NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (1-0) at Boston Bruins (0-1), 12:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens will try to grab
a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals, when they visit the rival
Boston Bruins for Saturday's clash at TD Garden.
The underdog Canadiens grabbed the first game of this best-of-seven set in
Boston, notching a 4-3 double-overtime victory on Thursday. Subban scored two
goals for Montreal, including the game-winner at 4:17 of the second OT.
Subban, last season's Norris Trophy winner as the league's top defenseman,
scored both of his goals on the power play to help the Habs take the early
series lead over this season's Presidents' Trophy winners.
After Montreal failed to convert a power play that spanned the end of the
first OT and the beginning of the second, Subban ensured his team cashed in
when Boston's Matt Bartkowski was called for holding at 4:10 of the second
Montreal won the faceoff at the left circle and Andrei Markov eventually got
the puck to Subban in the high slot. The defenseman fired a slap shot through
traffic and the puck knocked a water bottle into the air as it hit the back of
"We did a good job of moving the puck and getting people open," said Subban.
"They're a good team on the penalty kill, our forwards did a good job of
winning battles and getting the puck back to the point. That was the
Thursday's game marked the 38th time the clubs went to OT in the postseason.
The Canadiens now hold a 23-15 record in those games.
The Bruins outshot the Canadiens 51-33 in the game and although the club needs
to improve its penalty killing in Game 2, Boston head coach Claude Julien made
it clear that his team wasn't going to overreact to Thursday's loss.
"There's no panic here. It's game number one here," Julien reiterated. "So,
obviously, P.K. Subban's got a good shot from the point and we've got to do a
better job of fronting him, but our penalty kill's been through a lot this
year and we still have confidence in it."
Montreal finished 2-for-3 with the man advantage, while the Bruins failed to
score on two power-play chances.
Rene Bourque had a goal and an assist and Francis Bouillon also scored for the
Canadiens, who cruised past the Tampa Bay Lightning in the quarterfinals with
a four-game sweep.
Carey Price, who posted a 2.33 goals against average and .904 save percentage
in the opening round, stopped 48 shots in the Game 1 victory.
"It was a hard-fought game and it could have gone either way," said Price. "I
don't want to point out individual things that I or anyone else did, it was a
full team effort."
Tuukka Rask gave up the four goals on 33 shots for Boston. The Vezina Trophy
finalist came into this series leading all playoff goaltenders with a 1.16 GAA
and .961 save percentage after helping anchor Boston's five-game defeat of
Detroit in the first round, .
"I think as a team we deserved to win, but from a goalie's standpoint Price
played a lot better than I did," said Rask.
Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuk all scored in the loss for Boston,
which has the top overall seed in the playoffs after posting the NHL's best
Boston, the defending conference champions, also lost Game 1 in its first-
round series against Detroit, but won the next four games to set up this
matchup with the Habs.
No strangers in postseason play, these two squads are meeting in the playoffs
for a 34th time, with the Bruins having taken six of the last nine series. The
last postseason meeting between these two teams came in 2011, when the Bruins
dispatched the Canadiens in seven games in the quarterfinals. Later that
postseason, Boston won its first Stanley Cup since 1972.
The Canadiens, however, have won five straight in Boston and have claimed
seven of the past eight meetings overall.
Game 3 of this series is scheduled for Tuesday night in Montreal.
05/03 10:38:45 ET