Montreal was looking to keep the win one, lose one trend alive on Saturday
night for Game 5 in Boston. Unfortunately for them, the game didn’t go the
way they wanted as some early penalty trouble proved costly and the Bruins
prevailed 4-2. Boston now has a 3-2 series lead and can end the series on
Monday night at the Bell Centre.
The Habs made one somewhat controversial lineup change prior to the game.
Daniel Briere, who has produced despite very little ice time in the postseason,
was scratched in favour of Brandon Prust who had been a healthy scratch for
Games 3 and 4. The one change that many were hoping for didn’t happen as
Douglas Murray remained in the lineup after an up-and-down Game 4.
It’s safe to say that Brendan Gallagher and Brad Marchand aren’t fans of each
other’s play. For the second time this series, the two of them were
battling before the puck even dropped to start the game. The two of them
renewed acquaintances later in the 1st where they both received unsportsmanlike
conduct penalties. Marchand threw Gallagher’s helmet across the ice; that
wasn’t called a penalty but pretty much everything else was in the opening
The Bruins opened the scoring in the first as Carl Soderberg picked up his
first career postseason goal after the Habs were unable to change following an
icing. Both teams had a trio of powerplays in the period but were unable
to score. Boston, however, had a carryover powerplay after Tomas Plekanec
received a late goalie interference penalty.
It didn’t take long for the Bruins to capitalize on that man advantage.
Reilly Smith redirected one past Carey Price just past the one minute mark,
notching Boston’s first PPG of the series. It took all of 32 seconds for
them to get their second. Plekanec was back in the box for a high sticking
penalty (his third minor of the game) and shortly after the faceoff, Jarome
Iginla found himself more than a little open and he fired one past Price to make
For the better part of the second, Boston was carrying the play. They
were the aggressors and the Habs were a step slow. They did get a bit of a
boost late in the period, however, as Brendan Gallagher redirected a Plekanec
shot past Tuukka Rask on the powerplay to put Montreal on the board and end
Rask’s shutout streak at just over 122 minutes. That should have given
them a bit of life heading into the third trailing 3-1.
Unfortunately for the Canadiens, that life came far too late. The first
half of the period was largely uneventful with only a couple of chances per
team. Loui Eriksson potted one late in the period to put it away on a
missed defensive assignment from Brian Gionta, his second of the night. To
Montreal’s credit, they didn’t give up though. Price was pulled with five
minutes left and shortly thereafter they earned a powerplay. P.K. Subban,
who was in do-it-himself mode at this point, more or less did it himself with
the man advantage as he fired several shots in a matter of seconds, one of which
made it past Rask to give the Habs a fighting chance. That was as close as
they got, however, as the Bruins shut the door the rest of the way.
The lines were juggled a bit in the 3rd as Rene Bourque moved up alongside
Plekanec and Thomas Vanek while Michael Bournival dropped to the third line with
Lars Eller and Brian Gionta. It will be interesting to see if those stay
intact for Game 6 on Monday night.
Price made 26 saves in the loss while Rask turned aside all but two of
Montreal’s 31 shots. Both teams had success on the powerplay as the Habs
were 2/5 while Boston was 2/4. Only three of the games’ eleven penalties
came in the final 40 minutes.
HW 3 Stars of the Night
1st Star: Brendan Gallagher – There were only a handful of
forwards who you noticed on a regular basis and Gallagher was one of them.
His goal in the second should have given them a lift while he was his usual
feisty self. One critique: It looked as if Boston was starting to get to
him as he was particularly active in scrums after the whistle. Will that
carry over to Monday?
Stats: 1 goal, even rating, 1 shot, 3 giveaways, 18:43 TOI
2nd Star: P.K. Subban – His play was much too individualistic
for my liking for good chunks of the game but he stepped it up down the stretch
and more or less willed himself into getting a goal. Like Gallagher, it
appeared as if the Bruins were getting in his head which is something he’ll need
to work to avoid in Game 6.
Stats: 1 goal, even rating, 6 shots (14 attempts), 4 hits, 2 blocks,
3rd Star: Josh Gorges – In a game where a lot of players were
providing lacklustre efforts, Gorges was one of the few who was his usual self.
I particularly liked that he was trying to be a bit more physical to slow
Boston’s wingers on the entry while he once again led the Habs in blocks.
A quiet but quality outing.
Stats: 0 points, even rating, 3 hits, 4 blocks, 23:36 TOI
Honourable Mention: Carey Price – The numbers aren’t pretty but
this wasn’t on Price who gave the Habs a chance to win. When it looked as
if the wheels were off after the two quick PPG’s, Price shut the door and
quashed some of the momentum. Even on the fourth goal which was the straw
that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, he made the first save and a defensive
miscue led to the rebound. This loss certainly wasn’t his fault.
Stats: 4 GA on 30 shots, 56:10 TOI, 4.28 GAA, .867 SV%
Stat of the Night: No team during the regular season scored
multiple powerplay goals against Boston more than once. In five games this
series, Montreal has accomplished that feat three times.