Somehow it seems only fitting that this series between two arch rivals and two of the most storied NHL franchises goes to game seven. And it will do just that as the Canadiens beat the Bruins by a score of 5-2 in front of a delirious Bell Centre crowd.
It was a game that featured great saves, great hits and great goals and as has become typical of a game between these two clubs, one that oozed passion and intensity. For
This game also featured a huge turning point as Mike Komisarek, after the Bruins were gaining momentum as the score was tied at one, absolutely hammered
Most pleasing for Hab fans is that the team stayed with it, despite getting down early, and despite surrendering a goal while they were up by a score of 3-1 early in the third. From that point, they could have dropped to a defensive stance and played on their heels the rest of the way, but they managed to continue to battle and make things happen.
And while the score to this one might look somewhat lopsided as if
In fact, it was the Bruins who opened the scoring, despite a solid start from the home side. On a defensive zone faceoff, Sergei Samsonov snapped a loose puck which tricked under the arm of Jose Theodore. It was another terrible goal surrendered by the supposed star goalie who’s been anything but, and could easily have brought the Habs down hard.
They refused to falter, though, and a little over five minutes later the Canadiens responded after some solid work by the fourth line deep in the
As the play moved into the second, one thing was clear, and that was that
Within moments the Canadiens capitalized. After intercepting an attempted clearance along the side boards, Andrei Markov fired a first-time pass hard across the ice and through traffic to Koivu in the slot. The captain miscued slightly on his shot, but it still managed to slide between Raycroft’s legs to put the Habs up by one.
Later in the period, when the Habs were killing a tripping penalty to Komisarek, they were unlucky not to move two in front. Joe Juneau stripped Sergei Gonchar of the puck and raced in alone forcing a large save from Raycroft. Seconds later it was Jim Dowd missing the net from a Steve Begin pass on a two-on-none situation.
They did make it a two goal lead soon thereafter as Michael Ryder, after having dominated a complete shift, sent a deft behind-the-back pass into the right faceoff circle where an oncoming Perreault fired a shot over Raycroft’s shoulder. While he’s been held largely off the scoresheet, Ryder has still proved himself to be an extremely effective player and continues to make thing happen.
There was a scary moment when Begin, in attempting to finish a check against Patrice Bergeron, face-planted into the boards and remained on the ice pooling blood for some time. Bergeron had ducked and lost his footing and as Begin his the wall, it was his mouth that took the brunt of the damage. He lost at least one tooth and needed to take a number of stitches, but returned to the game in the third wearing a full face shield.
The third was played at a fast and furious pace and numerous chances were turned aside by Theodore and the
The only blemish for the Habs in the third was the second goal of the night by Samsonov as he took a pass at the
As time was winding down, Richard Zednik made a strong play on the boards and Alex Kovalev picked up the loose puck and fired a shot at the open net from just outside the blue line. While he missed the net, Koivu was first to the puck and he centred it to Kovalev who scored. Soon thereafter it was Jan Bulis who deposited his first of the playoffs after some strong work by Perreault along the boards.
The teams now head back to
Which in some ways is a shame, because the hockey can’t get much better than this.