Bruins beat Canadiens 4-2, take series lead
Published Saturday, May 10, 2014 9:11PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 11, 2014 4:17PM EDT
The Boston Bruins scored the first three goals against the Canadiens Saturday night and went on to cruise to a 4-2 victory, to take a 3-2 series lead.
The Habs entered the third period at the TD Garden in Boston with the difficult task of coming back from a 3-1 deficit against the league's second-best defensive team of the regular season.
The Habs were unable to sustain pressure and it was the Bruins who eventually regained a three goal lead at 14:12 of the third period, after Loui Eriksson swooped up a long rebound off of the right leg of Habs' netminder Carey Price.
P.K. Subban then singlehandedly brought the Canadiens back to within two by drawing a penalty on a one-man rush, as Matt Bartkowski tackled him in the corner. Subban then scored less than one minute later as his powerplay blast from the blueline blew by Bruins' netminder Tuukka Rask to make the score 4-2.
Max Pacioretty and Andei Markov earned assists on the goal, which emphatically rang off the iron behind the Boston netminder to temporarily hush the Boston crowd at 17:31 of the third. The goal was too little too late, however, as the Canadiens could ratchet up little pressure with an extra attacker.
The Canadiens fell behind by a trio of markers early in the second period, before Brendan Gallagher rushed to the crease to deflect a puck past Tuukka Rusk on a powperplay for his fourth goal of the playoffs. Brad Marchand was in the penalty box on a holding call at the time.
Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov were credited with assists on the goal scored at 14:39 of the second period.
The Bruins had scored a pair of powerplay goals early in the second period as Reilly Smith scored his fourth of the playoffs at 1:04 as Plekanec was in the box and Jarome Iginla also scored his fourth, once again while Plekenec was serving a penalty.
Iginla scored what turned out to be the winner after being left alone in the slot as Mike Weaver chased a puck along the boards and forward Mike Gionta failed to jump in to replace him in slot coverage.
Boston scored the only goal of a penalty-filled first period as Carl Soderberg netted his first of the playoffs with assists by Loui Eriksson and Matt Bartkowski.
A sweltering 27 C day in Boston appeared to have a less-than-ideal effect on the ice surface, as Lars Eller made an unprovoked tumble in the third and Markov simply overskated a puck earlier, possibly a result of soft ice.
Montreal Coach Michel Therrien left Danny Briere out of the lineup in favour of Brandon Prust, who played on a line with Dale Weise and Travis Moen. The line played sparingly, however, as all saw less than nine minutes.
Habs' Max Pacioretty, who led his squad with 39 goals in the regular season, had six shots, as did P.K. Subban, while Markov had five.
Montreal outshot Boston 31-30 in a game which saw four of the six goals scored on the powerplay.
Michel Therrien answered questions at a glum question-and-answer period following the game.
"We've got to be better on the five-on-five," he said.
Claude Julien, in a separate press conference, said the Bruins, "seemed more in control, putting pucks in the right area, we seemed to be in sync."
Bruins spray water on Subban
Therrien said he was aware of a complaint that Boston players had sprayed P.K. Subban with water from the bench twice. "We saw it," he said but declined to comment on it. It appeared that Bruins Shawn Thornton was the culprit, as Subban aimed some angry words towards him during the game.
Claude Julien denounced the practice of spraying players from the bench. "I certainly don't support those kinds of things, but I didn't see it."
Subban's 27:42 of ice-time was the most of any player of either team, following Game Four which saw him get about five minutes less than his season average.
The series next returns to Montreal Monday, as the Canadiens will aim to force a Game Seven in Boston Wednesday.