P.K. Subban scored at 4:17 of double overtime to hand the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and give the Habs a 1-0 lead in the series.
|Subban nets the game-winner (via ESPN.com)|
Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuck scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask turned aside 29 shots in the losing effort.
P.K. Subban scored twice on the powerplay, and sandwiched in-between were goals from Rene Borque and Francis Bouillon.
After starting out slow and sloppy, the Bruins found their game early in the third period and began to play the type of hockey that won them the series versus the Wings last week. The B's twice fought back from deficits in the game, battling back from a 2-0 hole and a 3-2 hole, both in the third period.
But the difference in the game was how the Bruins simply could not capitalize on their multitude of scoring chances they had littered across the 84+ minutes of play.
P.K. Subban blew home the opening goal of the game when he and the Habs capitalized on the powerplay at 11:23 of the period. Subban launched a rocket from the blueline that found its way through the maze of bodies in front of Rask. It was Subban's first goal of the playoffs and gave the Habs the early 1-0 lead.
As was the story for much of the game, the Bruins were extremely sloppy in the fundamentals of their game. They missed open passes to teammates, couldn't clear the puck out of their zone, couldn't generate speed through the neutral zone, and probably worst of all, they couldn't pull the trigger on shots and instead optioned for the extra pass. The extra movements resulted in the breakdown of scoring chances, with the most notable among them being Torey Krug holding the puck in open space forever before whiffing on the shot and having the chance go by the boards.
In the second period, it was Rene Borque who doubled the lead at 3:38 when he pounced on a turnover by Krug in the neutral zone. Johnny Boychuck can share the blame on the play, as his pass was behind Krug, which made him play the puck of his skate. Borque swooped in and drove the zone on a 3-on-1, and he looked off the pass before rifling the puck through Rask's five-hole.
When Josh Gorges went off for a holding penalty on Carl Soderberg at 14:16, the Bruins were handed their first powerplay of the night. Again, it was mired with more missed chances. Jarome Iginla let loose on a one-timer that was saved by Price, and he followed up on the rebound by sending the puck past the far post. Then, Dougie Hamilton pinged the crossbar with a shot from the blueline. The last seconds of the powerplay saw the puck die in the crease in front of Soderberg, but the big Swede couldn't get his stick on it to punch it home.
The Bruins found their game early in the third period, and their re-found sharpness payed off immediately, as Reilly Smith somehow ripped a laser beam wrister that found its way past three bodies screening and over the shoulder of Price. It was Smith's second goal of the playoffs and kicked off the Bruins' comeback push.
Just four minutes later, Torey Krug tied the game up with his second of the playoffs when he received a cross-ice pass from Milan Lucic and blasted home the shot that beat Price five-hole. It was Krug's second goal of the 2014 playoffs.
|Krug ties it up in the 3rd (via ESPN.com)|
From that point on, the Bruins proceeded to steamroll the Canadiens in their own zone, generating about a half dozen more scoring chances, one from Shawn Thornton and the Merlot line, another when Loui Eriksson ripped a wrister off the crossbar, and again when David Krejci flipped a backhanded pass over to a waiting Lucic, who was looking at a wide-open net but whiffed on the shot.
After all the Bruins were doing in the Habs' end, it was Montreal who netted the next goal in the game, when Francis Bouillon who ripped home a feed from Brian Gionta at 12:09 of the period. The Bruins were caught in their zone and around their net when Gionta was able to come out from behind the net and find Bouillon skating in from the slot. His shot beat Rask in the top-corner over the glove side.
The Bruins kept the pressure on the Habs after Bouillon's goal, and their effort payed off when Johnny Boychuck launched a Johnny Rocket at 18:02 that beat Price above the glove and tied the game up at 3-3. Brad Marchand made the play happen, as he brought the puck around the back of the net and found Boychuck alone to let the shot go.
|Boychuck ties the game late in the third (via ESPN.com)|
The game would turn to overtime, and eventually double overtime, and through the extra 24 minutes of play, the Bruins again had plenty of scoring chances to put the game away, but they couldn't capitalize on their efforts. The few of note included Carey Price getting the right pad on a Brad Marchand shot in the slot, Price again getting the blocker on David Krejci as he streaked into the zone and lifted a backhander on net, and multiple times when the puck was left in the crease unattended to while the Bruins were out of position in the chance to jam it home.
At 4:17 of double overtime, with Matt Bartkowski in the penalty box for a holding penalty on Dale Weise, it was P.K. Subban who rifled home the game-winner in a carbon copy of his goal scored back in the first period.
So the Canadiens and Carey Price, who made 48 saves in the game, have stolen home-ice advantage away from Boston in the first game of the series.
Game 2 is Saturday at 12:30 at the Garden.
As was the case after Game 1 versus the Red Wings, expect the Bruins to be ready to go right out of the gate in the matinee. That being said, they can make all the adjustments they want, but if they can't capitalize on their scoring chances and make Carey Price work more for his troubles, the Bruins could be looking at an 0-2 series deficit before the weekend is over.