It's over: Bruins end Habs season in Game Seven OT
Congratulations to the Boston Bruins, who overcame a two-game deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-3 overtime win in Game Seven.
Equal congrats to the Habs, who were deemed the underdogs and not really given a chance to win this series.
It was a series that easily could have gone in either direction, and easily ended sooner than seven games for either team.
As for the game itself, it certainly wasn't a classic to put in the vault. Poor ice conditions had the puck bouncing all over, resulting in muffed of missed shots and bad bounces. Neither team had any real establishment of dominance, with the Bruins maybe having the early first period edge.
Officiating was again at it's worst on both sides, with several missed and borderline calls. The NHL must seriously reevaluate who they use in the playoffs.
The Bruins took an early two-goal lead in the deciding game, with goals from Johnny Boychuk and Mark Recchi, and it looked like it would was going to be over early for the visiting team. The Canadiens took advantage of special teams with a power play marker from Yannick Weber and a shorthanded breakaway goal by Tomas Plekanec to rally back and tie the game.
Chris Kelly put the Bruins back ahead in the third period, being a factor at both ends of the ice. After a spear to Roman Hamrlik (and yes it was) Kelly made his way back up ice to cash a rebound past a sprawling Carey Price. Hamrlik remained on the ice for some time, hoping to gain the referees attention. Unfortunately the zebras, and even his own bench weren't buying it. Surprisingly, I'll have to quote our friend Jack Edwards and say that Hamrlik needed to, "Get up!" and get back in the play. The play was also controversial in that it was started by a high stick by Boston that wasn't called down.
The Bruins then had numerous chances to put it out of reach, but Price kept his team in the game.
A late high sticking call gave the Habs another power play, and P.K. Subban cashed it in with a powerhouse one-timer past Tim Thomas with 1:57 left in the period.
The Habs season ended when Nathan Horton fired a shot from just inside the blueline at 5:43 that deflected off of Jeff Halpern's skate. It was Horton's second OT winner of the series.
The victory ends a four game losing streak in Game Sevens for the Bruins, who move on to face the Philadelphia Flyers. It was also the first time the Bruins overcame a two game deficit in the playoffs, and probably saved the job of head coach Claude Julien for at least a few more months.
With a wedding on Friday (mine, not Will and Kate's) to attend to Friday, yours truly will be taking a few days away fro EOTP. I'll hook up with the rest of the crew to evaluate the Habs season and what to expect in the off season next week. Hint: Andrei Kostitsyn may have played his way out of contract negotiations based on his Game Seven play alone.
Three Stars: 1. Nathan Horton 2. Chris Kelly 3. Mark Recchi
The winning side's reaction and summer bragging rights at Stanley Cup of Chowder
|03:31 BOS||Johnny Boychuk, 1 (Brad Marchand, 4 Patrice Bergeron, 5) (MTL: 44 11 21 13 20 31 BOS: 28 30 21 55 37 63)|
|05:33 BOS||Mark Recchi, 1 (Andrew Ference, 2 Kirk Macdonald, 1) (MTL: 75 11 21 13 31 76 BOS: 28 30 21 55 37 63)|
|09:49 MTL||Yannick Weber, 2 (PP) (Roman Hamrlik, 3 Michael Cammalleri, 7) (MTL: 44 11 13 46 31 68 BOS: 30 33 11 55 20)|
|05:50 MTL||Tomas Plekanec, 2 (SH) (MTL: 55 6 32 14 31 BOS: 28 30 33 44 37 49)|
|09:44 BOS||Chris Kelly, 3 (Andrew Ference, 3 Rich Peverley, 4) (MTL: 44 11 21 32 20 31 BOS: 30 21 73 23 44 49)|
|18:03 MTL||P.k. Subban, 2 (PP) (Tomas Plekanec, 3 Brian Gionta, 2) (MTL: 21 13 14 20 31 76 BOS: 30 21 23 11 55)|
|05:43 BOS||Nathan Horton, 3 (Milan Lucic, 2 Adam Mcquaid, 2) (MTL: 75 15 13 14 31 76 BOS: 30 33 18 46 54 17)|