Carey Price did everything expected of him in a pressure situation; he held his ground and COMPLETELY shut out the opposition en route to a Habs 5-0 romp of Boston in the deciding 7th game.
Price stood on his head throughout the contest, but most importantly in the 1st period which was dominated by the Bruins once again. Price turned aside 11 shots in the 1st and 25 overall tonight, but at least 5 or 6 of those 11 saves were game savers, noteably stops on Krejci with a flash of the left pad and Savard with the blocker.
Montreal came out guns a-blazing from the moment the second period started, and they never looked back.
Already leading 1-0 on Mike Komisarek's fluky opening goal at 3:31 of the first, the Habs padded their lead by two in the 2nd, starting with Mark Streit's possible goal of the year (for Montreal), as he absolutely undressed big Zdeno Chara with a move similar to Kessel's in game 6 and pump-faked a couple of times before finally fooling Thomas (guess where?) 5-hole.
Andrei Kostitsyn then scored his first of 2 on the evening just as a Boston penalty ended. Young brother Sergei hit him with a perfect pass in the slot, and Andrei found a way to coral the puck and release a deadly accurate wrist shot through a few bodies and over Thomas shoulder, who saw the puck at the very last second and couldn't make the save.
The Habs officially iced the contest with 2:02 remaining in the 3rd, as Andrei was the scorer once again, this time backhanding home a rebound of a Patrice Brisebois point-shot on the powerplay.
As the game seemed destined to end at 4-0, the Habs, on their last rush of the outing, produced yet another goal. Andrei dropped a pass for Plekanec, who went wide and hard-passed one at the crease, hitting a poorly-covered Sergei Kostitsyn for the easy redirect past a downed Thomas.
The Canadiens were backed by a very loud 21, 273 at the Bell Centre, who really did figure in as the 6th skater on the ice tonight.
Guy Carbonneau's lucky tie is now 3-0, and we would really like for him to use it in every SINGLE remaining game we have left.
All luck aside, Carbo's coaching made a huge difference in the outcome tonight, as he pulled a curveball on everyone by forming two new scoring trios: Saku Koivu centered Chris Higgins and new linemate Alex Kovalev, while Plekanec centered the high-flying Kostitsyn brothers.
The result: Koivu's line - 3 points; Plekanec's line - 6 points
The Habs unblocked their clogged powerplay tonight, getting credit for 1 PPG on 4 opportunites (keep in mind that Andrei Kostitsyn's first goal came exactly as a Bruins player stepped out of the box, so it could have been 2 for 4.
Boston, despite putting up an amazing, nail-biting fight, have seen their cinderella run come to an end.
Let's not forget, BOTH of these teams were predicted to finish near - if not, dead - last in the East, so for them to not only be in, but put together such a fantastic series is just amazing.
Hats off to the Bruins, who gave the Habs (and their fans) a real run for their money; but, in sport, one team must one, as one must lose, and we are privileged to have the opportunity to continue to wear the bleu-blanc-rouge colors proudly.
Unfortunately, LCN cable 29 is currently showing a live helicopter-feed of 6 police cars on fire in the downtown area. The fans involved here are definitely crossing the line, and these kind of actions can really put a bad cloud over such a greatly respected hockey city. It's a real shame that these morons are doing what they're doing, but it would be naive to not expect any sort of wild action at the end of such a great series by two classy organizations. The riot suqad has been called in to help deal with the overly violent downtown crowd.
The Habs now await tomorrow's result of Washington's game 7 with Philadelphia to find out who they will face in round two. The possible scenario's play out like this:
Washington wins game 7: MTL vs. NYR, PIT vs. WSH
Philadelphia wins game 7: MTL vs. PHI, PIT vs. NYR
The Sharks and Flames also conclude their series tomorrow night with game #7.