Canadiens vs Bruins recap: Lehkonen excels, Carr stars as Habs come back to beat Boston
The Habs erased several deficits to beat their rivals.
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins renewed their rivalry in Quebec City. Playing in front of a hometown crowd, the Canadiens were able to come from behind to best the Bruins.
The first period started off on a relatively high note for the Habs, who earned an early power play when Jake DeBrusk was sent off for boarding Brian Flynn less than three minutes into the game. However, Flynn sustained an injury on the play, and would not return for the rest of the night.
Though Alex Galchenyuk was able to unleash a one-timer late into the man advantage, he was unable to beat Tuukka Rask and the game remained scoreless. Boston used their successful penalty kill to pressure the Canadiens, and Mikhail Sergachev’s slashing penalty gave them plenty of time and space to set up in Montreal’s end.
Al Montoya was able to withstand the Bruins’ barrage on the penalty kill, but couldn’t turn aside Ryan Spooner’s shot shortly afterwards. Spooner’s goal would break the deadlock, putting the Bruins on the board first.
Spurred by the early deficit, the Canadiens stopped sitting back and tried to return the favour. Initially outshot 7-3 during the first, the Canadiens pulled even in shot attempts before a broken glass pane prematurely ended the period with around forty seconds remaining.
When play resumed, Max Pacioretty nearly capitalized on a 2-on-1 but Rask’s desperate toe save kept it out, and the period officially came to an end.
The second period started less favourably for the Canadiens, as Christian Ehrhoff scored less than two minutes in to double Boston’s lead. Montreal was then immediately on the penalty kill, when Michael McCarron took a slashing penalty less than a minute later.
The Canadiens managed to successfully kill off the penalty, limiting Boston to two shots in the process and were soon on the counter attack. Zdeno Chara’s perfectly timed hooking penalty would finally allow the Canadiens to break through, just over halfway through the period. Jeff Petry one-timed an Andrei Markov pass behind a helpless Rask to cut Boston’s lead in half.
Not to be outdone, less than two minutes later, Alexander Radulov dug the puck out from behind the Boston net to feed a perfect pass to Artturi Lehkonen, who made no mistake scoring his first goal of the pre-season. Lehkonen’s tally tied the game at two, erasing Boston’s early lead and putting life back into the Videotron Centre.
Both Boston and Montreal exchanged shots as the second period died down, and with less than a minute on the clock, Brad Marchand was sent off for roughing. The Canadiens played the final moments a man up, and started the third period on the power play.
Despite giving up an early short-handed goal to Austin Czarnik, the Canadiens made use of the man advantage to respond. Galchenyuk sniped Petry’s pass past Rask from the right circle, to knot the game at three apiece.
Though Montreal couldn’t take advantage of a late-period holding penalty assessed to Colin Miller, Daniel Carr pulled off a slick toe drag to put one behind a dejected Rask to give the Canadiens their only lead in the game.
In the dying minutes of the third, Brendan Gallagher found himself in a familiar position — getting into the opposition goaltender’s grill — but the puck stayed out to deny the Habs a two-goal lead. The Canadiens held on to their slim lead to take the game by a score of 4-3.
- Artturi Lehkonen should be a lock to make the Canadiens. The Finnish forward has demonstrated that he is more than capable of holding his own against other NHLers, and should slot in nicely on Montreal’s second line.
- It wasn’t just Lehkonen who impressed, as both Daniel Carr and Michael McCarron found themselves on the scoresheet. Their strong performances will make it more difficult for the coaching staff to make final cuts, who will have to pick from Sven Andrighetto, Brian Flynn, and Phillip Danault as well.
- Montreal’s power play has finally been upgraded! Alex Galchenyuk now finds himself a permanent fixture on the first power-play unit, while Jeff Petry moved in from the blue line to take shots and make plays from closer in (compared to how defencemen were deployed along the blue line last season). /
The Canadiens will be back in action tomorrow night, taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs in their final pre-season game. Both Carey Price and Shea Weber are expected to suit up for the match at the Bell Centre, and puck drop will be at 7:30 PM EDT.