Coming into tonight’s game Tuukka Rask held a 4-1 shootout record. After a rollercoaster of a game the Bruins found themselves headed to their second shootout in as many games, with Rask dropping to 4-2 on the season with a final score of 6-5 in favor of Montreal.
Through the opening five minutes the Bruins struggled to find their legs and paid the price as the Canadiens registered four shots on net and scored for an early 1-0 lead. As if the Canadiens getting the early lead wasn’t a stinger enough, the goal had to come from former Bruin and Stanley Cup champ Michael Ryder. Through the next fifteen minutes they picked up the pace and tempers began to flare as the rivalry raged on with Gregory Campbell getting things started with Travis Moen for a quick jousting match. Through twenty the Canadiens held a 9-5 shots on goal advantage and 1-0 lead on the score board, something the Bruins needed to change, quickly.
As the second period commenced, the Canadiens struck again. However the next shift by the Bruins brought exactly what the team needed. Seguin attacked Price and threw a shot on net that hit the post with the rebound ending on Bergeron’s stick. He threw a shot at the net which also hit the post and went back tot he tape of Seguin who threw it back to Dougie Hamilton for a slapshot that sailed behind Price and cut the Canadiens lead to 1 just 39 seconds after Subban’s goal. As if that persistence wasn’t enough to get the home crowd going, Brad Marchand really gave them a reason to cheer as he netted his 14th of the season banking the puck off of the end boards behind the net, grabbing his rebound ot toss at the crease that deflected off of Price’s skate and into the net. The goal was Marchand’s 11th game-tying or game-winning goal of the season and a big confidence booster for the Bruins at 7:23.With 4:45 remaining in the second the Bruins found themselves on a power play and with momentum in their favor for a change. As Torey Krug threw a shot at the net Patrice Bergeron was on the opposing side awaiting the rebound wide open. As the puck found the tape of his stick he had a wide open zone to slow down and aim the puck into for a 3-2 power play goal lead with just under three minutes remaining in the second. Krug redeeming himself with the assist on the Bergeron goal after being on the ice for both Canadiens goals. Before the announcer could finish the goal announcement David Krejci created a two-on-one opportunity in the neutral zone and he and Nathan Horton sped up the ice and put the Bruins up easily 4-2. The Bruins finished the middle frame short handed, but that didn’t drain their momentum as they held Montreal off and headed into the locker room up by a pair. Their main focus heading into the final frame was to keep their cool, maintain focus and remain consistent.
To begin the third the Canadiens sported a new goaltender between the pipes after Carey Price let four goals go by him in the twenty minute span. Peter Budaj got the nod for Montreal in hopes of instilling a momentum swing. At 3:58 the Bruins defense got caught in a bad situation as Andrew Ference misread the puck and Michael Ryder helped go in on Rask with a two-on-one opportunity and net his second of the game, cutting the Bruins lead to a single goal. Streaking up the ice Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin showed off their speedy legs. As Marchand got the puck back to Seguin he used his filthy stick handling skills to go forehand back hand and lift it up over Peter Budaj, reinstating a 2-goal lead for Boston. Marchand and Krug picked up assists on his goal, Krug completely erasing his errors from earlier in the evening.Almost immediately after the Canadiens cut the lead to one again as Brendan Gallagher flipped the puck up into Seidenberg’s visor, picked up the ‘rebound’ and beat Rask with ease just 28 seconds later. For the final two minutes the Bruins were on a penalty kill with the Canadiens pulling Budaj for a two-man advantage. The Canadiens hammered Rask and the Bruins defense with shots looking for the tying goal, sealing the deal with 8.2 seconds remaining to force overtime.
With 1:20 remaining in overtime the Bruins found themselves on a power play as Emellin found himself in the box for tripping on Tyler Seguin right in front of the crease. David Krejci threw the puck on net at the sound of the buzzer and Budaj came up big with the save sending the game into the shoot out, the second for the Bruins in the past two games.
The shootout took six rounds to determine a winner and Brendan Gallagher once again waited long enough for Rask to commit and was able to seal the Division lead for the Canadiens for their second one-goal victory against Boston this season.
The Bruins return to action on Saturday for a matinee game in Philadelphia against the Flyers.