Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Game Fifty Five: Good Start To The Road Trip
The Bruins were in Montreal on Wednesday night as they took on the Canadiens for their final regular season meeting.
Boston was coming off of a demoralizing loss to the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers on Tuesday. While being shutout in three of their last six games, the Bruins needed to bounce back against a team that they have had success against this season. Ignore the conference and focus on the division.
As far as the Canadiens are concerned, they have been on a recent run lately by going 4-1-0 in their last five games. They have moved up to 12th place in the conference and they have done it without their captain Brian Gionta who has played in only 31 games this season because of a torn bicep. The in-house shenanigans between Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn might be their kryptonite unfortunately.
Tim Thomas opposed Carey Price in goal to no one's surprise. This was the third consecutive start for Thomas. Bruins head coach Claude Julien mixed up the lines once again while the defensive pairs remained the same. The lines were as follows:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron
Benoit Pouliot-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Montreal, who only dressed 11 forwards for the game, came out as the aggressor and laid some hits on the B's. Once the Bruins started to put pressure on the Habs, they started to drop back deeper in their own zone. That allowed the defense to push up and Andrew Ference capitalized by blasting his fifth goal of the season past Price.
Krejci left the game briefly in the first period to repair a cut on his lip after taking a high stick by Canadiens forward Lars Eller. The Bruins received a four-minute power play as a result. However, they surrendered a short-handed goal scored by Mathieu Darche.
As the second period went on, both teams had some trouble with turnovers. The high-speed style of play when these two teams get together brings out some sloppy play. It happens and it should not be surprising. There were four goaltender interference penalties whistled in the game, some of them being very questionable.
Bergeron capitalized on an ensuing power play by beating Price for his 17th goal of the season. Pouliot also netted a goal in the period and this one could have been right up there with his beauty against the Florida Panthers on December 23.
Everything fell apart for the Bruins in the third period. Montreal scored two goals to tie the game, one of them was a result of a bad turnover by Zdeno Chara. The Bruins had a late surge near the end of the game but still only managed to get two shots on goal in the final 20 minutes. A reason for that was the fact that Peverley left the game in the third period and did not return.
After a scoreless overtime, Thomas stopped all three shots and Seguin had the goal in the shootout. Boston knocked off Montreal by a score of 4-3. Thomas remains undefeated in shootouts this season.
It was not pretty but it was a good start to the six-game road trip for the Bruins. They will be back on the ice Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets.
Gold Star: Andrew Ference (1 goal, plus-2 rating, 6 shots on goal).
Black Star: Zdeno Chara (minus-3 rating)...He just looked absolutely uncomfortable. The Bell Centre will always be evil to Big Z and he needs to get used to it.