Saturday’s game in Boston was thought of by many Hab fans to be a no-pressure
game, having already picked up no worse than a split with their win on Thursday.
Evidently, the Canadiens didn’t feel the same way as they brought forth a strong
effort en route to a 3-1 victory to take a 2-0 series lead before heading home
to Montreal for the next two.
The game could not have gotten off to a better start for the Habs as Mike
Cammalleri picked up his first of the postseason off a rebound just 43 seconds
into the game. Mathieu Darche doubled the lead less than two minutes later
with a powerplay goal (the first of the series). After that, the Canadiens
sat back for most of the 1st as Boston took the momentum but were unable to
score heading into the 2nd.
The B’s did manage to snap Carey Price’s series-long shutout streak at the
7:38 mark as Patrice Bergeron tipped home a perfectly placed pass from Brad
Marchand. However, an unlikely source got that goal back for the Habs as
Yannick Weber, replacing the injured Andrei Kostitsyn, potted home a rebound off
a Lars Eller shot in a goal that was eerily reminiscent to the one Cammalleri
scored in the 1st.
In the final stanza, Montreal’s strategy was clearly to trap, trap, and then
trap some more. It was a frame that had tons of whistles, very little
flow, and very few scoring chances for Boston. No goals were scored,
giving the Habs the 3-1 victory. Price turned aside 34 shots for the win
while Tim Thomas stopped 23 of 26 shots in the loss. On the powerplay,
Montreal was 1/3 while the Bruins were 0/4. On the injury front, Kostitsyn,
as noted earlier, missed the game with a lower body injury (but did take the
warmup) and is listed as day-to-day. For Boston, Zdeno Chara also took the
warmup but was a late scratch due to dehydration. Like Kostitsyn, he too
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Carey Price (34 saves on 35 shots, 1.00 GAA, .971 SV%)
After the Habs jumped out to that quick 2-0 lead, it was up to Price to hold
down the fort. As was also the case in Game 1, he did just that and more.
Though it’s unfair to say he stole the game by himself, he was a huge factor in
Montreal’s success in that one.
2nd Star: Mike Cammalleri (1 goal, 1 assist, +1 rating, 3
shots, 18:09 TOI)
After Game 1, most felt that he, among the ‘big-4’ in Montreal forwards,
provided the least in that victory. In Game 2, it was the exact opposite.
His quick goal and assist really took the wind out of Boston’s sails (and the
crowd’s for that matter) and he looked more like the player that was really
coming on towards the end of the regular season.
3rd Star: Yannick Weber (1 goal, +1 rating, 3 shots, 2 hits,
For a player who was a last second insert into the lineup, playing the wing
as a natural defenceman, could you really have asked more from him? He
scored a crucial goal, read the play well, was engaged physically and frankly
didn’t look out of place on the wing. Obviously this set up wasn’t ideal
for him or the team (dressing 7 D last second rarely is) but he certainly made
the most of it.
Honourable Mention: P.K. Subban (0 points, even rating, 2 PIMS,
2 hits, 3 blocks, 27:06 TOI)
The one negative on his night was the not-so-smart penalty but that gets
overshadowed by some really strong play otherwise. Defensively, he didn’t
make mistakes while he wisely chose his spots in terms of when to attack
offensively and when to stay back. A lot of poise from the rookie for
Stat of the Night: One of these streaks will be coming to an
end after this series. Boston has never won a series after losing the
first two games (0-26) while the Habs have lost their last two postseason series
when they’ve taken a 2-0 series lead on the road.