The Canadiens scored two goals in the opening 2:20 and made it stand up in a 3-1 win over the Bruins in Boston. The win gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in the series coming home to Montreal for game three on Monday. Michael Cammalleri opened the scoring at the 43 second mark of the first period and only six seconds into a penalty to Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, Mathieu Darche converted a Cammalleri pass to make it 2-0. Patrice Bergeron scored to narrow the score to 2-1 but Yannick Weber restored the two goal lead late in the second period. Boston outshot the Canadiens 35-26.
Summing It Up –
…..The Canadiens sucked the air out of the TD Garden in 2 minutes and 20 seconds and smothered them with a defensive blanket that had the Bruins frustrated and angry.
…..The Bruins defense was awful without Zdeno Chara. Rumours are it’s the flu that dehydrated him and may keep out longer than just one game. (Note – It’s a rumour. Not confirmed). His regular partner Johnny Boychuk was responsible for two of the three Canadiens goals. On the first, he failed to pick up Cammalleri moving in for the Wisniewski rebound; and on the clinching goal he failed to pick up Weber in front after the Eller rebound.
……We can mention the usual suspects in a game like this, but there was some pretty special work turned in by the Eller/Pyatt/Weber line. Yannick Weber, a last minute sub for Andrei Kostitsyn, scored the clinching goal, his second in only four career playoff games. But he also threw his weight around and was a solid complement to the checking skills of Eller and Pyatt. The line had seven shots on goal and registered six hits.
…….It was Michael Cammalleri’s night to carry the mail. A goal and an assist. A solid two-way game and for the second straight game he and his linemates Plekanec and on this night Moen, were partly responsible for keeping Lucic and company off the board.
……The Scott Gomez line was solid, but with the score 2-0 they stuck pretty much to their checking duties. I thought they were terrific shutting down the neutral zone. MathieuDarche had a particularly good night. In their own end . Gomez blocked three shots and Darche twice.
…..The other part of the Lucic shutdown was Subban and Gill. And again, Bruins coach Claude Julien couldn’t find a way to get his top line away from them. Either that or he’s stubbornly waiting for Lucic to start scoring. His current drought is 11 games. Subban, for the second straight game, played over 27 minutes. Gill logged 24:46.
……James Wisniewski stepped up to the plate in a big way. His long shot from centre off the outside pad of Thomas (which guaranteed a rebound) set up Cammalleri’s opening goal. He sent Tomas Plekanec in alone with a perfect stretch pass early in the second period and fought Shane Hnidy later in the second. I’m more and more convinced the Canadiens should make an effort to sign him in the off season. Question is….at who’s expense.
……You could see Jaroslav Spacek’s experience shining through. Nothing fancy. Just finish the check and get the puck out of the zone. Best part of the way the defense is playing, Martin doesn’t have to overuse either Spacek or Hamrlik. Their freshness is showing.
…..The Canadiens blocked 27 shots compared with only 8 by the Bruins. Thirteen players registered blocks led by Hal Gill with five, Hamrlik, Sopel, Subban, along with Gomez with three each.
…..Did we mention Carey Price? Same old thing. I wonder what might have happened if he hadn’t made that save on Lucic seconds after Darche had made the score 2-0. He took care of that and everything else his teammates missed. The only goal came on what was the only time the Bruins got a free pass through the neutral zone (caused by a sloppy line change). There were a couple of posts but in the end he has stopped 65 of 66 shots over the two games in Boston. Goals against average 0.50. Save percentage .985.
…..Negatives? Hard to find them. We could have done without the Wisniewski charging penalty and Subban’s tripping penalty early in the third didn’t make coach Martin happy. Still looking for more from Benoit Pouliot, but I guess what you see is what you get. He logged the least ice time (7:57) of any member of the team.
….And so the Canadiens come home. You know what the Bell Centre is going to be like Monday night. Twenty six times the Bruins have lost their first two games of a playoff series. They have never come back to win.