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Canadiens start strong, grab 2-1 series lead against Bruins

May 6, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens - Game Three Getty Images

Though they split the first two games in Boston, the Montreal Canadiens blew two-goal leads in both Games 1 and 2 of this second-round series. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday, however, as they won 4-2 in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead against the Boston Bruins.

That’s not to say that the B’s didn’t make things interesting, however.

A late charge comes up short

With about six minutes left in the second period, the Canadiens had a 3-0 lead after an unlikely Dale Weise breakaway goal. Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins some hope heading into the third period with a beauty of a tip-in tally.

The Bruins didn’t truly make the Habs sweat until Claude Julien pulled the Patrick Roy Special in yanking Tuukka Rask at a pretty aggressive point in the third period. It paid off with a Jarome Iginla goal with 2:16 left in the game, but the Bruins were unable to score again. Lars Eller then iced the game with an empty-netter.

(Some might wonder why P.K. Subban didn’t get a delay of game penalty with 10 precious seconds remaining, though the officials would likely chalk it up to an accidental moment. Still, there might be some who grumble about that moment.)

Subban stars

Really, that late moment just cemented Subban’s big impact on the game. The sensational defenseman got an assist on this great play by Thomas Vanek:

Then he delivered a hit that hurt Vanek as much as anyone else:

… And scored a fantastic goal after the resulting penalty was killed:

Habs played well

The Bruins made a mad rush late in the game, but Montreal was explosive in the first period and strong for most of the game (especially before they started to sit on the lead a bit in the third).

With Subban, Vanek, Tomas Plekanec and other Canadiens really humming and certain Bruins struggling, the Habs have to feel good about their chances with a chance to take a 3-1 series lead if they win in Montreal in Game 4. Boston needs a better 60-minute game to avoid that perilous situation and tie it 2-2 instead.

  1. sixchr - May 6, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    The Bruins didn’t play well enough to win and they have to pull their crap together… But don’t tell me Subban didn’t intentionally knock the net off its pegs at the end of the game. Sorry,something like that has to be called. On the other hand, Subban got penalized in the first period for something I didn’t think was even a penalty and that killed the Bruins too. It’s seriously time for Boston to kick it in gear.

    • bruinfanboy83 - May 6, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      What subban did was cheap. B’s had an open shot to tie the game…….then refs blew the whistle. Something needs to be done about that or else every player in the league will do it.
      Rask has been off his game lately. Shouldn’t have been down 3-0. Those breakaways could have easily been stopped. If that was Lundqvist he would have stopped those no problem. B’s should put Charles Johnson in next game.

      • sixchr - May 6, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        Are you on crack?

      • shwatson - May 6, 2014 at 11:17 PM

        The net was knocked when Subban went to play the puck behind the net. Even if they got the shot off it wouldn’t of counted if it went in and Lundqvist gave up 2 breakaway goals last night.

      • hockey412 - May 7, 2014 at 8:46 AM

        sniff sniff.

        What was cheap was Soderberg diving on price, and Hamilton trying to be a tough guy when Rask stepped into Gallagher looking to buy something, and ending up hitting Krug in the face. Good to see the last minute attempt at good sportsmanship backfired at the end of the game.

        Good game, though.

  2. roryflyers - May 6, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Go Habs, Go!

  3. whammy71 - May 6, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Oh look….the bIG bAD bRUINS acting like Filthadelphia during the face-off after the empty netter……imagine that.

    And New Englanders call the Habs a bunch of divers. I saw two Bruins flop to the ice from a single shove with about 3 minutes left. And the one dude acts like he’s dead.

    • stixzidinia - May 6, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      There’s great video out there of Marchand flopping at least twice on a single shift.

      • sportsfaninyyc - May 6, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        Biggest diver in the league by far.

    • cheetah440 - May 6, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      That was Krug and he was bleeding….Called a high stick to the mouth. Don’t look for the call, it wasn’t…

      • micasa81 - May 6, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        …on account of it being Hamilton’s stick that got him.

    • bruins33 - May 6, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      krug was bleeding from the mouth after that. watch the game

    • tdrusher225 - May 6, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Those two fell over each other and Krug got a stick to the mouth, settle down there chief. The diving, whining for calls, and issues with the officials seem to be apparent and consistent whenever the Canadiens are involved. No coincidence. Now please go troll somewhere else.

  4. sportsfaninyyc - May 6, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    Bruins fans can’t whine about the officiating tonight. The refs let them get away with a lot of cheap stuff, and still couldn’t win. Nice clean hit by Moen on Iginla, btw.

    • Moop - May 6, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      I’m pretty disappointed; tonight was the Bruins’ game for the taking in regards to the lack of penalties called. Can’t give up two breakaway goals and still win the game. Hopefully they show up on Thursday.

    • titansbro - May 7, 2014 at 8:19 AM

      It was a clean hit, but what game were you watching? I thought it was a pretty clean game played by both teams.

  5. nunan - May 6, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    Not worried. We all know the bruins thrive when the pressure is on. Honestly, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if they lost the next one, too. I don’t expect it but it wouldn’t shock me. Eventually they’ll turn it on.

    • miketoasty - May 7, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      The Bruins thrive when the pressure is on? Kind of like the Stanley Cup Finals last year when they were up by a goal with only a couple minutes left….

    • joey4id - May 7, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      C’mon. Are you saying there wasn’t enough pressure in the 3rd period last night? And, the only way to feel the optimal amount of pressure for them to win would be to lose tomorrow? If this your take away from last night’s game, then I hope you’re not involved in any hockey other than on PHT.

  6. muckleflugga - May 6, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    home depot’s outing a new line of wallpaper in their spring home improvement collection

    the lavender iginla line

    still, it was awfully considerate of the montréal fans to return jarome’s lid, last seen on camera orbiting over row 28

  7. gallyhatch - May 6, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Tough game, the Bruins 1st line needs to wake the F up.

    There’s plenty of time to turn this series around, but Krejci needs to start scoring immediately. If he doesn’t this series could end in 5.

    Subban is going to get a HUGE contract this summer, he is unbelievable right now.

    • sixchr - May 6, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Krejci isn’t the biggest problem for the first line, Lucic and Iginla aren’t finishing when Krejci sets them up. But Krejci isn’t finishing his chances much like the entire team.

  8. bleedrangerblue - May 6, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    No Pierre Maquire. Yes! No Bruins victory. Yes!! Watching Bruins getting splattered with hits… Yes!!! Great night….

    • drewzducks - May 6, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      Getting shutout back to back games by the biggest head case in the league NOT named Roberto Luongo, PRICELESS.

      • henrik4dawin - May 6, 2014 at 11:21 PM

        I had to downvote as a rangers fan, but that’s a pretty f’ing good response.

      • drewzducks - May 6, 2014 at 11:58 PM

        I have major respect for the King and the NYR as a whole. Only team that approaches my hatred of the Habs is the Peni, so PLEASE start scoring some goals.

  9. bleedrangerblue - May 6, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    @drewz. Ping! Ping!! Ping!! Luck. You’ll see

  10. bleedrangerblue - May 6, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Watch before you post.

  11. titansbro - May 6, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Subban, I mean what can you say? He’s awesome right now. Still hate him though. And I don’t think knocking the net off was intentional. There really was no benefit to it as it stopped the clock & gave the Bs an offensive zone face off. Actually a boneheaded play if you really think about it as it also risked being called a penalty. Well maybe not that last part, not in Montreal anyway.

    That said, the Bruins just can’t seem to find the net. I don’t wanna hear how awesome Price has been. He’s been vulnerable a lot & the Bruins just haven’t taken advantage.

    Rask, wake the f*** up dude. You’re a freaking Vezina caliber goalie.

    Where the hell has Soderberg been? Where the hell has Krejci been?

    This team is better than they are playing. If I’m being honest they kind of look like they did against Chicago last year, worn out. That’s a bad sign.

    • bruinfanboy83 - May 6, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      You’re kidding right? After Subban knocked the net off, B’s had the puck and an open slapshot. Then refs blew the whistle before they could get the shot off.

      • jdlinder11 - May 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM

        Thats when the refs noticed. The net was knocked off right before Subban took possession of the puck. Why would he stop the clock and give the bruins an offensive zone faceoff when he is about to take possession of the puck?

    • micasa81 - May 6, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      Price has been awesome. Sometimes the truth hurts.

      • titansbro - May 7, 2014 at 8:22 AM

        And Rask has been garbage. Yet he’s allowed only 1 more goal than Price & he’s had to deal with breakaways & power plays. Different standards I guess.

      • micasa81 - May 7, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        Yes, goals allowed are almost the same, but Price is .920 through 3 games while Rask is .884.

  12. micasa81 - May 6, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    After the first 2 games, I was kind of afraid Montreal was giving it all they had, and they were going to have to rely on timely scoring and Carey Price to try and cobble together 3 more wins. Tonight, they showed that they do, indeed, have another gear. Maybe it’s smurf speed? Anyway, yes, the Bruins played very bad (especially with turnovers – really uncharacteristic), but you Bs fans have to admit that the Habs were flying tonight, and that caused a good portion of the Boston errors.

  13. joey4id - May 6, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Ahem! What next rookies?

    Following the Bruins’ 5-3 win in Game 2, Bruins defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug indicated that they had solved Price after the Canadiens goalie had seemed to mesmerize them with a 48-save performance in his team’s 4-3 double-overtime win over the Bruins. -James Murphy Boston Herald

    Not sure if this showed up on TV. After stopping a shot from Krug, Price tossed the puck to Krug with his glove hand after the whistle.,

  14. bigdaddy44 - May 6, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Rask showed how overrated he is when the real pressure is on. He is no Tim Thomas when it comes to intense playoff pressure. Two breakaways and he looked foolish on both. Shame on Claude. He let the officiating get into his head and it showed in their game plan. Avoiding the rough play and not taking it to the Canadians played right into Therrien’s hands. If the Bruins try to play a soft, clean game again, this series in over. Claude, grow some nuts and let your guys knock the Canadians off their game instead of playing their game. Stop giving the first two flipping periods away.

  15. titansbro - May 6, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    No he knocked the net off within a nanosecond of slapping the pick away from the Bruin who was down there with him. You’re lying to yourself if you say he knocked it off as they were about to shoot, it just isn’t true. The refs may have blown the whistle at about that point but that’s well after he ran into the net.

    I hate him too & he does plenty of cheap crap, but this wasn’t one of those things. I’m not sure if intent matters in calling a penalty but it certainly didn’t appear to be intentional to me.

    Give the guy his due credit, he’s been electric in this series & has calmed down his antics for the most part.

  16. muckleflugga - May 6, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    anybody who plays knows subban’s contact with the goal post was incidental … the rule demands intention for a call … fodder for more whining in a bruins camp starting to fall into disarray

    bruins look body-sore and legless … the tournament always takes a toll on teams that live and die on plodding grinding hockey season-long … post red wing blues

    no appetite for contact for bruin bully boys, being body-slammed in pairs by five foot nine giants like brendan gallagher … lmao

    big bad bruins lmao … big bad belly boys, all gut no guts

    watching some of the bruins skate, thornton particularly, one is left wondering how they made an nhl roster … where was smith, yesterday’s golden boy …?

    you can’t blame bruins lassitude on their big guns because they don’t really have the definitive big gun, outside of a burned-out retread like jarome iginla –pulling his standard playoff disappearing act ghost to ghost, but not before being beaten like a rented mule

    the breakaway goals portend of things to come from a notoriously slow of foot and slow of mind bruins’ defence … zoom zooooom bzzzzzt red light red light

    canadiens are clearly the more inventive, intelligent team … bruins are clearly being out-coached … time for a communal bruins cry …

    then it’s time to cowboy up, ride that bull … all horn muscle and snot

    pk subbaaaaaaaaaan rocks bruins to the rafters

    • micasa81 - May 6, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      Flugga, cut the crap, I don’t think you even believe half of what you write. You’re the kind of guy who’s always gotta piss into the wind, and on this blog, covering this series, the prevailing wind happens to blow out of New England. I often appreciate your wit, but in this case you’re just plugging away on the same old ridiculous statements about how slow and dull the Bruins are. And I’m the farthest thing from a Bruins fan, so don’t think I’m being defensive with these comments. You’re just, frankly, coming across as far less insightful than you claim to be about the game.

      • charlie24zz - May 7, 2014 at 12:06 AM

        I find his commentary great. I liked his description of Iginla…Moen smoked his ass

      • blomfeld - May 7, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        ‘DUCK YOU’ MICASA !

        your writings compared to Flugga’s are like comparing some miserable ant turd to Mount Everest ! … or filthy dishwater to a bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild, 1946 vintage ! … Flugga ‘knows’ what he’s talking about and he relay’s ‘truth’ here at this website probably better than anyone else !

    • blomfeld - May 7, 2014 at 12:59 AM

      “then it’s time to cowboy up, ride that bull … all horn muscle and snot”

      Welcome back Flugga ! …
      rumors on the internets (Dubya) had it that you and your bicycle had been incarcerated in Mexicali ? … so thank God you’re back safe & sound man ! … anyway, congrats to Les Habitants for really giving it to the ‘cave-dwelling’ Bruins tonight ! :)

      GO HABS GO !!! … CRUSH THE BRUINS !!! … HAVE SOME FUN !!! :)

      Au revoir aux ‘troglodytes de Boston !

  17. cutelittleguy02 - May 6, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Subban scored!!! In your face Bruins! Great goal from Subban again tonight!

  18. charlie24zz - May 7, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    this is how I imagine the entirety of the bruins fanbase

  19. muckleflugga - May 7, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    blommer

    i’d love to be reporting from the road but we’re still waiting for the last 30 centimetre weekend gift to melt

    then southbound and down … tornado season, watch for low-flying cattle

    maybe swing through memphis, catch graceland and put the king into the bucket along with abbey road and the beatles

    • blomfeld - May 7, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      that sounds like a great adventure friend, but do take it easy out there eh ?

      ps: a friend of mine in Calgary texted me a picture of his backyard with all the snow there this past weekend … I honestly don’t know how you guys do it man ? :)

      May God look over comrade Flugga during his ‘glorious’ trek across America … inshallah !

      ‘don’t ever let a Bruin see your bicycle break down’ …

  20. muckleflugga - May 7, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    micasa81

    no effort at trying to be insightful really, i say what i feel about what i see … the bruins are sore, leg-tired and are about to be beaten badly unless they find a second wind

    my insights as you call them, are gleaned from some fifty season’s worth of league and tournament play, with tournaments typically involving six or seven games over three days …

    i know what happens to the human physiognomy in pounding hard skating hockey because i’ve experienced the effect many many times … is that insight or fact

    i always schedule my work around tournaments so i have a week to recover … a privilege is not afforded players in these playoffs … look at what rangers faced in scheduling, then throw in travel

    the fact of the matter is, rarely do you see grinding teams advance in the playoffs … the blues are the most recent example … not because they’re not good on balance, but because the nhl is a war of attrition …

    nhl playoffs begin shortly after christmas as league standings shake-out … as potential match-ups become clearer, games with expected opponents always involve pointed attacks on important players …

    the toll is realized in the playoff tournament … bruins and canadiens have been at war since the years of bobby orr … the canadiens have held a historical edge, and that edge is evident now … is that insight or fact

    that aside, turnabout is fair play and since you wandered onto my radar screen, here it is … reading your repetitious commentary, given to directed attacks at commentators, it’s clear you’ve never played anything of consequence …

    you rely rather upon need to regurgitate the game, point by obvious point, invariably plagiarized from cliché manuals worn thin by the eighteen year old set polluting these boards … have you authored an original thought or phrase herein, i sure as hell haven’t seen it …?

    until you do, you’ll continue to come across as the reasoned, albeit vacuous shallow-brained hockey wannabe, jumping hockey allegiances like whores jump from truck stop to truck stop

    i’ve hated bruins and canadiens for fifty years, why should i pretend otherwise, just to satisfy wants, desires and demands from saturday night hockey fans such as you

    you’ve only seen a tiny sample of what i’m capable of giving back, seek and ye shall find

    in the meantime, piss off numpty

    • micasa81 - May 7, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Reading my reply to you this morning, I certainly took a harsher tone than I usually do, though it was partly because I know you’re a tough Alberta boy who can take it any which way. Your insight/fact question, sprinkled throughout the your reply, is almost certainly rhetorical, but I’ll venture a reply anyway. Insight is almost always fact, but facts aren’t always insightful. You have stated some facts here, no mistake about that. Examples: you’ve played hockey for 50 years (nobody else can verify that, but I’ll take your word). Competitive hockey makes a person tired and sore. NHL players get worn down in the playoffs. Montreal has the edge all-time over Boston in their playoff meetings.

      The tougher question: how do these things remotely serve the points you’re actually trying to make? Put another way, is there any insight to your comments about the Bruins? I stand by what I said above: no, there isn’t. There’s no evidence that they are a notch below the top teams in the West. The teams now play cross-conference more than they used to, and we therefore have a good idea of how East stacks up against West. As people have pointed out to you, the Bruins did just fine in that regard.

      As for them being tired and beat up, we saw the same core of Bruins win a cup 3 years ago after every single series going 7 games, and going down 2-0 on 2 separate occasions. We are currently watching them outplay their opponent in the 3rd period every time they meet. We’re also seeing an L.A. Kings team – who are also recent champs – enjoy success using a similar physical, play-the-body style, but they’re up 2-0 in their series. What’s your take on that? I’m therefore skeptical about the Bruins being worn out midway through round 2 – at least, no more worn out than any other team at this point. They could be, but the rationale for it is not to be found in your posts.

      As for my experience with hockey, I’ll admit that the last time I played competitively was when I was 16 – half a lifetime ago now. On the other hand, I can’t remember learning to skate because I was so young, and I played 12 years of minor hockey growing up. I’ve watched the game at all levels, the Brandon Wheat Kings and Yellowhead Chiefs being the local minor teams I’d take in on a regular basis. When I do put the skates on, it all comes back after a couple of minutes on the ice, and I’d like to believe that my early firsthand knowledge of the game has stuck with me as well as the muscle memory has. You’ve stated my posts are just clichéd summaries of games, which is probably a fair comment at least some of the time. But you’re mistaken if you think I’m just saying things because I hear some talking head say them. My take on games, incidents, etc. is generally based on what I see, drawing from the experience I have watching and playing the game, much like yourself.

      Unlike you, I don’t have an axe to grind every time I write something, and I often use this blog as a place to crystallize my own thoughts about the game I just watched. Inevitably, that ends up coming across as pretty boring sometimes, but I would suggest that my sharp disagreement with you on this topic has given you a predisposition to view the rest of my commentary in a negative light. And don’t misinterpret me here, I largely appreciate your snark and your willingness to say whatever you think even when you know it’s going to have everyone else throwing rotten fruit at you. My main reason for replying to you in the first place is because I think you’re beating a dead horse with your commentary on this series, and you’re doing so with less than your usual panache. Try to take my barbed reply as a compliment, albeit a backhanded one; I disagree with a good portion of what is written on this blog, but I rarely reply to any of it, as it is simply not worth my time.

      And finally: what/who is numpty?

  21. joey4id - May 7, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    The difference thus far in this series; Price is better than Rask, and Subban is better than Chara. If the trend continues then it’s not unrealistic to think about a possible upset.

    Montreal is assured of another playoff game at the Bell, so we know management is falling asleep to the sounds of a cash register. Fortunately, the Bs had a 3rd period surge in game 2 otherwise they would be in a bigger hole. Bs are one win away from getting right back into the thick of things. They have to bounce back after this loss the same way the Habs did after game 2. Give us your best hockey boys. Another game 7 series would be awesome.

  22. theskinsman - May 7, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    The Bruins deserved to lose. After the latest cheap shot elbow by Subban went unanswered, the game was over. Maybe the rules have changed, and this series is on the way to no contact? That would make Mugga so happy.The Bruins can’t match speed with the ballerinas, and evidently the coaching staff decided it would be better to stop putting a body on the speedier team and just skate up and down the ice, watching breakaways and the game slip away. Great plan…if you’re a Habs player.

  23. cutelittleguy02 - May 7, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    Bruins talk too much and doing nothing! Only in the last 5 minutes of the games. Are they drunk or lazy bears? Maybe they thought the Habs don’t deserve to play in series?

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