It’s another John Shorthouse and John Garrett game. Should be a good one.
- The crowd is energetic, but it’s a nervous energy as no one knows quite what to expect at the start.
- The many Bruins fans in attendance have no such nerves, and get an early goal from Pavel Zacha to celebrate.
- As it did in the game versus the Red Wings, the veteran lines helps settle the team down with a cycling shift in the offensive zone. It’s not be as commanding as the Tomas Tatar-Phillip Danault-Brendan Gallagher line used to be, but it’s proving to have a similar level of reliability.
- They just about score on their next shift as Gallagher finds Tanner Pearson in space, who just misses near-side.
- Mike Matheson tries to blindly come around the back of the net with speed and runs into a Bruins forechecker. It leads to a lone offensive-zone shift for Boston’s top line.
- a “Let’s Go Bruins!” chant begins. The home fans are displeased, and probably a little bewildered. That doesn’t happen in Montreal often.
- That line again. Gallagher just misses potting a Sean Monahan rebound, knocking it off the post.
- Matheson sent a perfect pass to Pastrnak, who gets denied by Samuel Montembeault. No reason to attempt that pass. He’s just making some odd decisions this season.
- Jake DeBrusk hits the post.
- Monahan hits the post. That’s two for that line.
- Brad Marchand’s attempted dump-and-chase becomes a dump-and-fall-flat-on-your-face after a hip-check from Johnny Kovacevic.
- Shots are only 4-4, but it’s a very calculated opening period with only quality chances.
- Two more chances from a mid-change line of Gallagher, Nick Suzuki, and Cole Caufield.
- A very entertaining period, and there’s an argument to be made that the Canadiens looked better, outside of that opening-minute goal.
- The Bruins keep an offensive presence going by having a sixth man jump on the ice. The officials let it pass. You get the feeling they want to have as little impact in this game as possible.
- Boston scrambles to get in a change after a long shift, and the Canadiens turn it up ice. Michael Pezzetta gets a chance to walk in alone, but can’t solve Jeremy Swayman. He is getting a lot of those opportunities, however, which is just fine for a fourth-liner.
- Shots are now 11-7 for Montreal. They’re playing this second period very well.
- David Pastrnak gets a lane to the net and Johnny Kovacevic has no choice but to wrap him up to prevent a chance. The sad part is it looked like Pastrnak gained the step by being offside.
- Marchand has the whole net to shoot at but sends it through the crease and out the other side. He puts his hand on his head in disbelief.
- Other than that, a very good penalty kill keeping all the passing lanes blocked.
- Juraj Slafkovský is going to the net, but not getting his stick down to present a deflection option for his linemates. It’s a critical part of that role he’ll need to learn.
- A perfect pass attempt from Caufield into space just fails to connect with Dvorak’s stick.
- The Canadiens get their first power play as Arber Xhekaj raised the Bruins’ tempers a bit with a big hit on Danton Heinen.
- Three shots by Anderson and Caufield, three misses. But Anderson gets tripped to put Montreal on a five-on-three for 25 seconds.
- Caufield gets denied on the one chance Montreal gets while up two men.
- The Bruins’ penalty kill is also blocking all the passing lanes. There’s a reason it ranks second in the league.
- Montreal is right back onto the power play because of a Bruins high stick.
- The bad news is you know the Canadiens are going to pay for all this man-advantage time later when the even-up begins.
- Anderson doesn’t score there either as his stick breaks on the shot.
- I just don’t know why Matheson can’t keep the puck in the zone on these slow passes back to the blue line.
- No goals from any of those power plays and the score remains 1-0 after 40 minutes, with the Canadiens still the better team.
- Now the power play comes through! It’s a four-game goal-scoring streak for Nick Suzuki, through a Monahan screen.
- While Michel Lacroix is announcing the Suzuki goal, a Kaiden Guhle shot goes off the stick of Gallagher, and he pots the puck for a 2-1 lead. Having a man in front of Swayman is proving to be the answer.
- Nice to hear the crowd giving a loud cheer when Guhle is announced for the primary assist. He deserves the praise.
- And it’s a tie game as Oskar Steen tips in a point shot. Both clubs have unlocked the secret.
- But he nudged Montembeault while the goalie was in the crease, and Martin St-Louis is challenging. I think that will be no goal.
- And the refs agree.
- Habs fans try to drown out another Bruins chant with a rendition of “Olé!” Dangerous.
- Another Bruins penalty as Marchand’s frustration boils over on a change. I think he said to the referee, “Do your [expletive] job!”
- Well I knew the even-up was coming, but the ref is calling two hooking penalties on Montreal at the same time.
- One minute of a three-on-five to kill off here.
- I just had a P.K. Subban flashback as both Habs players came out of the penalty box and created an odd-man rush. No goal, but the momentum is now firmly with the Canadiens.
- Matheson advances the puck to Suzuki, who makes an excellent hook-pass to an onrushing Anderson. Swayman makes a great save to keep Anderson’s season goal total at zero.
- Newhook tries to drain the final eight minutes off the clock by pinning the puck deep in the Bruins’ zone. He gets about 20 seconds.
- Just 7:30 left in this game. It has flown by.
- And another Canadiens penalty now. Are they evened up yet?
- A puck goes off the foot of Marchand and in to tie the game. It’s taken a few of that type of goal to solve Habs goalies in recent games.
- Caufield tries to go one-on-six to put the Habs ahead, but the Bruins, with an extra man on the ice again, stop him.
- Gallagher pokes at a puck, and Swayman goes after him with his blocker. Just another day in the Bruins-Habs rivalry.
- If you’re going to ice the puck, at least you have Monahan on the ice to win it right back.
- The 60 minutes expire, and you know that that means. Cole Caufield time!
- Matheson goes coast-to-coast, but Swayman makes the save.
- Kaiden Guhle wins it! Great game for him. Great game for the Habs.
- Four years of losing to the Bruins is over. A great Saturday night.
- Just the third time this season the Bruins haven’t taken both points from a contest.
EOTP 3 Stars
3) You can’t argue against that with the effort he brings
2) A new entry as best game of the season
1) And we all get our wish