The Bruins and the Habs held the game four of their best-of-seven series tonight in Boston.
As expected, coach Carbo brought a few switches to his line-ups. But the coach likes to keep it mysterious, so the changes were game-time decisions. For the matter, all players were dressed for the warm-up.
Finally, the winner of the spot is Ryan O'Byrne. Streit moved with Dandenault and Lapierre, while Latendresse moved with Higgins and S.Kostitsyn, which finally puts Ryder on healthy scratch. Of course, the first and the fourth line remained unchanged.
During the game, I needed time to figure out on what line-up Kovalev really was. It seems he was everywhere. It was part of Carbonneau's strategy to mix it up, and Kovalev ended to play a few times with Higgins, other times with Smolinski.
The first period remained scoreless, as both teams exchanged more hits than shots. By then, Price had stopped twelve shots as opposed to nine for Tim Thomas. Then already, I was praying for not having another OT. Once is exiting, twice is enough.
Today is apparently the Bruins goaltender's birthday. As a gift, the Habs decided to finally get productive on their power play. Bruins Andrew Ference got caught for tripping on Kovalev in a battle in front of Thomas' net. Right then, the best power-play in the regular season came to work and the veteran defense-man Patrice Brisebois scored the only goal of the night.
Carey Price also wanted to celebrate in his own way, and got the first playoff shutout of his young career. For the record, the last rookie goalie to get a playoff shutout is Patrick Roy. I may have said this over and over these last months, but Price is amazing.
In his post-game interview, he went again with about the same speech as after his first NHL game: the guys played good in front of him. And when they asked Mike Komisarek (who by the way got his hair cut by Mark Streit this afternoon), he was giving most of the credit to Price. What a team spirit!
Among my highlights of the night, in the first period, Mike Komisarek waited for Milan Lucic in front of the Montreal bench to serve him the over-my-back challenge. The play had the entire Habs bench cheering for Komo, but also got the referee to call for a tripping penalty.
In the second, Tom Kostopoulos also showed to Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara some nice moves he got from probably watching WrestleMania! You see, you get the guy's two legs and you make him fall. Chara actually got Kostopoulos frustrated, as a battle in front of the net resulted in Chara litterally sitting on the Habs number six.
'Gotta admit, feels good to be able to breathe now that they lead the series 3-1 with this 1-0 victory.
Best of all, they will have the chance to end the series in front of the fans as game five will be held on Thursday at the Bell Center.
According to the LaPresse Journal, the organization will recall a few players from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Among the candidates, goaltender Yann Danis, forwards Matt D'Agostini and Kyle Chipchura; and defense-man Pavel Valentenko.