Final, Canadiens 4-0: There will be a Game 7 on Wednesday night in Boston. The Canadiens dominated from start to finish, and they earned that win. All that’s left for the Bruins to do is gather themselves and get ready for a do-or-die showdown on Wednesday night.
Third period, 19:37, Canadiens 4-0: Things just got real chippy in the final minute. The Bruins’ first line was all kinds of fired up, especially Jarome Iginla and David Krejci. It all started with what looked like a pitchfork to Zdeno Chara from Alexei Emein. Iginla and Lucic went after Emelin, and Mike Weaver got involved, too. There was a lot of pushing, shoving and swearing. And some penalty minutes.
Third period, 16:04, Canadiens 4-0: Game 7 will be Wednesday night.
Just as Tuukka Rask was making his way off the ice, Matt Bartkowski turned the puck over at the red line. Rask had fallen down, and couldn’t get up in time to stop Thomas Vanek’s empty-net goal.
Third period, 12:54, Canadiens 3-0: Mike Weaver continues to sell out for blocked shots in his own end, and the Bruins continue to put the puck in Weaver’s body.
Patrice Bergeron carried the puck down the right wing, stopped on the half wall and then fed it to a trailing Brad Marchand, and he quickly shot. The puck hit Weaver in front, and the opportunity was gone.
Third period, 11:05, Canadiens 3-0: The Bruins cannot buy a break. The B’s came within inches of getting on the board when a shot hit Carey Price in front of the net. The puck bounced up in the air and landed in the crease. The puck rolled along the goal line with some backspin. David Desharnais jumped on the puck and pulled it out of harm’s way, and the frustration continues.
Third period, Third period, 5:58, Canadiens 3-0: The Bruins killed off the P.K. Subban penalty, and the game’s back to even strength.
Third period, 3:58, Canadiens 3-0: The Bruins will now have to kill off a penalty, which is an ineffective way to erase a three-goal lead. Milan Lucic just tripped P.K. Subban, and the Habs will look to really ice this thing.
Third period, 1:56, Canadiens 3-0: For what it’s worth, Tuukka Rask just went post to post for a great save on Rene Bourque. Still nothing doing for the Bruins on offense, though.
Third period, 0:01, Canadiens 3-0: The third period is underway.
End second period, Canadiens 3-0: The second period has come to a merciful end if you’re a Bruins fan. The B’s are not in a good way right now, and they trail 3-0 through 40 minutes. Gotta think they’ve already set their sights on Game 7.
Second period, 17:39, Canadiens 3-0: Keep Wednesday night open on your calendar.
The Canadiens have pushed the lead to three, as Thomas Vanek jumped on a loose puck on the right wing, and he banged it by Tuukka Rask for the power-play tally. Montreal’s top line is having its best game of the series.
Second period, 17:13, Canadiens 2-0: Now the Canadiens are getting a power play. Gregory Campbell was just called for high-sticking after he caught Alexei Emelin up high.
Second period, 15:24, Canadiens 2-0: Max Pacioretty is finally on the board, and the Canadiens have a 2-0 lead.
Max Pacioretty got behind the Bruins’ defense and was able to beat Zdeno Chara down the ice to the puck, which is where Pacioretty beat Tuukka Rask five-hole to give Montreal the two-goal lead.
Second period, 14:41, Canadiens 1-0: Tuukka Rask hasn’t been the problem for the Bruins so far. He just made a big save on a Daniel Briere slap shot from the high slot, and the puck deflected over the net.
Rask now has 14 saves; Carey Price has 16.
Second period, 12:00, Canadiens 1-0: Wow. I’m not sure how long it was exactly, but the two teams just went a few minutes without a whistle going up and down the ice at a frantic pace. That all started with a terrific shift from the Bruins in the Montreal end. Actually, it wasn’t quite terrific because the Bruins didn’t actually score, but they should have. Milan Lucic had a wide open look from the left faceoff circle, but he missed the net.
Second period, 7:08, Canadiens 1-0: Another unsightly Bruins power play just came to an end. The B’s are struggling with just about every facet of the power play. They haven’t had clean entries, the passing hasn’t been sharp and they’re getting no traffic in front.
Second period, 5:08, Canadiens 1-0: The Canadiens had the puck deep in the Boston end, but P.K. Subban took a holding the stick penalty. That means the Bruins are going back on the power play.
Second period, 2:11, Canadiens 1-0: The Bruins have killed off the penalty, but it was not easy at all. Tuukka Rask had to make two big saves to help kill off the penalty, and it helped that Brendan Gallagher missed a seemingly wide-open net on a chance from right in front.
Second period, 0:01, Canadiens 1-0: The second period is underway, and Montreal has a full power play to begin the period.
First intermission: The Canadiens will begin the second period on the power play. Dougie Hamilton got a roughing penalty for his role in a scrum after the siren. He’s the only who got any penalty time out of the ordeal.
End first period, Canadiens 1-0: The first period has come to a close, and so far, so good for the Canadiens. They’ll take the 1-0 lead to the room after 20 minutes.
First period, 17:38, Canadiens 1-0: The teams are back to even strength.
First period, 15:38, Canadiens 1-0: Things will be 4-on-4 for the next two minutes. P.K. Subban and Patrice Bergeron just picked up matching roughing minors after a little scrum behind the play in the Montreal end.
First period, 14:23, Canadiens 1-0: The Bruins did absolutely nothing on the power play, and you have to give the Canadiens credit for a dominant kill. They didn’t let the Bruins get settled at all, and the Habs were hitting everything that moved.
First period, 12:23, Canadiens 1-0: The Bruins are getting a power play. Mike Weaver just caught Loui Eriksson with a high stick, and the B’s get the game’s first power play.
First period, 10:00, Canadiens 1-0: Another post for the Bruins. The B’s third line entered the offensive zone with numbers, and Carl Soderberg passed the puck to Loui Eriksson coming down the right slot. Eriksson had Price down, and Eriksson tried to lift the puck over the goalie. He did just that as he got the shot over Price’s glove, but the shot hit the crossbar and bounced away.
First period, 7:10, Canadiens 1-0: Tuukka Rask just made an incredible save.
The Bruins goalie went sprawling across the crease and made a ridiculous paddle save as he put his stick on the ice and stopped Brendan Gallagher’s backhanded attempt. Luckily for Rask and the Bruins, Gallgher wasn’t able to lift the puck.
First period, 6:12, Canadiens 1-0: This has been a very, very good start for the Canadiens, and they clearly got a big jump out of Lars Eller’s goal. The Canadiens just had two really good shifts in which they pinned the Bruins deep and put a lot of pressure on. Boston struggled to clear the zone, and when the play finally came to an end, the Bell Centre saluted the Habs for their work.
The Bruins knew this was coming. The key now is to absorb the early blow, stick with the plan and start to find their legs.
First period, 2:11, Canadiens 1-0: Montreal has the game’s first goal.
Lars Eller took advantage of an awful Boston turnover deep in the Bruins’ end. Torey Krug reversed the puck along the end boards, and Miller could not handle the puck. It bounced right to Eller in front, and he was able to get around Tuukka Rask and scored with the backhand.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: The game is underway.
7:13 p.m.: Warmups are underway in Montreal, and it’s no surprise that the Bruins are going with the same lineup they used in Games 4 and 5. They won those games, so why change? Duh.
The Canadiens appear to be making a change. As we touched on earlier, Montreal looks to be pulling Douglas Murray out of the lineup. He’ll be replaced by 21-year-old Nathan Beaulieu, who will be making his Stanley Cup playoffs debut. At least that’s what the Habs were showing in the pregame line rushes.
6:25 p.m.: David Krejci is ready to break out of his scoring slump. He thinks it’s the least he could do for his teammates.
The Bruins’ top-line center had a wonderful (not to mention consistent) regular season. Krejci scored 19 goals to go along with 50 assists to lead the team with 69 points, just two shy of his career high. In the postseason, however, it’s been a different story. Krejci has just three assists through 10 playoff games. That’s a far cry from last year where Krejci put up 9-17-26 totals in 22 games or in 2011 where he went 12-11-23, leading the league in playoff points in both seasons.
Needless to say, he’s ready to turn things around. Doing so a Monday night with the Bruins looking to advance Montreal would be a good place to start.
“I believe my time is about to come,” Krejci said, according to NHL.com. “I’m going to be big for my team. I owe it to these guys, so I’m going to do everything I can to start tonight.”
5:30 p.m.: Bruins fans hoping the B’s would be continue to take advantage of Douglas Murray will be disappointed, it seems. TVA Sports’ Louis Jean reported about an hour ago that Nathan Beaulieu is expected to make his Stanley Cup playoffs debut in Game 6.
It’s still unknown who Beaulieu will replace in the lineup, but the smart money is on Murray, who has been nothing more than a liability who hits guys every now and then during this series.
While it likely benefits the Habs to get Murray out of the mix, adding Beaulieu is an uncertain move, too. He’s just 21 years old and will be playing in his first career postseason game with the season on the line. The 2011 first-round draft pick has just 23 career NHL games under his belt. Beaulieu is a much better skater than Murray (not saying a lot), and he potentially brings more offense to the Canadiens.
The big X-factor, of course, is whether he can handle a big-league environment in a must-win game.
12:15 p.m.: Has Dennis Seidenberg been cleared for contact? It sounds as if that might be the case. This, from The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bob Beers. [tweet https://twitter.com/GlobeFluto/status/465887603531976704 align=’center’]
11:32 a.m.: The Bruins have hit the ice for morning skate at the Bell Centre, and Boston coach Claude Julien is having some fun with his line combinations once again. Julien shook things up prior to Game 4 with some zany lines, and he’s doing it again this morning ahead of Game 6.
Here are the lines, according to the Bruins’ Twitter account.
Milan Lucic — Patrice Bergeron — Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille — David Krejci — Reilly Smith
Brad Marchand — Gregory Campbell — Jarome Iginla
Matt Fraser — Carl Soderberg — Shawn Thornton
10:30 a.m.: The Canadiens have taken the ice for their morning skate, and it’s apparently an optional skate. However, the only player taking his option and not participating is goalie Carey Price. [tweet https://twitter.com/ArponBasu/status/465860817792290816 align=’center’]
There’s not a whole lot to read into when it comes to Price skipping the skate, but it is worth noting that he’s starting to look a little human after a great start to the series. Price gave up a pretty soft goal to open the scoring in Game 5 when he couldn’t keep Carl Soderberg’s wrist shot out of the net and let the puck roll down his body and into the net. Then in the third period, Price struggled to control a rebound on a throw-away shot from Matt Fraser just inside the blue line. Price kicked the puck right to Loui Eriksson, and Eriksson tucked it underneath Price and into the cage. With the Bruins starting to find their game, the Habs really need Price to be at his best if they’re going to force a Game 7 let alone win the series.
8 a.m.: The Bruins took the ice at Bell Centre just a few days ago needing a win to avoid falling behind 3-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Montreal Canadiens. The B’s will return to Montreal on Monday night with a chance to end the Habs’ season.
The Bruins and Canadiens meet Monday night in Game 6 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series with Boston looking to finish the series. The B’s were able to squeak out an overtime win in Game 4 in Montreal to even the series, and then they returned home for a resounding 4-2 win in Game 5 on Saturday night.
The B’s would seem to have momentum, but they know how difficult it is to finish off a series. The task is even tougher in an arena like Bell Centre where the Habs have one arguably the best home-ice advantage in hockey. Just three years ago, the Bruins dropped Game 6 in Montreal before winning Game 7 in overtime on the way to winning the Stanley Cup.
“It’s something we have to take as new opportunity and be prepared as a team,” Bruins center Gregory Campbell said Sunday before leaving for Montreal. “Everybody always says that the fourth game is the toughest to win, but it’s a game where we want to play our best.”
The Bruins could use a repeat of Game 5. The Bruins were finally able to get an early lead and build on that early advantage. Carl Soderberg opened the scoring in the first period, and the Boston power play broke through in the opening minutes of the second period to help Boston build a 3-0 lead. That was quite the change for a Bruins team that entered Game 5 having led just 11:38 total of the series’ first four games.
“We’re a team that usually does a pretty good job with the lead, so the first goal is always important,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of his team that improved to 33-0-0 in games they’ve held three-goal leads this seaosn. “I think it’s important for every team in these playoffs. So we’re a lot more comfortable (playing with the lead) than playing catch-up hockey.”
Getting out to an early lead in Game 6 will be even more important. The Bruins would love nothing more than to get on the board first and attempt to take what’s sure to be a jacked-up Bell Centre crowd out of the game early. If Boston can do that, they’ll probably take their chances.
Puck drop from Montreal is set for 7:30 p.m., but be sure to check back throughout the day for plenty of updates in the Bruins live blog brought to you by Berkshire Bank.