Bruins-Canadiens Live: B’s Comeback Falls Short; Habs Take Series Lead With 4-2 Win

Final, Canadiens 4-2: The pushing and shoving comes after the final faceoff, but it’s just a side note. The Canadiens hold on for the 4-2 win, and they now have a 2-1 series lead.

Third period, 19:58, Canadiens 4-2: The Canadiens are going to win. Lars Eller adds the empty-net goal, and that’s going to be it.

Third period, 18:52, Canadiens 3-2: The Bruins are taking their timeout with a neutral zone faceoff coming up.

Third period, 17:44, Canadiens 3-2: The last few minutes of this one are going to be interesting.

The Bruins pulled Tuukka Rask for the extra attacker. The puck got to Andrej Meszaros, and he put it on net, and it might have been tipped in front by Jarome Iginla, and it got by Price. And the Bruins are now within one goal.

Third period, 15:10, Canadiens 3-1: The Canadiens came within inches of completely icing the game.

Zdeno Chara made a really bad turnover that Max Pacioretty jumped on at the Boston blue line. He passed it Thomas Vanek, and Vanek wound up and drilled a one-timer. That shot rang off the crossbar and bounced out of trouble.

Third period, 14:26, Canadiens 3-1: You can’t say enough about the job the Canadiens are doing in their own zone, despite the fact that the Bruins have had the puck in the Montreal end just about the entire third period. The Habs are clogging the middle of the ice, and they’re blocking shots. They now have 27 blocked shots with 5:34 to play.

Third period, 10:44, Canadiens 3-1: The Bruins have killed off the penalty, but it goes without saying that they’re running out of time.

Third period, 8:44, Canadiens 3-1: It took 48 minutes and 44 seconds, but the Canadiens have their first power play. Carl Soderberg crashed the net, and he crashed way too hard as he knocked over Carey Price and got a goaltender interference penalty.

Third period, 7:00, Canadiens 3-1: Boston continues to get offensive zone time, and they’re outshooting Montreal 3-1 in the third. Yet, still nothing for the B’s and no real scoring chances yet. They feel close, but that’s not good for much.

Third period, 3:00, Canadiens 3-1: So far, it’s been a really good start to the third for the Bruins. They’ve dominated the puck possession. Whether they can start converting on that is yet to be seen.

Third period, 0:01, Canadiens 3-1: The third period is underway

End second period, Canadiens 3-1: The Bruins just had a great end to the period, and they’ll take some momentum into the dressing room for the second intermission. The Patrice Bergeron goal certainly helps, and the B’s almost got another one when Brad Marchand stormed down the left wing and into the zone where he took a wrist shot from the left wing. However, Carey Price had come out of the crease to take away the angle and any sort of open net Marchand might have been looking to find.

Second period, 17:48, Canadiens 3-1: The Bruins are on the board.

Patrice Bergeron just won a faceoff in the offensive zone, and that turned into a goal very quickly. Bergeron won it back to Torey Krug, and Krug quickly took a shot. Bergeron redirected it by Carey Price.

Second period, 13:52, Canadiens 3-0: If you’ve got something else to do, you might as well go do that now. This one is probably over.

The Bruins were mounting a bit of a surge, and all of that just came to a crashing halt. A Boston shot was blocked in the Montreal end, and Dale Weise took off past the Bruins’ defensemen. Daniel Briere made a perfect pass through the neutral zone to Weise, and he walked in all alone on Tuukka Rask and scored to make it a three-goal game.

Second period, 13:31, Canadiens 2-0: The Bruins’ first line may have just come alive, thanks to Torey Krug of all people. Krug made a great pinch to keep the puck in the zone, and he was able to work a give-and-go with Jarome Iginla, but Carey Price was able to make a save on Krug.

The Bruins are outshooting the Canadiens 8-6 so far, but the Bruins have once again done little to convert any of their chances. Frustration must be mounting yet again.

Second period, 8:55, Canadiens 2-0: Looking like it might be one of those nights for the Bruins.

Dougie Hamilton just made a great play to race the puck into the Montreal zone, which is where he left it off for a trailing Jarome Iginla. The winger put the shot on net and beat Carey Price, but the shot rang the crossbar.

Second period, 5:00, Canadiens 2-0: The Bruins have had another nice start to the period, but it’s yet to produce anything. The B’s have had the pucks on their sticks for a lot of the period, but they aren’t getting nearly enough traffic in front. That was the case just now as David Krejci made a nice play to toss a backhanded pass across the slot to the trailing Torey Krug. He put everything he had into the one-timer, but Carey Price made an easy save as the puck drilled him in the stomach.

Second period, 0:01, Canadiens 2-0: The second period is underway.

End first period, Canadiens 2-0: The good news for the Bruins is that the first period is over. Other than that, not much else in the way of positives to report, especially in the last 10 minutes or so of that period. They have their work cut out for them once again.

First period, 14:44, Canadiens 2-0: The Bruins did not score on the power play. Seconds after the power play ended, they allowed the game’s second goal.

Six seconds after hopping out of the box, P.K. Subban buried a breakaway goal after Dougie Hamilton got caught on the wrong side of the ice, which allowed Subban to hop out of the box and take a pass from Lars Eller. Then Subban walked in on Rask, and beat the Boston goalie for the game’s second goal.

First period, 12:38, Canadiens 1-0: The Bruins are going to get the game’s first power play, believe it or not.

P.K. Subban just laid out Reilly Smith with a big elbow that would have hit Smith in the head had the forward not tried to avoid it by jumping away from the hit. The elbow caught Subban in the chest, and Subban gets two for roughing.

First period, 10:57, Canadiens 1-0: The Canadiens are on the board first, despite a fast (yet scoreless start) from the Bruins.

Thomas Vanek made an incredible slap pass from the right point to Tomas Plekanec, and that left Plekanec with a pretty wide-open net. He settled the puck and wristed it by a diving Tuukka Rask.

First period, 6:20, 0-0: Zdeno Chara is back. Crisis averted for the Bruins.

First period, 6:19, 0-0: Not a bad start from the Bruins so far, as we’re into the first TV timeout. The Bruins’ first and second lines have had some good zone time in the first few minutes, which has helped the crowd out of things so far.

However, there’s still no sign of Zdeno Chara after he left the game in the first couple of minutes after taking a stick to the hand/arm/wrist area.

First period, 2:00, 0-0: Zdeno Chara appeared to take a stick to the hand, and he is off to the dressing room. That’s obviously something we’ll be keeping an eye on.

First period, 0:01, 0-0: Game 3 is underway up in Montreal.

6:50 p.m.: Also according to pregame line rushes, Travis Moen and Douglas Murray appear to be in the Montreal lineup for Game 3. They would be replacing Brandon Prust and Francis Bouillon.

6:40 p.m.: According to reporters in Montreal, the Bruins appear to be going with the same lineup in Game 3 that they used in Game 2. What does that mean? Well, it means that Andrej Meszaros will be back on the Boston blue line in place of Matt Bartkowski. It also means that Daniel Paille is on the third line with Jordan Caron on the fourth line in place of Justin Florek.

12:55 p.m.: Montreal music legend Ginette Reno will sing the Canadian national anthem prior to Game 3. She’s a big deal up there in Montreal and Quebec. Reno sang the anthem prior to Game 3 of the Canadiens’ first-round series against Tampa Bay, and she’ll be back for Game 3 of this series.

Here’s her singing her rendition of “O Canada” prior to a Habs game.

Also, the Canadiens are known as having some of the best pregame festivities in the business. The game presentation will no doubt be kicked up a notch or two with the Bruins in town for Games 3 and 4. Here’s what the pregame video introduction looked like prior to the Canadiens’ first home game against the Lightning last round (fast-forward to the 3:40 mark; you won’t miss anything).

12:19 p.m.: A small war of words broke out Monday between the two teams. Actually, the issue goes back to Saturday where Bruins coach Claude Julien was clearly agitated during the game about the officiating and hinted at that frustration during his postgame news conference.

“I felt, a lot of crap that we put up with today, was pretty indicative of what our team’s all about. It just shows you that if you focus on the things you need to focus on, there’s a pretty good team that can accomplish a lot.”

Julien was then asked if he’d like to elaborate on the “crap,” he thought the Bruins were dealing with.

“No. I think everybody who watched the game knows what was going on there. So it was a tough game.”

The head coach was obviously talking about the officiating. He was given an unsportsmanlike penalty late in the second period for getting on the refs. Julien’s postgame comments weren’t well-received by the Canadiens, though.

“It’s the same thing with Claude. He’s not happy with all that ‘crap.’ I thought they got away with a lot of things as far as I’m concerned. But they try and influence referees. That’s the way they are. That’s not going to change. That’s the way they like to do their things. But for us, we’re not paying attention to those things. We all know what they’re trying to do, but it doesn’t affect us at all.”

Julien was asked about those comments following morning skate. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t really touch them.

11:45 a.m.: As promised earlier, we’ll get into the referee pairing some. It’s certainly an interesting duo, and it’s one that will likely have some Bruins fans a little concerned about what could go down in Game 3.

The NHL has assigned Tim Peel and Chris Rooney for Tuesday’s game in Montreal. The book on these two is that, well, they like to call a lot of penalties. Rooney, who is a Boston native, led the league in penalties called this season, according to the website ScoutingTheRefs.com. Peel isn’t afraid to blow the whistle, either. He was 10th in penalties called, according to Scouting The Refs.

The one stat that might stand out the most, as inconsequential as it may actually be, is the Canadiens’ record in games officiated by these two. The Canadiens are a combined 11-1 this season in games reffed by Rooney or Peel. That includes the regular season and postseason. The Bruins, on the other hand, were 7-6 in the regular season and have yet to have the Peel-Rooney pair call one of their postseason games.

Also, Peel called 20.7 percent more minors on the road team in the regular season, while Rooney did the same thing at 14.4 percent clip. That has evened out in the playoffs where, as a duo, they have actually called 2.6 percent more minors on the home team. The home team is also 3-3 in games they’ve officiated.

So, as is usually the case, this likely much ado about nothing, but it’s worth keeping an eye on during Game 3. The Bruins cannot afford to spend too much time in the penalty box, especially against a red-hot Montreal power play.

11:35 a.m.:  According to the lines the Bruins are using at their morning skate, Jordan Caron remains in the lineup and Justin Florek will be scratched again. That’s what the Bruins did in Game 2. That move also sent Daniel Paille up to the third line on the left wing with Caron skating on the fourth.

Here are the B’s morning skate lines.

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Daniel Paille — Carl Soderberg — Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron — Gregory Campbell — Loui Eriksson

11:25 a.m.: The Bruins’ morning skate is just about to start at the Bell Centre. According to reporters in Montreal, Dennis Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski are on the ice early. That might mean that Bartkowski is out of the lineup once again.

Bartkowski was replaced in the lineup by Andrej Meszaros in Game 2, and Meszaros had varying levels of success. He was up and down throughout and did take a questionable penalty. Then again, Bartkowski wasn’t great in Game 1, either.

The case for Bartkowski, though, is his speed. He’s a good skater who can carry the puck, and the thinking would be that he could use that speed against a faster Montreal team and kind of neutralize that some.

The case for Meszaros, on the other hand, has to be rooted in experience. The veteran would be playing in his 50th career postseason game, while Bartkowski has played in just 11 counting last year and this season.

10:30 a.m.: Word out of Montreal is that the Canadiens’ 10:30 a.m. morning skate is an optional one. It’s worth noting, though, that Rene Bourque is on the ice. The forward didn’t practice Monday because of the flu.

Bourque has four goals in the Canadiens’ six playoff games, including a Game 1 tally against the Bruins. He was a minus-3 in the Game 2 loss, though.

10 a.m.: The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have played two games in their second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series, and they have settled nothing Now the series shifts to one of hockey’s cathedrals for what’s expected to be an impressive scene north of the border.

The B’s and Habs will drop the puck on Game 3 on Tuesday night at Bell Centre in Montreal after splitting the first two games in Boston. The B’s needed a miraculous comeback win on Saturday in Game 2 to even the series after dropping the opener on Thursday night in double-overtime. Now that everything is all square, it puts even more importance on the usually pivotal third game. For the Bruins, it’s a chance to build on the momentum gained in Game 2 as well as recover home-ice advantage.

That’s easier said than done, of course, for the Bruins. They’re about to enter the belly of the beast, with Bell Centre being one of the NHL’s toughest arenas.

“At the end of the day, we’ve just got to go out there and play our game,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after practice Monday. “It’s important for us not to think that way. It’s important for us to think about what we need to do to win and not let those kind of distractions get in our heads.”

Those “distractions” aren’t exclusive to playing in Montreal, and they almost cost the Bruins in Game 2. The B’s got far too concerned with the Canadiens’ antics as well as a perceived slight when it came to officiating. The result? Power plays abound for the Habs, two of which they used to score goals. So not only will playing disciplined hockey be a focal point for the Bruins, but so will being better on the penalty kill. After an incredible first-round in which Boston allowed just two power-play goals, they’ve already allowed four through two games against Montreal.

We’ll have plenty of updates throughout the day — including more on the Game 3 referees, the developing war of words between the two clubs and news from morning skate — so be sure to check back often with the Bruins live blog, which like all NESN.com Bruins playoff coverage, is brought to you by Berkshire Bank.

Puck drop from Montreal is set for 7 p.m.

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