Saturday April 6th, 2013
Game Recap: The Bruins couldn’t cope with the Canadiens speed, forecheck and couldn’t solve Carey Price.
| MONTREAL CANADIENS
2nd in the East
4th in the East
|1||1||6:49||EV||MTL||27 A.GALCHENYUK(5)||8 B.PRUST(6)||76 P.SUBBAN(21)|
|2||2||0:57||PP||MTL||73 M.RYDER(16)||76 P.SUBBAN(22)||14 T.PLEKANEC(15)|
|3||2||7:10||EV||BOS||20 D.PAILLE(7)||55 J.BOYCHUK(5)|
Shots on Goal:
SA : 29
- Habs starting six: Lars Eller, Travis Moen Brandon Prust, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin, Carey Price
- Scratched: Tomas Kaberle, Yannick Weber, Mike Blunden, Gabriel Dumont
What you need to know:
It’s was the Canadiens versus Bruins on a Saturday night in April, with the winner taking top spot in the Northeast division. It was also the final regulation season game between the two bitter rivals. With the Habs taking a hard fought 2-1 victory, you could say that it was a statement game.
“You can’t say it was a statement game; there’s still a lot of hockey left to be played,” said coach Michel Therrien in his post-game presser.
Okay, we’ll take that back. But there’s no denying that the match had a playoff feel to it. Anyone who had experienced a playoff run in Montreal would agree.
“It always feels like the playoffs against [the Bruins.] But I don’t know what the playoffs really feel like – I haven’t played in the playoffs here yet,” said Alex Galchenyuk.
Perhaps not the best corroborating source.
The game was certainly an old-fashioned battle of the goaltenders with two of the league’s best going head-to-head. Notwithstanding a vocal (hockey-challenged) minority in the Montreal fanbase who will tell you that Carey Price isn’t even the best goalie on his team.
“Carey Price is one of my favorites — best goaltender in the world as far as I’m concerned,” said HNIC’s Don Cherry.
It’s confusing, because many of those angry folks that call-in to radio shows to complain about Price were also the same ones who were advocating that the Habs load up on tough guys at the trade deadline. They told us that without more grit and a heavyweight, the Canadiens could never compete against the Bruins. Could they be wrong too?
Montreal has won three of four contest with Boston this season. Rather than meet thuggery with thuggery, the Habs have relied on their speed, a quick transition game, discipline and good goaltending to beat the Bruins. On Saturday night, Boston looked sluggish and had trouble moving up the ice.
The line of Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Prust was particularly strong, cycling well and winning battles to the puck. Alex Galchenyuk was effective for the second game in a row picking up his fifth goal of the season and first star.
The game-winner was scored by Michael Ryder, his 16th, on the power-play with Milan Lucic in the box after taking an undisciplined penalty for cross-checking. Lucic was involved in a collision which ended the night for Alexei Emelin in the first period. The Boston forward lifted his knee at impact which sent the Canadiens defenseman sprawling in obvious pain.
The Bruins had a chance to tie it with a power-play in the final minute of the game as Zdeno Chara embellished a tug on his jersey from Eller. Even the ultra-homer NESN admitted that “the Boston defenseman helped it along.”
- Carey Price was brilliant frustrating Bruins shooters and eliminating rebounds. His puckhandling was a big help to a defense corps that was playing one-man short. The only goal that beat him was an odd deflection off the back of David Desharnais.
- Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Prust was the best Canadiens line. Galchenyuk was particularly energetic scoring on his first shift.
- Josh Gorges has been under-appreciated this season. On Saturday, he played 26:18, the most icetime of any player on either team. Gorges had six blocked shots and was a member of the penalty-killing crew who ensured that the Bruins didn’t get a shot on goal during their man advantage.
- Michael Ryder had four shots on goal (tied for the most in that category with Max Pacioretty) and had a power-play goal.
- P.K. Subban picked up an assist on each of the Canadiens goals while increasing his commitment to the defensive side of the game.
- Davis Drewiske is still shaking off the rust but played 23:50, his highest-ever time-on-ice total in the NHL.
- David Desharnais lost the faceoff that led to the tying goal by the Bruins.
- Alexei Emelin suffered an apparent knee injury when he collided with Milan Lucic in the first period. Emelin did not return to the game. He left the Bell Centre on crutches and with his left leg in a brace.
- The Canadiens will take Sunday off returning to practice on Monday morning at 11 a.m at the Complexe Sportif Bell in Brossard.
|NHL Three Stars|
Coach Michel Therrien:
- “Tonight I liked Carey Price. I thought Carey was fantastic.”
- On Lars Eller’s line: “They work hard. They’re on puck. They skate well. They manage the puck really well. They were a really good line tonight. They set the tone for the game.”
- “We have confidence in Lars. The kid competes really hard. Galchenyuk has a lot of speed. Two games that he skates well and plays with confidence. Prust’s best game since he came back.”
- “We played five games in eight days. It’s a demanding week. We had quite good success. I’m really proud about those guys.”
- “If [the Bruins] want to play undisciplined, that’s fine with us.”
- On Alexei Emelin, Therrien said that it’s a lower body injury and that “we’ll find out tomorrow.”
- “It’s obviously two big ones. We’re battling for the top spot. The playoffs are coming up soon and we’re just trying to set the tempo for the rest of the season going into the playoffs.”
HNIC’s Don Cherry on the collision between Alexei Emelin and Milan Lucic:
- “[Lucic] jumps a little and brings up his knee [saying] ‘you wanna fool with me, you’re gonna pay the price.’ Keep away from [Lucic] because you’re gonna get hurt.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien:
- “Just a tough game. All the goals coming off of our players, all three of them. It was one of those games – no pretty goals. I thought we were better as the game went on, but not enough.”
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask:
- “They got the lead, but then we kind of got better, we just couldn’t get the puck in the net. That’s it. You can look at all those three goals scored. I think if you asked me or [Carey] Price, it should have been a 0-0 game.”
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