FINAL (OT) | Game 65, Away Game 31 | Saturday March 3, 2018 
TD Garden, Boston, MA.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

1-2

BRUINS
Boston

(Photo by Michael Dwyer / AP)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

Scherbak – Danault – Lehkonen
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Gallagher
Byron – De La Rose – L. Shaw
Deslauriers – Froese – A. Shaw

Benn – Petry
Alzner – Juulsen
Reilly – Schlemko

Goaltenders

Niemi
Lindgren

Scratches

Rinat Valiev, Daniel Carr

Injuries

Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Carey Price – concussion, Charles Hudon – hand, Victor Mete – hand, Max Pacioretty – lower-body

Game Report 

Even if you are cheerleading the tank brigade, no honourable Habs fan wants to see their team lose to the Boston Bruins. And most certainly when a loss allows those bitter rivals to complete the four-game season sweep of the Canadiens.

It’s little consolation that Montreal managed to hold off one of the league’s top-5 teams for 57:15. It’s a 60-minute game (and sometimes a little longer) and those end of period goals count just the same.

So it has to be frustrating when lazy plays like firing a puck over the glass, or unfocused plays like losing a stick are the reason that the Canadiens did not leave Boston with a victory. It is attention to the details that are the mark of a winning team.. and Montreal is not a winning team.

With the shot attempts at 88-45, heavily favoring the Bruins, the only reason that the Canadiens were in this game was goaltending. That’s been a familiar refrain whether it has been the stellar work of Carey Price, the poised-beyond-his-years Charlie Lindgren or the rather unconventional-but-effective-for-now Antti Niemi.

The overtime goal aside, Niemi was outstanding in this game making 48 saves. 

But whether it was Antti tonight, or Carey and Charlie next season, the Canadiens need more than a strong goaltending tandem. Montreal got inspired performances from Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Artturi Lehkonen and Jacob De La Rose up front.

Now if only the promised superstar would look like he is interested in putting in an effort. Instead, Jonathan Drouin’s night featured a handful of giveways, a 5-for-15 performance at the faceoff dot, a careless late penalty that led to the tying goal and a lazy coverage effort in overtime that resulted in the winning goal.

The problems on this team are more than Drouin, but his play/effort level is in need of a major fix.

On a completely different note, there was some rich irony in hearing Claude Julien complain loudly post-game about embellishment by the Bruins.

===

▲  Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Noah Juulsen, Artturi Lehkonen, Antti Niemi, Jacob De La Rose, Karl Alzner

▼  Jonathan Drouin, Byron Froese, Phillip Danault, Andrew Shaw, Logan Shaw, Nicolas Deslauriers

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   BRUINS
28 Shots 50
37% Face-offs 63%
0-for-4 Power Play 1-for-6
12 Penalty Minutes 8
30 Hits 22
45 Corsi For 88
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (25-29-11) 1 0 0 0 1
 Bruins (40-15-8) 0 0 0 1 2
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Gallagher (23)
  • BOS: DeBrusk (13)-PPG, Marchand (25)
  • MTL: Niemi (L) 4-6-3
  • BOS: Khudobin (W) 14-4-4
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1. Brad Marchand  BOS
  2. Anton Khudobin  BOS
  3. Antti Niemi  MTL

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Claude Julien

  • “When you talk about our roster, we have a lot of young guys in there. They’re battling, and we’re finding ways to get points. I think we’re growing as a team. We still have a long ways to go, but at least we’re going in the right direction and it’s not the other way around. Those are all encouraging signs. We just have to stick with it here and keep encouraging our players to work hard, compete hard, and to continue to try and pick up some wins here – and some confidence.”

Brendan Gallagher

  • “It doesn’t matter where or when you’re playing, but especially when you come into Boston… it’s a fun game. It’s too bad we weren’t able to come away with a win. The battle, the compete was there. But they started to really take over the game about halfway through. We had a couple of chances to extend the lead; their goalie made some saves.”

Jeff Petry

  • “Whether fatigue or anything was a factor, it doesn’t change our mindset; we have to get the job done. The more penalties you take, the greater chance they’re going to get one. They were able to capitalize on their last one tonight.”

Bruins defenceman Torey Krug

  • “A guy [Montreal’s Nicolas Deslauriers] lost his stick. I think that’s a key part of it. No, I mean, it can be frustrating, you have so much time on the power play, you’re not getting the goals. We had a lot of good looks. Ultimately it was just getting a shot into the slot and those guys do the work. Great job by those guys to stick with it.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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