Early in the day when the referees were revealed, everyone knew it was going
to be a penalty filled match in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Fortunately for
the Habs, they took advantage of their powerplay opportunities as they scored on
a pair of two-man advantages. Those goals held up as Montreal forced a 7th
game, doubling up the Bruins by a score of 2-1.
The Habs started the scoring just past the midway point of the 1st period.
Montreal was on a lengthy two-man advantage as a result of a too-many-men
penalty followed by a slash just 3 seconds later. Mike Cammalleri picked
up his 3rd of the playoffs as he slapped one past Tim Thomas in his favourite
place at the faceoff dot. There were a pair of last minute penalties in
the frame to make it 4-on-4 to start the 2nd.
Boston took advantage of there being less skaters out as they quickly
established a cycle on the Habs; Dennis Seidenberg rotated from the blueline all
the way behind the net. From there, he shook off a falling Jaroslav Spacek
and stuffed one past Carey Price to tie it up before the period was a minute
old. Minutes later, Spacek was at the centre of another play we’ll be
seeing on the highlights as Milan Lucic injured the Czech defender on a boarding
play that saw him get 5 minutes plus a game misconduct. Spacek did return
late in the 2nd though.
As was the case in the 1st period, Boston quickly took another penalty, this
time it was for delay of game, sending the Canadiens to another lengthy two-man
advantage. Brian Gionta got open at the side of the net and deposited a
pass from Scott Gomez to make it 2-1, which wound up being the winner. As
usual, the Habs tried to protect their small lead, so they didn’t generate much
of an attack in the 3rd. Boston’s momentum in that final frame was quashed
by another penalty, which allowed the Habs to kill the majority of the final
three and a half minutes off with the man advantage.
Price turned aside all but one of Boston’s 32 shots for the win while Thomas
made 25 saves in the loss. The Habs were 2/7 on the powerplay while the
Bruins continued their 0-for-the-series run, going 0/4.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Mike Cammalleri (1 goal, 1 assist, -1 rating, 5
shots, 5/9 faceoffs, 25:13 TOI)
He has come up big before in elimination games and did so again in Game 6,
factoring in on both goals while being a threat all night. He won a few
key faceoffs as well; it’s handy to have a winger who is generally proficient on
the draw with all of the mind-numbing faceoff ejections we’re seeing in this
series, but that’s another story.
2nd Star: Carey Price (31 saves on 32 shots, .969 SV%, 1.00 GAA)
After coughing up at least one goal that could be classified as soft in each
of the two home losses, there was a lot of pressure on Price.
Unfortunately for him, the one goal he did allow was also of that soft variety
but to his credit, he didn’t let anything else beat him. His rebound
control was strong in the 3rd which certainly played a role in the Habs hanging
3rd Star: Brian Gionta (1 goal, even rating, 6 shots, 24:38 TOI)
Although I hate having the same 3 stars as the official ones, it’s hard not
to put Gionta here. He did have the game winning goal while leading both
teams in shots. He also happened to have the most shots taken that didn’t
hit the net (3 missed while 2 others were blocked). It’s best if he just
keeps on firing.
Honourable Mention: Roman Hamrlik (-1 rating, 2 PIMS, 8 blocks,
Was he the 4th best player for the Habs? Not really, but I just wanted
to call attention to the 8 blocks he had. By comparison, all of Boston’s
forwards combined had half that many. He has (deservedly) taken
some heat in this series but this was a huge bounce back game.
Stats of the Night: After being beaten badly (and I mean badly)
in Games 1 through 5 on the draw, Scott Gomez had a very strong night at the
faceoff dot going 9 for 15, good for 60%. His previous series high in
success rate? 42%. This win snapped Carey Price’s 7-game losing
streak at home in the playoffs, spanning 3 different years. This is the
5th time in 5 tries that the Habs have successfully forced a Game 7 against
Boston after trailing a series 3-2. Speaking of Game 7, the time is now
officially set for that one, it will go at 7 PM EST tomorrow night in Boston.