Habs Battle Back but Fall Short vs. Bruins
The shootout is certainly not a friend to the Montreal Canadiens this season. After battling back from a two goal deficit, the Habs came out on the losing end 4-3 to the Boston Bruins tonight.
Tyler Seguin scored the lone shootout goal, beating Carey Price for win, while Tim Thomas stopped all three Montreal shooters. Strange shootout choice, Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth using Lars Eller, who had two shifts in the third period. Something tells me No. 46 may have taken exception to that, just maybe.
On a night of weak officiating at both ends, there were four goaltender interference penalties assessed with two being assigned at both ends on the same sequence.
Montreal picks up a point in the Eastern Conference standings, putting them within six points of the eight place Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadiens rallying is impressive considering the Bruins were 25-0, when leading by two goals, prior to tonight's game.
"We showed a lot of character, a lot of heart & determination to fight back against a good hockey team." - Josh Gorges
Boston gets bragging rights on the season, winning four of six games between the two clubs. Five games were decided by a single goal.
The Bruins were first on the scoreboard at 17:09, when Andrew Ference fired a wrist shot in from the top of the faceoff circle to beat a screened Price. Boston held the advantage throught the fist 20 minutes, with the Canadiens managing just five shots at Tim Thomas. Their first shot on goal didn't occur until over nine minutes had passed.
Ryan White provided the only excitement for Bell Center fans in the first period. In his first game of the season, he dropped the gloves with Adam McQuaid.
The Canadiens responded at 1:39 of the second period, when Mathieu Darche netted a shorthanded goal after charging to the net and taking a pass from P.K. Subban. It was the first time this season that the Bruins had given up a goal with the man advantage.
Benoit Pouliot regained the lead for the visiting team. The former Canadiens forward dipped between Canadiens defenders Chris Campoli and Tomas Kaberle, beating Price five hole at 5:07.
With Erik Cole in the box on the fourth goaltender interference call of the game, Patrice Bergeron added his 17th goal of the season, sweeping in quickly to the side of the net at 14:43.
The Canadiens could have easily folded to the defending Stanley Cup champions, but they didn't and limited their opponents to just two shots in the third period.
Max Pacioretty continued his outstanding season, scoring his 24th goal of the season, getting the Canadiens within one at 3:34 of the third period.
Montreal would tie it at 11:12 when Zdeno Chara had an utter brain fart, putting the puck right on the stick of Cole. Known more for his power move up the wing, the Canadiens winger was able to play a simple waiting game with Thomas before netting his 22nd goal with a slick backhand move.
A scoreless overtime provided some opportunities for the Bruins, where Price had to be sharp and got an assist from the goal post on a shot from Brad Marchand.
Alexei Emelin certainly got the attention of the Bruins, laying out a blowup hit on Shawn Thornton, which got a blindside retaliatory hit later in the game. Marchand then tried to take out the Russian Bulldozer at the knees, and was assessed a clipping call.
"I don't think there's a place for it. There's a time and place for a hip check, that's one thing.," said Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges on the hit."But when you submarine a guy it's just a dangerous play. That's the way he plays."
Boston's "little ball of hate"could get another call from you know who.
For those following "As the Cunneyworth Turns" Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn had 12:34 and 13:00 TOI respectively.
Following the game, the Canadiens returned Aaron Palushaj to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Plaushaj was a health scratch for the game.
The Canadiens next game is Friday, when they visit the Buffalo Sabres.
Lowlight of the evening: During the game, Zdeno Chara took a puck top the face off the stick of Tomas Plekanec, which drew uncalled for cheers from the Bell Centre crowd.
Even lower, this "Tweet of the night," and remember it's Black History Month
Three Stars: 1. Tyler Seguin 2. Erik Cole 3. Patrice Bergeron
Advanced Stats: Shift Charts / Head to Head / Corsi & Fenwick
Bruins coverage from SBN's Stanley Cup of Chowder