The Montreal Canadiens were able to snap a New York Rangers winning streak on Saturday, but would not be as fortunate against the Boston Bruins. The defending Stanley Cup champions extended their winning streak to 9 games, with a 1-0 win over the Canadiens.
The Canadiens dominated the Bruins for the majority of the game in pretty much every category; Hits, Faceoffs, SOG, Corsi, Fenwick, you name it.
But in a game where a single bounce can change the outcome, the Bruins got theirs at 15:41 of the opening period.
After Yannick Weber whiffed on a cross ice pass in the offensive zone, the Bruins quickly regained possession. As the play transitioned from the Boston end, Lars Eller upended Dennis Seidenberg, leaving both players out of the play and the Canadiens on a delayed penalty. The play worked up ice and some slick passing between Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley set up Andrew Ference's second goal of the season.
The Bruins goal snapped Carey Price's shutout streak of 148 minutes and 11 seconds.
The Canadiens maintained their dominance, and drew a pair of penalties from former Canadiens bust Benoit Pouliot. Unfortunately both man advantage situations, including a four-minute high stick call that bled into the third period, were fruitless.
The Bruins were held to just a pair of shots on goal through the fist dozen minutes of the third period. While on the defensive, the B's rearguards kept the shooting lanes to a minimum. On nights like that, Tim Thomas' unpredictable style is all that's needed to preserve a win. The Bruins netminder has three shutouts in a 6-game personal winning streak.
"We didn't bear down on the chances we got," said Habs forward Lars Eller of Thomas. "He was solid from start to finish."
The Canadiens had one last stab at it, with a power-play and Price out of the net. It would be to no avail, and eyes were raised as to the choices Jacques Martin fielded following a timeout. The absence of P.K. Subban was one thing noted, but Martin was not approached on his decisions in the post-game briefing.
The Habs now embark on a two-game road trip, starting Wednesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Scott Gomez was caught following up on what would be the winning goal, and had 5 shots that missed the net.
Erik Cole seems to get better and better as the season progressed. The big winger won battles in the corners and had five hits and a team-leading 6 shots on goal. "He's been great, he's a lot more comfortable," Price said of Cole. "He's really stepping up."
Both teams played it smart and stayed out of the sin bin, Pouliot aside. The Canadiens killed their lone penalty
Alexei Emelin was a wrecking ball yet again, and even impressed the Bruins play-by-play team. His hit on Pouliot led to the latter's retaliation penalty.
The Canadiens spread their 31 shots around, with five players having 3 or more cracks at Thomas.
The bulk of the Bruins 18 shots were kept to the perimeter through the game, but Price had to look sharp, especially against Milan Lucic, in the third period, when it appeared the Bruins were going for the kill midway into the period.
Noted by TSN990 - Opposing goaltenders really seem to be enjoying it in Montreal this season.
Game's Three: 1. Tim Thomas 2. Carey Price 3. Alexei Emelin
Winning reaction from Stanley Cup of Chowder