Monday, April 14, 2008

Bruins Narrow The Gap To 1

Marc Savard is to Boston in game 3 as Alex Kovalev was to Montreal in game 2, tallying the overtime winner for his 1st career playoff goal.

It took them 11 games this season to notch a win vs. Montreal, but the win couldn't have come at a more important time.

With the potential of being down to Montreal 3-0 in the series, the Bruins knew what was at stake, and once again they played a pretty solid game, this time in front of their own crowd - well, mostly, as a large contigent of the crowd were clearly Habs fans.

The Bruins got off to an early lead, as 6:30 through the first, a bothced defensive zone play led to an unmarked Milan Lucic using time and space to his advantage and wristing a shot top corner by Carey Price.

Lucic played an outstanding game, having at least 5 quality scoring chances throughout the game.

The goal had major significance to it as it was the first time ALL SEASON that Boston held a lead over the Montreal Canadiens - this in their 11th confrontation together.

The lead would last until 4:26 of the second, as a gritty effort from Habs playoff scoring leader Tom Kostopoulos was converted into a goal. Taking the puck to the net, TK would take a weak shot on Thomas' left pad before being taken down from behind by a defenseman; but TK would not give up on the play, extending his stick on his own way down and connecting with his own rebound to slide it past a laterally displacing Thomas for the equalizer.

The story continued to be Montreal's ineffective 1st ranked powerplay, as they failed to convert on 4 more opportunities tonight, taking them to 1-for-18 in the series - or 6%.

No goals would be scored in the remainder of regulation, so off to overtime we were, again.

The Habs enjoyed early domination over Boston in overtime again, as they had in game 2.

The only difference was, accoridng to Bruins coach Claude Julien, was that "Lady luck was on their side" this time.

The Habs would be stymied on multiple occasions in OT, including a glorious chance from Tom Kostopoulos before a delayed penalty against Bryan Smolinski was signalled.

Tim Thomas left the ice to be replaced by extra attacker Marc Savard, and with the Bruins setting up in the Canadiens' zone, Savard charged in on the opposite wing of where the play was setting up. Dennis Wideman would tee-up a slapper, but would actually end up sending a crisp, hard pass cross-ice to the wide open Savard, who stopped the puck before hard-wristing a shot that beat a sprawling Carey Price ever so slightly for the game-winner.

The goal was Savard's first NHL postseason marker. The win was Thomas' first as well. Thomas turns 34 Tuesday.

"We got the monkey off our back after 13 losses," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, who wasn't with the team when Montreal started its 13-game winning streak against Boston more than a year ago.

"I knew at one point they were going to beat us," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We had a couple of really good chances in overtime, but Thomas played big."

Bruins forward Phil Kessel was scratched for the 2nd consecutive game as a reuslt of a very poor performance in game 1, and it seems to be having a positive effect on the team as Boston have looked solid in games 2 and 3.

The Bruins have never come back from 0-2 down in the playoffs to win a series, going 0-31.

Carey Price's winning streak ends at 9 games.

Game 4 goes Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Boston.


sasabainga said...

At least this sets up for Montreal winning the series on home ice!!!

x-ine said...

they need to win tomorrow first!

Anonymous said...

Terrible game 2 and 3. We got away with 1 in game 2 but if you ask me the habs are playing with fire. a conference champ shouldint be having difficulty winning, its like theyre content with only the W. they should be killing the B`s. the #1 PP is now nothing...and the high octane offense we saw all year is nowhere to be found! they gotta get it together because they might make it past the bruins but won`t go too far in the playoffs with the way they`re playing now.


sasabainga said...

Agreed, if they continue to play the way they are now, they're toast. A team like New York will eat us alive.

Our ineffective powerplay is really a troubling issue right now. We are not exectuting nearly the same way as we were in the regular season.

The really troubling thing is we are continuing to scratch one of our best players down the stretch of the regular season, Ryan O'Byrne. Brisebois is just not cutting it; his lack of speed, strength and skill is a real pain on the d-line. Get Bouillon and O'Byrne back in!

X-ine: That's what I meant, winning the next 2 would mean taking the series on home ice! :D