Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins: Biggest Takeaways from Game 5
The Boston Bruins have taken a stranglehold on this Stanley Cup playoff series with a dominating performance on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens. The Vancouver Sun reported on the Bruins' win that puts them on the brink of winning the best-of-seven series on Monday night in Montreal.
Montreal scored a late power-play goal to make the score look a little closer, but the Bruins dominated play for most of the night.
It's going to take a significant swing in momentum for the Canadiens to get this turned around. There is now little room for error on the part of Montreal.
Let's take a look at the biggest takeaways from Game 5.
P.K. Subban Is Not Dominating Like He Was Earlier
P.K. Subban did register a late power-play goal on Saturday night, but he was not a significant factor for much of the game.
Subban was easily the best skater in the series in the first three games. He has not been able to sustain that as the series has worn on.
The Bruins are pounding him on virtually every shift, and it seems to be taking a physical toll on the talented defenceman. He appears to be hearing footsteps in the defensive zone and he's not moving the puck with the same authority as he did earlier in the series.
If your best player is not at his best, there's a good chance you'll struggle to win playoff games. Just ask the Habs.
Tuukka Rask Played Inspired Hockey Between the Pipes
Tuukka Rask has rediscovered his game and is suddenly the Habs' nemesis. After failing to hit the .900 mark in save percentage in the first three games, he has given up just two goals in the past two games.
He earned a .935 save percentage on Saturday night in stopping 29 of 31 shots. He was great positionally and didn't let the Habs get to him despite all of the traffic that they threw in his way.
Carey Price has had a very good series, but Rask has turned it up when his team has needed him most.
Rask will need to be at, or near his best, if the Bruins hope to close out the series on Monday night at the Bell Centre.
Boston's Depth Was Decisive
While the Bruins' fourth line was good on Saturday night, the third line was superb.
Loui Eriksson had two points and centre Carl Soderberg chipped in with a goal and two assists. The third line lined up a number of times against the Canadiens' second line and more than held its own.
The Bruins are still waiting for David Krejci to join the playoff party, but if the third and fourth lines can play this well, they won't need the mercurial Krejci to start scoring immediately.
Soderberg is having a breakthrough playoff campaign with six points in 10 games.
The Bruins Power Play Is Back in Play
The Boston power play played a decisive role in Game 5. The Bruins had failed to register a power-play goal in this series, but this changed on Saturday night.
The Bruins scored two goals in 32 seconds with the man advantage. These two goals gave the Bruins a three-goal lead in Game 5, and they really did not look back.
Boston is one of the league's best at even strength. If they can continue to win the special teams battle as well, it will be difficult to picture this series being extended to a seventh game.