Poor second period dooms Bruins in 2-1 loss to Montreal
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens drew first blood in the season-series versus Boston, skating to a gritty 2-1 win over the B's in Montreal, and leapfrogging the B's for first place in the Atlantic.
The second period proved to be the difference in the game, as the B's were outplayed by the Canadiens for nearly the entire 20 minutes. The Canadiens scored twice in the period, and that would be all they needed to grab the W on home ice.
The game started out with a scary incident, as Johnny Boychuck was stretchered off the ice after receiving a boarding hit from Max Pacioretty.
Just a few minutes into the first, Pacioretty hit Boychuck, into the boards behind the Bruins net. It wasn't a malicious or dirty hit; the momentum of Boychuck catapulted him into an awkward fall. Boychuck was on the ice for about 10 minutes, before the stretcher came out and he was wheeled off. Boychuck was taken to a Montreal area hospital, and reports trickling out seem to indicate he escaped a serious injury. (ESPNBoston's Joe McDonald tweeted that Boychuckwas cleared to travel with the team back to Boston; still no word on what the injury is).
After a rather extended lull in play that saw four penalties called between the two teams. The Bruins began to take it to the Canadiens, ending the first having outshot Montreal 10-3.
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The work payed off with 17:35 left in the first, as Greg Campbell tallied his 2nd of the year. After a slick pass-off-the-skate from Dennis Seidenberg to Milan Lucic in the neutral zone, Lucic drove towards the net before taking it wide. P.K. Subban took the bait and went for Lucic, leaving Campbell alone on the other wing. Lucic was able to squeak the tape-to-tape pass past Subban and over to Campbell.
The Canadiens controlled nearly the entire second period, keeping the Bruins on their heels and flipping the shots on net to the tune of 18-7 in their favor. They scored twice, but it could've been a lot more if Tuukka Rask didn't come up with some big stops. But that's not to say he had a perfect 20 minutes.
Montreal tied the game at 9:16 off the stick of Tomas Plekanec's 10th of the year. Plekanec beat Rask at a ridiculous angle, somehow ripping a wrist-shot over Rask's shoulder and under the bar. The space on the short-side was slim to none, but Plekanec found the weak spot. It was a great shot, but a weak goal to give up on Rask's side.
Max Pacioretty put the Habs up 2-1 at 17:42, picking up the rebound after a scramble in the crease before backhanding the puck into the open net, past a diving Rask who was caught out of position in the mass.
The Bruins brought all they had in third, outshooting the Habs 17-6, but Carey Price continually shut the door, even until the final second, as Price saved a last-ditch shot attempt from Patrice Bergeron.
One of the better scoring chances in the period came from a Seidenberg shot from the blueline, which was deflected in front by David Krejci just past the net.
The Habs take over first-place in the division, wrestling the spot away from the B's for the time being. It's a tough loss for the B's, as it always is losing to their hated rival. But the Canadiens were playing their third game in four nights, as well as playing on a back-to-back.
The B's had five days off since their last time out, and they couldn't capitalize on the situation. Coach Claude Julien did not mince words in his post-game interview with NESN's Jamie Erdhal:
The second period was atrocious and embarrasing, to say the least...the second period cost us the game...we didn't skate, we didn't put the pucks in deep. I dont if we thought it was gonna be an easy game, but they came out and did the things we had talked about doing in the second period. I dont know if they heard us talking in our dresser room but they...[won the races], and we didn't take advantage of a team playing its third game in four nights when we should have, and that sits on us.
WEEI's DJ Bean had a interesting tweet, stating how this was the fourth time this season the Bruins have had to play an extended portion of a game with five defensemen...they were 3-0-0 up until tonight.
The BME line had a rough night, with the three players registering a total of five SOG, with Bergeron recording four of them. Loui Eriksson had a rather invisible night, not exactly showcasing himself in his first taste of B's/Habs
After the Bruins take on the Penguins at home on Saturday, they are hitting the road for a four-game-in-six night roadtrip that takes them to Toronto and the three western Canadian teams.
The Bruins have only played 11 games on the road so far this year out of 28. They're gonna earn their flying miles this month and the next, so missing out on points on a game like tonight really stings.