Misemployed – Thomas Vanek again started the game on the left wing with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta and finished it on right wing with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. He was very good, but seems wasted playing with Plekanec and Gionta who are now more known for their two way game than their offense. It was Vanek that started the scramble that led to the Canadiens only goal. He was second only to Pacioretty, with five shots on goal in the game and legitimately earned the third star.
Also Worth Mentioning – …..Hard to believe but Francis Bouillon, who had been a healthy scratch for 15 of the last 16 games, wound up with the most ice time in the game at 24:03. He was paired with P.K. Subban. …..The Eller/Galchenyuk/Briere line was on the ice for two of the first three goals. Seems to me, Galchenyuk is being wasted there. ……It’s been nine games since the Canadiens won in regulation time, dating back to the February 8th win over Vancouver. …..The Canadiens are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 77 points. Ninth place Detroit is six points behind them with two games in hand. With fifteen games left in their season it’s not a good time to be slumping.
Moving On – The Canadiens get their mandated day off Thursday, will practice Friday for their home game against Ottawa Saturday. Then they play the Sabres Sunday in Buffalo.