The Boston Bruins had announced that at Monday’s game they would wear their Winter Classic sweaters for their home game, and last game of the regular season, against the Canadiens. In addition, a special poster would be given to every fan at the game of them in their vintage suits inspired by the Netflix show Peaky Blinders that they wore when arriving at the Winter Classic game on New Year’s Day. The suits and the photo of them all had been a hit on social media.

Because they were wearing the white sweaters, the Montreal Canadiens were in their reds. In addition to the Bruins sweaters representing the team from the 30s, the fact they were wearing them at home also harkened back to a time long gone when the home sweaters were the whites.

The game itself had the feel of a playoff match between these two almost centennial rivals. Monday night’s game was the 746th meeting between them and is an NHL record. The rivalry was palatable and it looked like the Bruins were off to a good start when Brad Marchand got his 17th goal of the season while the teams were playing 4-on-4 in the first after Zdeno Chara (interference) and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (tripping) were sent to their respective boxes. Going into Monday night’s game the Canadiens had given up four goals while playing 4-on-4 as opposed to the Bruins who had scored four and only given up one in the same situation.

Nicolas Deslauriers and Kevan Miller (Photo: Alan Sullivan)

A couple minutes after the Bruins scored, Nicolas Deslauriers asked Kevan Miller if he wanted to fight. Miller obliged and actually took down Deslauriers. This was not a fight for the faint of heart. In fact, it reminded many of games of long ago as the two heavy hitters threw punch after punch. While those voting on were 18-10 in favor of Deslauriers for the win, the result was that it did give the Habs some momentum.

As the first period ticked down to under 1:40, the Bruins found themselves taking a defensive zone faceoff. Not surprisingly, Patrice Bergeron was there to take the draw, but ended up getting thrown out of the faceoff dot. While he said after the game that he was not told why that happened, it appeared it could have been because David Pastrnak was not lined up in time. This resulted in Marchand taking the draw, which he lost. Phillip Danault won it back to Jeff Petry at the point who put it on net where Brendan Gallagher made the tip and it was a tie game.

The Bruins had outshot the Habs 11-6 in that first period, but really had nothing to show for it given the game was tied.

“I don’t think we were happy with how we were playing. I think we had some chances but at the same time, I don’t think it was our best night all around,” said Miller.

The second period saw the momentum in the Canadiens’ favor as it was a more equal game with shots on goal still favored Boston 15-11. However, when the period came to an end the Canadiens would be the team leading 2-1. Once again, the Bruins allowed a shorthanded goal while on the power play. Their tenth this season, this phenomenon has happened too frequently often when the first power play unit is on the ice.

Marchand, Pastrnak, and Bergeron (Photo: Alan Sullivan)

The puck was traveling up the left board and it hopped over Pastrnak’s stick. Much like in the Winter Classic game when Pastrnak did cough up the puck, Bergeron rushed back to try and disrupt the play. Unlike the Winter Classic where he succeeded, in this instance Paul Byron was able to beat Bergeron and then going in on Tuukka Rask, Byron went backhand, glove-side high to give his team the lead.

“I wouldn’t say concerning, I think we know we have to be better. We’ve been good all year, [giving up a SHG] is going to happen during the year. We know we can do a better job and be better but it’s about looking at the video and doing that. We can make those plays and we got to take what’s there sometimes, and we’ve been forcing a little too much,” Bergeron said.

The Bruins lost 3-0 when the Canadiens were in Boston in October, and it looked like they were going to lose in regulation again when Michael Chaput miscalculated and sent the puck over the glass and was whistled for delay of game, giving the Bruins one more opportunity on the man advantage with 2:05 remaining in the third. The Bruins began the power play 5-on-4, but then they pulled Rask and had the extra man. With 38 seconds remaining in regulation, David Krejci put it passed Carey Price and the game went to overtime.

The overtime was shortlived as the Canadiens got possession of the puck on the draw and went in on Rask. While Rask was able to deny Max Domi’s attempt, he couldn’t quite glove it. The juicy rebound was then put in by Petry just 15 seconds into the extra inning.

The Bruins outshot the Canadiens 43-22 in the game, but many of those shots were not quality shots, and it was clear that Price was on his A-game. In fact he seems to thrive when playing in Boston.

“It’s just the atmosphere. Like I said, it’s a great place to play hockey, I’ve always enjoyed the rivalry between our two teams. Like I said, it’s just a great place to play,” Price shared after the game.

As one person posted on Twitter, the “Peaky Bruins met Peak Price,” and perhaps the rest was history.

A family historian by profession, Rhonda R. McClure has loved hockey since she was a child in New Hampshire. Any opportunity to combine her love of writing, hockey and research is something she looks forward to with much enthusiasm. She's been accused of seeking out shinny games when there are no other hockey events taking place. She is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research. Follow her on Twitter at @HockeyMaven1917.



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