Final: Boston 2, Montreal 1
Recap: After a grossly lifeless first period that saw them get outshot 11-4, the B’s came around in the middle frame and figured out how to maintain possession in Carey Price’s end of the rink.
Montreal pulled a Bruins and didn’t put any pucks on net for a prolonged stretch coming out of the first intermission, but P.K. Subban opened the scoring when his shot with three seconds left on a power play deflected off Rich Peverley and fooled Tuukka Rask.
Boston came out firing in the third, as Tyler Seguin – who was bumped up to the first line – backhanded a David Krejci pass past Price from close range to knot things up. Just 1:51 later, the newly formed line struck again, with Krejci getting a stick on a Lucic pass in the crease to tip in what proved to be the game-winning tally.
Records: Boston 7-1-1, 15 points; Montreal 6-3-0, 12 points
Key Play of the Game: The soon-to-be re-mentioned (hey, that’s not a word!) Rask made a number of dazzling stops in the final frame. We’ll salute the Finnish netminder’s reflexes in this spot tonight, as they were on full display when a Rene Bourque shot ricocheted off of Zdeno Chara’s (enormous) foot and forced Rask – on his way into the butterfly position – to quickly flash his blocker and turn the shot aside.
Connolly’s Commendations: Twenty saves probably doesn’t sound like a masterful performance, but if Rask wasn’t in beast mode in the first period, the B’s could’ve found themselves in a sizeable hole.
Claude Julien wisely spiced things up by slotting Seguin in on the right wing alongside Krejci. The duo picked up two points apiece during that quick blitz in the third.
Connolly’s Critiques: Boston’s PP remains pee-eww. The B’s went 0-for-4 on the man advantage and once again looked discombobulated in the offensive zone throughout most of their power-play time.
Notes: Ryan Spooner made his NHL debut, skating on the fourth line with Lane MacDermid and Jamie Tardif. Brad Marchand, Shawn Thornton and Dan Paille were all out due to injury. Rask had lost six straight against the Habs prior to tonight’s victory. The B’s owned a 38-26 edge on faceoffs and 24-12 advantage in blocked shots.
Final Thoughts: The first 20 minutes of tonight’s tilt were uninspiring, but the Bruins found their legs in the second period and did what they had to in the third, taking the first game in this season series and jumping up to grab first place in the conference in the process.
Next: The B’s are off until Saturday when they’ll welcome the Lightning to TD Garden for a 1 o’clock matinee. That, of course, is contingent upon all of us surviving Snowpocalypse.