For the thirty-fourth the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens met up for a playoff series and showed exactly what that epitomizes. Both teams came out of the dressing rooms prepared for battle and the hype that ensued.
It took the Bruins until almost the half-way mark of the second frame to really get their legs under them and start playing hockey their way. Through the opening twenty minutes both teams tossed around heavy hits and got some decent opportunities, but it was Montreal that was able to strike first. As Matt Bartkowski found himself in the penalty box for a tripping call, the Habs powerplay unit went to work. With PK Subban capitalizing on a wrist shot form the point.
Around the three minute marker of the second frame, Montreal struck again as they capitalized on a mis-communication between Boston defenders Johnny Boychuk and Torey Krug. As the clock winded down the Bruins seemed to find their groove, just as the period came to a close.
Naturally the Bruins came out in the third period in Boston fashion, rip roaring to go. Reilly Smith capitalized on a shot from the left circle with Patrice Bergeron camped out in front of Price to block the view to cut Montreal’s lead to one. Then, cashing in and cleaning the slate was defenseman Torey Krug. To make up for the turnover earlier in the game, Krug accepted a pass from Milan Lucic that he sniped high past Price to tie the game.
With the clock ticking away the seconds the intensity grew and the crowds roars thickened. With seven minutes and change remaining Bouillon pushed Montreal ahead once more to regain the lead. However, the Bruins weren’t backing down. Racing against the clock they worked the puck around in the offensive zone, generating numerous opportunities. The one that mattered came from defenseman Johnny Boychuk who blasted a bomb past Price past the glove-side high, sending the game to overtime.
Added minutes in any sort of a game means added emotions and upped intensity. For a game that already had hype leaving some bitter tastes, the blood pressures began to rise. Montreal dominated the first few shifts of the extra period and generated a lot of offense. However, the ultimate decision maker came from penalties. As Daniel Paille found himself in the box in the final seconds of the added frame, the Bruins began to get frustrated. Matt Bartkowski would then find himself in the box once more for holding when PK Subban would net the game-winner.
Despite going into double overtime there were a lot of things to take from game 1 of this series. The Bruins battled hard to get back in the game and put up a good fight…in the third period. They need to bring that intensity and determination from the drop of the puck in the first period and hold onto it the entire duration of the game. As Matt Bartkowski put it post game;
“If we bring that intensity the whole game, then it’s a different story.”(via NHLBruins Twitter)
They also had a handful of missed opportunities whether it was Milan Lucic fanning on a wide open net shot after David Krejci made the pass through the defenders’ legs in the third frame or Carl Soderberg’s back door attempt that went centimeters wide. The Bruins generated the offense, they just fell short on conversions. being able to capitalize on those situations and bring a full sixty minutes the Bruins should be in good shape for game 2.
The Bruins return to action at the TD Garden Saturday for a matinee game at 12:30PM that is being aired on NBC prior to the start of the Kentucky Derby coverage.