It was a physical affair with the Canadiens surprisingly getting the better of many of the confrontations. Montreal had a 27-16 edge in hits, and stitches and ice packs were in high demand in the Bruins locker room after the 4-3 shootout victory.
The most concerning injury suffered was to forward Rich Peverley, who appeared to suffer a knee injury when hit by Hal Gill in the third period. Peverley did not return, and Bruins coach Claude Julien did not have much information on the winger's condition when he spoke to reporters after the game.
"It's too early to update, but we know where the injury came from at the blue line there," Julien said. "So we'll reassess it and probably get some better news for you guys in the next day or so."
Peverley has spent most of the past nine games skating alongside David Krejci, replacing Nathan Horton in that spot after Horton was sidelined with a concussion. To lose Peverley as well for any length of time would be a serious blow to Boston's depth up front.
Peverley's injury was the most serious of the night, but plenty of his teammates were hurting as well.
"We got about four guys that ended up with stitches tonight," Julien said. "Three of those were from high sticks. It's not fun to get those gashes and get nothing out of it, so they just had to suck it up. It's important to keep your focus. There's challenges. The way to get out of these tough times is just to battle through everything and not let those things frustrate you too much."
Montreal was called for just one high-sticking penalty, with Lars Eller getting a double minor after opening up Krejci late in the first. Not only didn't the Bruins convert on the four-minute power play, the Habs actually scored shorthanded early in the second to tie the game at one.
The cut that didn't come from a stick was the most serious of the night, though, with the Bell Centre crowd's reaction making it even worse. At the very end of the opening period, Zdeno Chara was struck in the face by the puck as Tomas Plekanec attempted to clear it out of the Montreal zone.
Chara went down bleeding heavily. While Plekanec rushed to check on him, the Montreal fans let out loud cheers, celebrating the injury to the player they booed every other time he touched the puck due to his controversial hit on Max Pacioretty last season.
"It's an opposing rink and he's been booed before," Julien said. "It doesn't really matter. I've seen worse here. I've seen them boo the American national anthem when I was here. It's disappointing, but it's all about passion, and sometimes they care so much that maybe they don't think."
Chara returned at the start of the second period and played the rest of the game, as he and the Bruins gutted out the win after squandering a 3-1 lead in the third.
"I think we had to overcome a lot of things tonight," Julien said. "We found a way to win, and it wasn't easy. We've got a bunch of guys in there stitched up and stuff like that and banged up. But to get out of a tough situation sometimes that's what it takes. You've got to give the effort. There's going to be a price to pay and you're probably going to be banged up, but the way to work out of these things is putting yourself on the line and I thought we did that tonight."
Julien doesn't know yet if he will have to play without Peverley as the Bruins continue their trip Friday in Winnipeg, but he's confident the club can continue to overcome any adversity.
"It really doesn't matter as much what you have in your lineup," Julien said. "It's what the guys are going to do out there."
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