Final, Canadiens 2-1: The Bruins had their chance, but they didn’t do anything with it.
The B’s couldn’t even put a shot on net in the final 56.4 seconds with the power play and the goalie pulled, and they lose the game 2-1 as well as the season series with Montreal.
Third period, 19:03, Canadiens 2-1: The Bruins haven’t gotten a power play in this one until now.
Lars Eller just held Zdeno Chara (the Boston defenseman helped it along), and Boston gets a power play with under a minute to play.
Third period, 15:58, Canadiens 2-1: There was one good shift from the Tyler Seguin line a little earlier, but they really haven’t done much since, or in this game at all really. Seguin and Brad Marchand have been virtually nonexistent, with neither player getting a shot on goal yet.
How much of a difference is the absence of Patrice Bergeron making? It’s tough to really quantify that, but these guys should be better than they’re playing right now. Apparently it wasn’t Jaromir Jagr holding them back.
Third period, 11:03, Canadiens 2-1: The Canadiens came this close to going up 3-1, but Ryan White wasn’t able to finish.
He and Max Pacioretty found themselves on a 2-on-1 after David Krejci made a poor pass to Dougie Hamilton in the attacking zone that sprung the Montreal duo.
Pacioretty had the puck on his stick for the rush before shoveling it over to White at the last second, but he missed the open net, effectively keeping Boston in the game.
Third period, 6:59, Canadiens 2-1: The Bruins have come out with some good jump in the third period, and they’re starting to put the pressure on.
The B’s have outshot the Habs 5-1 here in the third period with the bulk of the action coming in the Montreal end. The line of Jaromir Jagr, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell is actually starting to click some, which is a bit surprising. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand also look like they’re starting to find their stride again now that they have Rich Peverley in between them.
Third period, 0:01, Canadiens 2-1: The third period is underway, and the Bruins look to come back and win it in the third.
Second period reaction: The Bruins were better in the second period than they were in the first, but what is that really saying?
They showed bursts of improved play especially toward later in the second, and most of those were from the first line. However, those good shifts have been few and far between, and that’s not going to get the job done if they’re going to come from behind and win this hockey game.
The Bruins have to be happy with the way Tuukka Rask is playing, though. He’s bailed them out on more than one occasion. He gave up kind of a fluky power-play goal to begin the period, but he yielded nothing else following that. He’s made a handful of big saves, and that has allowed the Bruins to work through issues on each end of the ice as they try to find their legs and win this one in the third.
End second period, Canadiens 2-1: The Bruins played a much better second period, and they are right back in this one after falling behind by two early in the second period.
Boston did a good job of establishing puck possession in the Montreal zone, and it should set the tone for an entertaining third period.
Second period, 14:07, Canadiens 2-1: Here come the Bruins in the second period.
The B’s have started to turn things on, and it’s once again the first line who is leading the charge. The top line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic have had legitimate scoring chances on each of their last two shifts. The Bruins have certainly started to tilt the ice in a period that has been much better than the first.
Second period, 10:17, Canadiens 2-1: That Bruins goal has officially been given to Daniel Paille. The puck deflected off the B’s forward after Johnny Boychuk put it on net from the right point.
Second period, 7:10, Canadiens 2-1: The Bruins just got a little bit of luck, and now they’re right into.
Gregory Campbell won an attacking zone faceoff. Johnny Boychuk attempted a shot from the right point and that puck was deflected. It ended up fluttering toward the net, changing directions, and it obviously fooled Carey Price. The puck looked to have deflected off of Daniel Paille.
Second period, 6:11, Canadiens 2-0: The Bruins are slowly but surely starting to string some together a couple of good shifts. The new Gregory Campbell line with Jaromir Jagr and Daniel Paille looked good for a shift with Jagr making a very nice cross-ice pass to Paille whose wrist shot was stopped by Carey Price.
However, those good shifts are still too scarce. Shortly after that good shift, the “fourth line” had a rough go of it. That all started with a Kaspars Daugavins turnover in the Montreal zone that led the break the other way. Tuukka Rask bailed everyone out, though, with an impressive kick save combo with both legs.
Second period, 0:57, Canadiens 2-0: The Canadiens took full advantage of a questionable penalty from Milan Lucic, and they now have a two-goal lead.
Michael Ryder tipped a P.K. Subban shot in the slot, and it changed direction and velocity enough to fool Tuukka Rask. The power play puts Boston in another two-goal hole.
Second period, 0:01, Canadiens 1-0: The second period is underway, where Montreal still has 1:22 of power-play time on fresh ice.
First period reaction: The Bruins are probably a little bit lucky to only be down 1-0 after the first period.
Apparently things were so bad in Claude Julien’s eyes that he felt the need to mix up the lines. The David Krejci line, which has been the team’s best for the last week or so, remains intact. However, the Tyler Seguin line is now the Rich Peverley line. The former third-line center moved up to center Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. Jaromir Jagr saw a demotion, apparently, as he’s now skating with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell. That leaves Kaspars Daugavins centering Jay Pandolfo and Shawn Thornton.
It makes sense, to an extent to shake things up, especially on the line with Marchand and Seguin. They’re clearly faster than Jagr, and he may hold them back some. Peverley is faster than Jagr, so it makes that line faster. It also helps Seguin by taking the pressure off of him and moving him back to wing. So that makes sense. But how much good does it do to put Jagr on a line with Paille and Campbell? It just doesn’t seem like his skills are best utilized there.
The Bruins got caught being sloppy in their own end on the game’s lone goal. Matt Bartkowski, who I praised just a little more than an hour ago, made a bad turnover in his own end that kept the play alive, and the puck eventually went in off of Bartkowski. Tough shift for him.
End first period, Canadiens 1-0: The first period is over, with the Habs holding the one-goal lead.
Boston will have to kill off the final 1:22 of Milan Lucic’s cross-checking penalty to open the second.
First period, 19:21, Canadiens 1-0: The officiating becomes a factor once again. Milan Lucic is called for cross-checking after getting tangled up with Tomas Plekanec.
First period, 17:40, Canadiens 1-0: The Bruins have decided to shake up the lines.
Jaromir Jagr is now skating with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille. Meanwhile, Rich Peverley is centering Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand, as Seguin moves back to the wing.
First period, 16:20, Canadiens 1-0: According to the Canadiens, Alexei Emelin suffered a lower-body injury during his collision with Milan Lucic, and Emelin will not return in this one.
First period, 15:24, Canadiens 1-0: The Bruins have gotten something out of a jump after the Milan Lucic hit, but they haven’t done anything with it just yet.
The B’s have just one shot on goal (although they now have 10 shots that have been either blocked or missed the net), and they haven’t had anything in the way of scoring chances. The faceoff thing continues to be an issue as well. The Habs have won seven of 12 faceoffs in this first period.
First period, 10:54, Canadiens 1-0: Maybe this will get the Bruins.
Alexei Emelin took a run at Milan Lucic on an attempted neutral zone hit. That was a regrettable decision for the Canadien. Lucic absorbed the hit and Emelin ended up getting the worst of it. He needed to be helped off the ice.
First period, 10:15, Canadiens 1-0: Claude Julien probably isn’t very happy with the way his team is playing right now.
The Bruins have already allowed seven shots through the first half of the period, and they have only put one on Carey Price. Julien wasn’t pleased with the way his club has been playing in the neutral zone and in their own end as of late, and this probably isn’t helping ease any of those concerns.
First period, 6:49, Canadiens 1-0: Things get hectic around the Boston net, and the Canadiens get the first lead of the game.
Alex Galchenyuk through the puck at the net from behind the goal line, and it hits a scrambling Tuukka Rask before deflecting off of Matt Bartkowski and into the net.
The Canadiens lead 1-0.
First period, 6:00, 0-0: The Canadiens came close to scoring the game’s first goal when a puck dribbled through the Boston paint. Michael Ryder broke a up a pass from Dennis Seidenberg and the puck went right through the crease, but Tomas Plekanec wasn’t able to get to the front of the net in time to bang it home.
First period, 1:56, 0-0: Things have gotten testy already. David Krejci laid out Brendan Gallagher with a big, clean check in the Montreal zone.
That didn’t please Francois Boullion, who wanted to get a little physical himself. That tempted Andrew Ference to step in. The two of them dropped the gloves, but no punches were thrown. Both get two minutes for roughing, not fighting.
First period, 0:10, 0-0: The game is under way in Montreal with first place in the Northeast at stake.
7:13 p.m.: Puck drop is actually scheduled for 7:17. You can go ahead and blame Hockey Night in Canada for that one.
6:30 p.m.: The teams have taken the ice for pregame warmups in Montreal. It looks like it will be Tuukka Rask starting in net for Boston, while Carey Price will be in net for Montreal.
Rask has struggled throughout his career against the Canadiens. He enters this contest with just a 2-7-2 in 12 career games against Montreal with a 2.89 goals against and just an .898 save percentage. Rask has been in net for all three games against Montreal this season, and gave up 10 goals in the two losses against Montreal.
6:20 p.m.: The Bruins had an optional skate this morning, and it was reportedly well-attended. One player who got a lot of run in on the Bell Centre sheet was center Chris Kelly.
He skated with the team for morning skate yet again, but he will not be active against Montreal. You would have to think, though, that he’s not far off from returning, which will be welcomed especially in the absence of Patrice Bergeron.
Newly acquired defenseman Wade Redden isn’t likely to crack the Boston lineup for the first time either. He stayed on the ice for extra work after morning skate, which likely means he’ll be the odd man out in the Boston defense corps. That’s not necessarily a huge surprise or anything, especially given the way Matt Bartkowski has played since being recalled. The youngster has looked more than serviceable in his stint with the B’s.
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off of the ice, and it’s expected he’ll get the start against Montreal.
11 a.m.: The Bruins have first place in the Northeast Division in their sights, and it’s only fitting that if they want to wrestle the top spot in the division back from Montreal, they’ll have to go through the Canadiens to do so.
The B’s and Habs finish their season series on Saturday night in Montreal in the final regular-season installment of the historic rivalry this year. There’s plenty on the line, too, as Montreal enters the showdown holding a one-point lead in the Northeast, although the B’s do have a game in hand.
While both teams play in arenas that are notoriously difficult to win in, the road team has come away the victor in each of their three meetings thus far. The Bruins won at Bell Centre back on Feb. 6 before the Habs picked up wins in Boston on March 3 and March 27. Both of Montreal’s wins at TD Garden saw the Bruins lose a third-period lead.
Saturday’s game will also mark Jaromir Jagr’s first taste of action between the bitter rivals. Jagr, who was reportedly courted in free agency by the Habs, scored the lone goal in his Bruins debut Thursday.
Newly acquired defenseman Wade Redden may also make his debut Saturday against Montreal. He was acquired shortly before the deadline Wednesday from St. Louis.
“I’ve watched it for years,” he said. “It’s two top teams in the division right now, battling it out. So it’s a lot on the line. It just adds to the whole tradition that’s there already. You don’t get any bigger rivalry, that’s for sure.”
Puck drop is 7 p.m.