Bruins defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy yesterday. The Norris Trophy is awarded to the league's top defender for the entire season. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber join Chara as the other finalists. In all likelyhood, Lidstrom will get the award. The only thing that might hinder Chara's chances is the incident that took place in Montreal when he hit Max Pacioretty into the boards. Even though there was no suspension, voters still have that in the back of their minds. I hope I am wrong because he deserves the award.
As for tonight's game, the Bruins had a chance to close out the series against the Habs. Prior to the postseason, Boston was winless at the Bell Centre (home of the Canadiens). After dropping the first two games of the series at home, they responded by winning the next two games on enemy ice to even the series. Both teams must be fatigued from the double overtime game that occurred on Saturday. Three defenseman for the Bruins (Dennis Seidenberg, Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk) had over 40 shifts each. In the playoffs, you have to have a short memory. That was Saturday. Game six was tonight and that was what the Bruins needed to be concerned about.
The Bruins had to dig themselves out of an early hole again. Within the first couple of minutes, Boston goaltender Tim Thomas tried to freeze the puck but it got out of his possession. The referee quickly blew the play dead as Brian Gionta (MTL) put the puck into the net. The goal was waived off and the crowd went nuts. That goal should have counted. However, the Canadiens would get some retribution. After the Bruins got called for a two many men penalty and after Dennis Seidenberg slashed Mike Cammalleri, Montreal had a 5-on-3 advantage. Sure enough, Cammalleri scored the first goal of the game and his third of the postseason.
The Bruins had an opportunity for a power play that would carry over into the second period. That man advantage lasted only about 14 seconds because Patrice Bergeron got called for goaltender interference on Carey Price (MTL). Price did a great job of selling the call and he got away with one. Maybe if Milan Lucic (BOS) shot the puck sooner the penalty would not have occurred. Both teams skated 4-on-4 to begin the second period.
The 4-0n-4 produced a goal for Boston that was scored by Dennis Seidenberg after some nice skating by Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley opened up some space in the zone. Milan Lucic got ejected from the game after a five minute boarding penalty on Jaroslav Spacek. He also recieved a game misconduct which will be reviewed by the league. He most likely will not be suspended because Spacek put himself in that vulnerable position. During the five minute power play for Montreal, Patrice Bergeron got called for a delay of game penalty. Once again the Canadiens had a 5-on-3 advantage and once again they were able to score. Brian Gionta scored his third goal of the postseason to give Montreal a 2-1 lead.
I hate when the referees dictate a game. At the same time, when the Bruins go on the power play it is hard to get excited. They still remain the only team left in the playoffs to not score a power play goal. A lot of calls went against the Bruins in the second period. It was a small miracle that they only trailed by a goal heading into the final 20 minutes.
The third period settled down for both teams. However, Boston was able to put together some rushes and got some good shots on net. They had several great opportunities towards the end of the period. The momentum was cut short when Chris Kelly (BOS) got called for a high-sticking penalty and they had to play short-handed from the 16:50 mark to the 18:50 mark of the period. The Canadiens held off the Bruins as they won game six by a score of 2-1. Game seven will be tomorrow at the TD Garden.
Gold Star: Rich Peverley (1 assist, +1 rating, 5 shots on goal)
Black Star: Shawn Thornton...when your ice time (2:27) is lower than the amount of penalty minutes that you serve (7:00), you are hurting your team. This is more of a coaching issue than a player issue though.