Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Bruins 4, Canadiens 1
By Joe McDonald
MONTREAL -- The Boston Bruins finally got off the schneid.
The Bruins entered Wednesday's game with an 0-4-1 record in their last five games against the Montreal Canadiens, but Boston ended its skid with a 4-1 win at Bell Centre. With the victory, the Bruins extended their current winning streak to six games.
The Bruins received goals from Carl Soderberg, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara, while goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 35 saves. With the win, Rask improved his career record to 3-10-2 against Montreal.
On Wednesday, the teams were scoreless in the first period, but there were quality chances at both ends of the ice.
Lucic had a golden opportunity during Boston's first power play of the night. He received a pass in the slot and had time to get off a snap shot, but Peter Budaj made a blocker save with 1:15 remaining on the man-advantage. Lucic was smiling and shaking his head after the next whistle.
With the game scoreless early in the first period, the Bruins had control in the offensive zone, but the puck squirted out to center ice. The Canadiens' Max Pacioretty collected it and broke in on Rask, who turned away the scoring opportunity with a right-pad save.
Rask was key again during Montreal's second power play of the game. The Canadiens' Alexei Emelin threaded a pass through the neutral zone to Alex Galchenyuk, who snuck in behind defenseman Andrej Meszaros and broke in on Rask. But Rask denied the quality scoring chance with a glove save.
Montreal finished the opening period with 14 shots, while Boston had only six.
The Bruins drew first blood in the second when Soderberg notched his 12th goal of the season at 1:33 of the period. He collected a loose puck in front, and with linemate Chris Kelly setting a screen, Soderberg beat Budaj to give Boston a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins added to their lead when Bergeron scored his 19th of the season at 9:25 as Boston gained a 2-0 advantage. Bergeron and linemate Brad Marchand created a nifty passing sequence in the Montreal zone before Bergeron finished with a quick shot from the slot.
The Bruins weren't done.
Montreal had control of the puck in the offensive zone when Lucic stapled Emelin into the side wall, which created a turnover, and in transition the Bruins' Jarome Iginla gained the blue line and held the puck along the wall, waiting for Lucic to jump into the play. Iginla fed Lucic the puck and he blasted a one-timer past Budaj to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead at 18:32. It was Lucic's 20th goal of the season.
The Bruins still weren't done.
Boston scored only 23 seconds into the third period when Chara netted his 15th of the season. Marchand made a centering pass to Chara in the slot, but Budaj made the original save before Chara collected the rebound and gave Boston a 4-0 lead.
The Canadiens, however, would not be shut out.
Montreal created a scramble in front of Rask and he lost sight of the puck as he was sprawled out in the crease. The Canadiens' David Desharnais found a hole and put it in for Montreal's first goal of the game at 2:46 of the final period.
DROP 'EM: After the Bruins gained a 2-0 lead in the second period, Montreal needed to do something, so the Canadiens' Brandon Prust asked Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller to drop the gloves. Miller obliged and the two went toe-to-toe. Prust landed a few shots, but Miller held his own. It was Miller's third fighting major of the season.
UP NEXT: It's a quick turnaround for the Bruins. This is the 12th of 17 sets of back-to-back games this season as they return to Boston and host the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday night (7 p.m.) at TD Garden. The Bruins are 9-2-1 in the first game and 9-2-0 in the second of those series.