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Habs blank Bruins to force Game 7
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Carey Price stopped 26 shots for his first shutout of the playoffs and the Montreal Canadiens grabbed a 4-0 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
For the ninth time in the playoff rivalry between these two Original Six teams there will be a Game 7, as this series will be decided on Wednesday in Boston.
Montreal has won five of the previous eight deciding games, but Boston won the last one in the conference quarterfinals in 2011.
Thomas Vanek scored twice, Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist, and Lars Eller scored the other goal for the Canadiens, who had dropped the past two games before surviving this elimination game.
"At the end, we came out hard," said Vanek. "They played hard too, had some push-backs, but Price played great, as he has for all the series. We found some ways to score tonight."
Tuukka Rask gave up all four goals on 28 shots for the Bruins, who are looking to make it to the conference finals for a second straight season.
"We should have had the momentum in this game," said Rask. "I don't think it carries over from the last game, as long as you regroup after a loss. How we handle it is how we prepare for the next one. We can't forget about what happened tonight. At the end of the day, I thought we played a pretty solid game, but we gave them some gifts."
The Canadiens caught a lucky break to take the lead just 2:11 into the contest. Torey Krug had the puck along the left corner boards in his own end and tried to send it back the other way. The puck, though, got away from Kevan Miller and came out front. Rask tried to poke it away, but Eller grabbed the loose puck and backhanded it in for his fourth of the playoffs.
Boston threw eight shots on net in the first, all of which Price stopped, but it was the shot that didn't count which came closest to scoring as Loui Eriksson rang a wrister off the crossbar with around 11 minutes to play.
Montreal began the second period on the power play after Dougie Hamilton was called for roughing at the end of the first and nearly scored as Brendan Gallagher had a look at the left side at an open net, but he shot it wide.
Boston got some good pressure in the Montreal end later in the frame and had several scoring chances, including an opportunity by Milan Lucic at the left side that saw him shoot a bouncing puck wide, but the team was unable to find the back of the net.
The Canadiens padded their lead at 15:24 of the second as a clear out of the zone by Nathan Beaulieu saw the puck get behind the Boston defense. Pacioretty beat Zdeno Chara to the puck, and swiped it in from down low for his second of the playoffs and a 2-0 lead.
"There were no passengers in this room tonight," said Pacioretty. "I got a bounce and waited for my chance. There was a bounce there and it landed on my stick."
A penalty to Greg Campbell at 17:13 gave Montreal its third power play of the game, and the team cashed in on this one as a left circle faceoff win saw Andrei Markov blast a shot on net from the right point that was stopped. Pacioretty kept the rebound alive in front and Vanek swept it in from the left side for a 3-0 edge.
Boston nearly got one past Price with just under nine minutes to play, as Lucic tipped a shot on net from down low that got behind Price. Just as it was about to cross the line, though, David Desharnais swept it away and the replay confirmed the no-goal call on the ice.
Vanek scored his second of the game with 3:56 to play, as a turnover in the neutral zone saw him shoot the puck into the open net. Rask had been skating off the ice when the puck went in and he was charged with allowing the goal.
Price has four shutouts in his postseason career ... This is the 34th playoff meeting between these teams, and while Montreal has won 24, Boston has won the past two ... The Canadiens were 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Bruins went 0-for-3 ... Montreal forward Danny Briere was back on the ice after being a health scratch for Game 5. He played just over 10 minutes and didn't record a shot.
05/12 23:26:03 ET
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