The Boston Bruins came out with their first win of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals over the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1. The win pulls the Bruins to 2-1 in the series and it is Boston’s first win at the Bell Centre in over a year.
The Bruins secured their first lead of the series when David Krejci scored 4:11 into the game after Dennis Seidenberg stepped up to keep the puck in the zone. How was this game won and lost? Time for plus/minus…
Number Five- Andrew Ference vs Benoit Pouliot
As the first period dwindled, Johnny Boychuk dug into the corner to get a loose puck. Anticipating the incoming hit from Ryan White, he turned and approached the corner at a safe angle. Boychuk collected the puck and turned to see Pouliot was coming from directly behind Boychuk, ready to land an elbow in his head. Boychuk turned just in time and Pouliot caught mostly glass, but that did not stop Andrew Ference.
Ference, who is known for sticking up for his team, fought Pouliot and got the eventual takedown to win the fight as the period came to a close. The Bruins led at the time of the fight, though I think it helped carry their momentum into the second period.
Number Four- Rich Peverley Goal
This was just an awful, costly mistake by Carey Price. As he skated behind the net to retrieve a dump in, Price tried to pass the puck between two Bruins and it was intercepted by Rich Peverley. Peverley had a wide open net and an easy goal to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead 3:02 into the second period. This gave the Bruins just enough to goals to play with a comfortable lead in the second period. Peverley and his linemate Chris Kelly had several chances on the penalty kill, so if you are the Bruins it is good to see some production from that line.
Number Three- Montreal Time-out
Seconds after a Montreal power play Nathan Horton scored a lucky goal for Boston, flipping the puck in from the side and it bounced off Price’s back into the net. It looked at first like Jaroslav Spacek may have saved the puck, but after only one camera angle it was a clear goal. Canadiens coach Jacques Martin called timeout.
Hypothetically you could say he wanted to give the refs time to review the goal, but all goals are reviewed in the playoffs. That review serves as a free time out for the Canadiens yet Martin still called timeout. This timeout may have lost the Canadiens momentum, and it certainly wasted a timeout when they may have needed it later.
Number Two- Bruins Score First
The Bruins had not led the entire series going into this game, and they come out with double the goals in the first period as they did the first two games. David Krejci’s early goal gave Boston some momentum and gave them a lead to play with. The Bruins have been playing catch-up all series long until this goal, and it turned around the Bruins fortunes.
Horton’s goal also falls into this, but it also gave the defense a chance to play their game. Dennis Seidenberg stepped up and played a good game and Zdeno Chara also played well his first game back.
The Bruins were nearly unbeatable with a lead this season and lost only three games when leading by two after three. One of those losses was to Montreal, a game the Bruins lost in overtime. But the point here is Boston plays well with a lead, and will need to lead early in these games to win.
Number One- The Bruins First Line
Krejci, Horton, and Milan Lucic have been no shows for this entire series. Tonight Krejci and Horton came out with goals and Lucic had a big scoring chance.
Boston’s offense has been stagnant and they needed a big performance from their top line. Lucic and Horton have got good chances in the first two games, but did not do anything with them. Horton and Krejci did tonight, and that is the reason the Bruins won.