Canadiens vs Bruins recap: Ninth consecutive win at TD Garden

The Montreal Canadiens proved why they were the top team in the Atlantic by beating the Boston Bruins.

The Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins renewed hostilities at TD Gardens, as both teams battled to grab top spot in the Atlantic division.

Brendan Gallagher literally drew first blood against the Bruins, high sticking Brandon Carlo in the face to give Boston the first power play of the game. Despite playing down a man for nearly four minutes, the Canadiens killed off half the penalty and drew a power play of their own to negate the remainder of the call, when David Backes was sent off on an interference call.

Despite the successful penalty kill, it was all Boston following the kill. The Bruins had little trouble setting up shop in the Canadiens end but to Boston’s credit, they more than made up for it by consistently missing the net.

The Canadiens finally caught a break with four minutes left in the period, when David Desharnais drew a penalty to put the Canadiens on the man advantage. With Joe Morrow sent off for high sticking, Montreal peppered Anton Khudobin but couldn’t get one through the Bruins backup.

Despite the late surge by the Canadiens, the game was still scoreless heading into the second.

Brian Flynn set the tone for the second period by hitting the crossbar less than two minutes in. Joe Morrow responded in kind by cross checking Paul Byron seconds later, to put the Canadiens back on the power play.

Montreal’s power play was less effective this time around, as the team struggled to get step in Boston’s zone and didn’t put up a single shot on the man advantage.

Both teams traded scoring chances throughout the second and players began to get a little chippy. Torey Krug and Joe Morrow were more than happy to start a post whistle scrum with Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty, but Gallagher would get the last laugh.

Just over halfway through the period, Gallagher’s one-timer blew past Khudobin as the rest of the Bruins were caught puck watching to put the Canadiens on the board first.

With just over five minutes left in the period, Dominic Moore tried to scrap with Alexei Emelin behind the net. Both Emelin and Moore were sent off for roughing, but Moore got an extra two minutes for his trouble and gave the Canadiens their fourth power play of the night. Much like the last power play, Montreal couldn’t quite set up and squandered an opportunity to double up on the Bruins on the man advantage.

But even strength was another story, as a streaking Phillip Danault and Alex Radulov created a 2-on-1 against Colin Miller. Though Matt Beleskey made it back it time to make an attempt at blocking Radulov’s pass, the Russian would get the puck through to Danault, who put it off the pipe and in behind Khudobin.

The Boston Bruins came into the third period desperate for a goal and they would get one just over five minutes in, when Moore scored on a 2-on-1 to cut the lead in half. A few minutes later, Alexei Emelin was sent to the box on a delay of game penalty to give the Bruins their fourth power play of the game.

But Paul Byron sped past Krug to score a shorthanded goal 9 seconds into Boston’s power play to give the Canadiens a 3-1 lead. Undeterred, Ryan Spooner converted a David Backes pass on the remainder of the man advantage to cut the lead to one again.

And with less than half the period left to play, the game got a lot more interesting. Torrey Mitchell scored off a giveaway to extend Montreal’s lead, but took a stick to the face in the process. David Krejci was penalized for high sticking Mitchell, but Canadiens couldn’t take advantage of the ensuing power play.

Minutes later, Riley Nash was called for slashing but Alex Radulov also earned a perplexing embellishment penalty on the play. Both players were sent off and Montreal   played 4-on-3 hockey until Krejci’s penalty expired.

Recognizing that the game was getting away from them, the Bruins pulled their goaltender in an attempt to pull even. A late interference call would go against Shea Weber with two minutes left in the period, while Jeff Petry was sent off a minute later on a delay of game penalty to give Boston a 6-on-3 advantage to end the game.

But in typical Bruins fashion, the team couldn’t beat Carey Price and the Canadiens skated off with their ninth consecutive win at TD Garden.


  • While Carey Price didn’t face many shots during this game, it was obvious that he was in Boston’s head all game long. Despite getting clean looks, the Bruins were choosing to pass instead of shooting the puck and were constantly trying to get into a better position to score. Boston’s reluctance to shoot would go on to help Montreal, as Price only faced 21 shots throughout the game and only needed to turn away 19 of them for the win.
  • Montreal’s fourth line dominated at even strength, and the Canadiens controlled over 60% of even-strength shot attempts while the trio was on the ice. Both Mitchell and Danault ended up with goals this game and had Flynn’s shot not gone off the crossbar, he would have joined his linemates on the scoresheet as well.
  • The Canadiens power play was... interesting, to say the least. Despite getting four power plays in the game, Montreal’s power play seemed to get progressively worse and the Canadiens managed to put zero shots on net on during two separate occasions. In fact over the four power plays, Montreal collectively managed to put five shots on net - with four of the five shots coming on their very first power play of the game, and finished 0-for-4 on the power play.
  • How good does it feel to beat the Bruins? There is just something so inherently satisfying about walking into their building, into their city and and skating away with two points in a convincing victory. The Bruins can complain all they want, but they had every opportunity to get back into this game. And yet, they couldn’t get past a more determined Canadiens squad who had no problem proving that no matter what the Bruins did, they weren’t going to be goaded into playing Bruins hockey. Montreal won playing Canadiens hockey. /

Top of comments section | Top of article | Homepage