Habs beat Bruins 4-0, force Game Seven in Boston
Published Monday, May 12, 2014 8:21PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 13, 2014 1:28PM EDT
Thomas Vanek scored twice and Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller also scored to give the Canadiens a 4-0 win over the Bruins in Montreal Monday to force a series-deciding Game Seven in Boston.
The game had been a white-knuckle ride with the Canadiens' perilously hanging onto a one goal lead until late in the second period when Nathan Beaulieu broke up some sustained Bruins' pressure with a Hail Mary pass that pinballed to the slot in front of Boston netminder Tuukka Rask.
Pacioretty outskated Zdeno Chara to the puck and slid it between Rask's pads to give the Canadiens a two-goal lead at 15:24 of the second.
Pacioretty was also instrumental in the next goal two minutes later, as he outmuscled a pair of Bruins defenders and kicked a rebound to Thomas Vanek, who scored his fourth of the playoffs to give the Habs a three goal lead at 17:39.
The Canadiens had opened the scoring early in the first period when a cool-headed Lars Eller swooped on an errant puck to calmly slide a backhand past Tuukka Rusk early in the first period.
Eller jumped on the puck after it slid off of Kevan Miller's stick off a standard-looking pass from his defence partner Torey Krug behind the Bruins' net. Miller and Rask both dived in desperate-yet-futile attempts to prevent Eller from scoring his unassisted marker at 2:11 of the first period.
It was Eller's fourth goal of the post-season and ninth point in nine playoff games, leaving him as one of only 10 NHL players scoring at a point-per-game clip or better during the playoffs.
Thomas Vanek finished the scoring with an empty-net goal by saucering a puck in from just outside of the Bruins’ blueline after David Desharnais had stripped a Bruin and fed it to the Viennese sniper at 16:04 of the third period.
Bruins’ Coach Claude Julien had opted to attempt the newly-popular tactic of pulling his goalie well earlier than custom, but Rask had barely the time to leave his crease before Vanek’s fifth of the playoffs to make the score 4-0.
Nathan Beaulieu was a surprise starter on the Montreal defence after playing only 17 games in the regular season. He played just under 10 minutes, collected one assist and was a plus two. Travis Moen sat in favour of Danny Briere.
Price gets help with shutout
Carey Price picked up the shutout by turning back 26 shots. The Canadiens managed 28 shots against Rusk.
Price laughingly acknowledged later that he had no business taking credit for one of the saves that fans cheered him loudly for, as a Bruins' shot banged directly off the crossbar behind him. Price also got some late help from David Desharnais who dove in the crease late in the game to push back a puck that was sitting on the goal line.
Price called the game "fun," but said that it's already time to focus on the next one. "It's a best-of-one series now," said Carey Price in an interview after the game, referring to the upcoming decisive game in Boston.
'I expect to win': Julien
Bruins' Coach Claude Julien, when asked after the game what he expected from Game Seven, replied, "I expect to win."
When asked about that in his post-game press conference Canadiens' coach Michel Therrien said that, "anything can happen in Game Seven, that's the beauty of it."
Therrien was effusive in his praise for his team following the important victory.
"They played with a lot of emotion tonight. It’s practically their best game of the season, everybody was involved. Everybody contributed in their way, it was a very nice team victory," said an effusive Therrien afterwards.
When asked what he felt about one sequence which saw the Bruins hem the disorganized Canadiens in their zone for an extended period, Therrien got a laugh from the room by deadpanning, "I learned that P.K. Subban is a bad left winger, he's a better defenceman," referring to Subban's improvised attempt to claim a foward position after exiting the penalty box.
The Canadiens will show Game Seven on large screens at the Bell Centre at the price of $10 per ticket.