The Habs are now an impressive 6-1, when facing elimination, going back to last season's playoffs. We'll find out if that record improves to seven wins tomorrow night in Boston.
If there was one thing the Bruins learned tonight, it was not too take stupid penalties, especially back-to-back. For some reason, a relatively disciplined team thus far may have made the wrong decisions at the wrong time, as both Habs goals came with a two man advantage.
Canadiens fans were likely rather skeptical of any penalty luck in there favour when it was announced that Chris Lee and Kevin Pollack would be the Game Six referees. It appeared the bad luck was under way, when an apparent early goal was called off as Pollack lost sight of the puck. Seriously, how do two refs and two linesmen lose sight of a clearly visible piece of rubber?
But the tide would turn in Montreal's favour when a Bruins too-many-men call, followed immediately off the next face-off by a Dennis Seidenberg slashing minor, led to Mike Cammalleri's third goal of the series.
Seidenberg redeemed himself 48 seconds into the second period, when his wrap-around beat Carey Price.
The back-breaker for Boston though was Milan Lucic's boarding call on Jaroslav Spacek, that earned him a five-minute major and a game misconduct. The loss of Lucic was a huge advantage for the Canadiens, but then again he hasn't been much of an offensive threat in this series anyways.
Lucic seemed to know he was busted right away, but it didn't come across as intentional. How the NHL and their spin the wheel enforcement will remain to be seen. The defense that Spacek could have avoided it by not turning his back is nullified immediately, as the Habs defensemen (a left-hand shot) was in his follow through after moving the puck up the boards.
Spacek returned to the game five minutes later, so at least we know his injury wasn't embellished. By the way, was Jack Edwards yelling at Spacek to get up?
An ensuing delay of game call on Patrice Bergeron would lead to the Canadiens second goal of the night, off the stick of captain Brian Gionta.
Late in the game, another crucial mistake when Chris Kelly lost control of his stick and it struck Travis Moen with 3:10 remaining. The Bruins played the penalty kill aggressively, and it almost paid off with several opportunities to tie it up. In fact that penalty kill alone was more impressive than the majority of the 19 unsuccessful power play chances the Bruins have had this series.
Price played yet another solid game between the pipes for the Canadiens, picking up his first home playoff win since 2008. The Canadiens netminder received help from those in front of him yet again, with 27 Bruins shots blocked. Roman Hamrlik lead the Habs with eight of those.
So now it is down to one game for the two clubs at the TD Banknorth Gahden. Winner moves on, loser can tee off on the golf course by the weekend.
Game reaction from the Bruins camp at Stanley Cup of Chowder
Three: 1. Mike Cammalleri 2. Carey Price 3. Brian Gionta
|10:07 MTL||Michael Cammalleri, 3 (PP) (P.k. Subban, 2 Tomas Plekanec, 2) (BOS: 30 33 55 37 MTL: 11 21 13 14 31 76)|
|00:48 BOS||Dennis Seidenberg, 1 (Chris Kelly, 3 Rich Peverley, 3) (BOS: 30 12 23 44 49 MTL: 44 6 13 14 31)|
|05:48 MTL||Brian Gionta, 3 (PP) (Scott Gomez, 4 Michael Cammalleri, 6) (BOS: 30 33 44 11 MTL: 11 21 13 14 31 76)|