Rivalry at its best, Montreal hit the ice in Boston for a must win to top the conference. After struggling as of late, the Bruins finally nabbed a win on Monday night against Toronto. It was a much needed win in terms of points but more so mentality. It’s no secret that the rivalry match up has garnered a certain level of physicality over the years.
“We expect our team to be a physical team every night that we play,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “Whether it happens or not.”
The expectations going into every game are high, but key match ups such as the Canadiens hold a certain level of grit and determination that others do not. With Carey Price between the pipes for Montreal, Tuukka Rask got the start for Boston.
With a slow start to the period it was Montreal who struck first with a goal at 4:15 from former Bruin Michael Ryder (assists, Plekanec and Gionta). With pushes and shoves aplenty Bruins Gregory Campbell and Canadiens Travis Moen dropped the gloves at 11:38. In true Original Six fashion, the period found itself skating towards a much more physical period resulting in limited seating in the Bruins penalty box and a Montreal power play. Boston was granted a power play from a hooking call on Alex Galchenyuk (14:23), although the power play was short lived as Bruins Brad Marchand was called on high sticking at 14:46.
It was a tough beginning to the second as PK Subban (Assists Galchenyuk and Lars Eller) put Montreal up 2-0 at 2:53. But it was a continued drive to the net at 3:32 by Dougie Hamilton to make the score 2-1, (assists Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron). The period continued at a chippy pace, with shoves and pushes decorating the ice on every shift. Marchand evened the score for Boston at 7:23 (assists Seguin and Bergeron). Marchand’s goal not only lit the lamp, but ignited a more urgent style of play in his teammates. Carey Price didnt stand a chance when the Bruins went on the PP and Patrice Bergeron made it 3-2 ( 17:01, assists Peverley and Krug). The goals kept coming as Boston finally found their stride and Nathan Horton scored at 17:46 with David Krejci tallying the assist. As the period wound down, taunting fans cheered “Carey” as the Montreal goaltender relatively fell apart during the second period, allowing 4 goals.
The third period began with a change in goal for Montreal as Peter Budaj replaced Price. Michael Ryder netted his second of the game to put Montreal only one behind Boston at 3:58. Bruins fans needn’t have worried, Tyler Seguin made it 5-3 with his 11th of the season at 11:50 (assists Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron). The assist put all three players at a multi point night. The two goal lead was short lived as Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher got a quick goal at 12:18, (assists Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais), effectively putting his team within one. With Zdeno Chara in the box for elbowing at 15:11, Montreal gave a serious push to tie the game.With mere seconds left in the game, Andre Markov tied the game at 5-5, sending emotions over the edge for Boston and the game into overtime. No overtime score led to a shootout and Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher was the unsung hero of the night, beating Rask and scoring the game winner in the 6th round.
It’s been quiet on the transaction front as of late, with the NHL trade deadline approaching on April 3rd the silence may soon be broken. Defencemen Matt Bartowski who was recalled this past weekend to fill the void of Johnny Boychuk was rewarded for his efforts with a one-year, one-way contract extension. The transaction train kept rolling for Boston as Ottawa Senators forward Kaspars Daugavins was claimed off waivers on Wednesday. The 6’0″ Latvian native has registered one goal and two assists in 19 games with Ottawa and will report Boston once his US work visa is secured. An unexpected recall had defencemen Torey Krug being recalled and available to play mere hours before puck drop. Krug has registered 10 goals and 24 assists with the Providence Bruins.
Boston will find themselves with a rare two consecutive non game days on Thursday and Friday. The non game days are short lived as the team will face-off Saturday in Philly before an Easter Sunday contest in Buffalo. Monday April 1st they’ll participate in their annual Cuts for a Cause before hosting Ottawa on Tuesday evening.