Montreal Canadiens Up 3-1 over Boston Bruins after Two Periods

Mark RitterSenior Writer IApril 16, 2011

VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 26: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period in NHL action on February 26, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Heading into Game 2 of this year's playoff series between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins, it was thought that the Bruins would have to be much better than they were in their 2-0 loss to the Canadiens in Game 1.

Not only did the Canadiens beat the Bruins on the score sheet in Game 1, they also beat the Bruins in the mental department—turning the other cheek at every opportunity, never allowing the Bruins to flex their muscle or goad the undersized Canadiens into a fight.

They say brawn is often outmuscled by brains—the Habs game win was a perfect example of just that.

For the Bruins to be successful this evening, they would have to hit more, score more, stay out of the penalty box and beat Carey Price—all without the benefit of Zdeno Chara who was a game time scratch due to dehydration.

Fast forward to tonight's tilt and you'll find the Bruins are quickly running out of life as Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri opened the scoring less than a minute into the game, followed by another Habs goal at the 02:20 mark of the first period when Mathieu Darche deposited a nice wrist shot past Bruins netminder Tim Thomas.

When the second period ended the Bruins were down 2-0, which meant they had now gone four straight periods without scoring a goal.

Boston opened the second period on the power play, but once again were thwarted by the Canadiens—who have looked a step ahead of the Bruins all game long.

Bruins forward took a high sticking call when he caught Montreal Canadiens defenseman (and public enemy number one in Boston) P.K. Subban in the face with his stick.

The Canadiens were unable to score, but they came very close when a poor line change led to a breakaway attempt by Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec.

Bruins netminder Tim Thomas made the save, but it was all too close for the Bruins and their fans.

Perhaps that breakaway served as a wake-up call, perhaps it was just a matter of time, but shortly after the breakaway attempt, the Bruins finally beat Price for their first goal of the series—a tip-in from Patrice Bergeron (who has six shots on the night already).

For the Bruins, it might just be the beginning of a comeback? For the Canadiens, simply a bump in the road?

Tempers looked to be flaring as Bruins forward Shane Hnidy reacted to a dangerous hit on Rich Peverley in which Canadiens defenseman James Wisniewski slammed Peverley’s head into the boards.

The result was a Bruins power play at 12:23 of the second period—a power play which scares nobody!

Predictably, the Bruins were unable to score on the power play, which remains “0” for the series.

The Bruins continued exactly where they left off before scoring their first goal of the series—playing sloppy hockey.

In a similar play to the first goal of the hockey game, the Bruins gave away the puck on a bad clearing, resulting in three Canadien forwards streaking in on Tim Thomas who gave up a huge rebound off the initial shot to Yannick Weber, who deposited the puck into a yawning cage.

And just like that, it was 3-1 Montreal, which all but negated the Bruins’ goal as the Canadiens once again had momentum.

The Bruins would hit a goal post with 1:41 left in the second period, but they failed to beat Carey Price, who, despite giving up the one goal, has played exceptionally well once again, stopping 23-of-24 Boston shots through two periods.

For the Bruins to pull off the win, they will have to bring a much better compete level, forget about trying to get P.K. Subban and get a little luck from the hockey Gods.

Needless to say, it’s gut check time for the Bruins—question is, how will they respond to the adversity that now faces them?

Of note, teams that go up 2-0 in a playoff series win 85 percent of the time...Gut check time indeed!


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