There was a lot of hype over a possible brawl-filled game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden tonight, but pretty much the only things that were bruised and beaten tonight were the Canadiens' egos and their chances of winning the Northeast Division crown. The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back as they continued to rout the Habs in a 7-0 curb stomping.
The Bruins drew first blood (on the scoreboard, put down the red emergency phone Habs fans) on a goal from Johnny Boychuk 1:01 into the game. Carey Price kicked out Zdeno Chara's shot from the right point with his pad all the way out to Boychuk at the right point. The opportunistic Boychuk fired the rebound right back on frame for his 2nd goal of the season.
Gregory Campbell deflected Zdeno Chara's shot past Carey Price for a 2-0 lead at 13:43 of the first period.
The Bruins staged a shooting gallery in front Carey Price on a 4-minute power play that resulted from a high stick by Tomas Plekanec. On the power play, Milan Lucic's pass from behind the net was knocked down by Paul Mara, who sprawled on the ice to get in the passing lane. The puck squirted out to Nathan Horton, who was driving to the net and deposited the puck into the back of the goal for his 21st tally of the season with 2:32 left to play in the first period.
After almost 40 minutes of "actual hockey" (As Habs fans like to say), Gregory Campbell dropped 'em with Paul Mara with 17 seconds left to go in the second. Paul Mara had tried to rough up Mark Recchi in front of the net earlier in the period, which may have prompted the response by Gregory Campbell.
Nathan Horton notched his 2nd goal of the game 4:03 into the third period. David Krejci sent a pass from the left wing to Nathan Horton at the right circle, where he roofed a wrister over the glove of Carey Price.
Adam McQuiad made it a 5-0 game at 4:29 of the third period when his shot deflected off the stick of a Montreal Canadien and into the back of the net. McQuaid's goal drove Habs starter Carey Price from the game, who was lifted in favor of former B's netminder Alex Auld.
Tomas Kaberle's first goal as a Bruin made it 6-0 at 11:27 of the third period. Mark Recchi picked up an assist on the goal to move into a tie with Paul Coffey for 12th most points in NHL history with 1,531 points.
To rub some salt in the Habs wounds, Gregory Campbell made it 7-0 with 6:25 remaining in the game on a shorthanded goal while the Bruins were trying to kill off a 5 on 3 power play. Campbell got free on a breakaway and roofed the puck just under the crossbar on Auld.
Tyler Seguin appeared to make it 8-0 as the final seconds ticked away, but the goal was scored after the final buzzer so the Bruins had to settle for a 7-0 win.
- What is up with Claude Julien's lastest move of starting Brad Marchand on a different line than he skates the rest of the game with?
- Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque, and P.J. Axelsson were all in attendance for tonight's game at TD Garden.
- Carey Price appeared in his 200th career NHL game. I'm sure this milestone game is one that he would like to forget.
- Claude Julien's use of his timeout with 9:20 left in second period after the Bruins iced the puck twice and were not able to change pay off as the Bruisn were able to regain momentum. The Habs didn't record another shot on goal following the timeout until 19:59 of the second period.
- I still think the "USA" chant is embarrassing and makes Bruins fans look like idiots. On the other hand, the "Ole" chant mocking Habs was great. I also heard a rumor that there was a "911" chant as well, which I approve of.
- Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots to record his 8th shutout of the season.
- The Bruins out-shot the Canadiens 41-24.
- Milan Lucic , Zdeno Chara , and David Krejci all finished with 3 assists.
- Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell each scored twice.
- The Bruins are now 5 points up on the Canadiens in the Northeast with 2 games in hand.
- To read about how this game looked from an alternate universe where everyone is out to get the Habs, interference is a crime, and 35-year-old overgrown fan boys tearfully took down their Mark Recchi posters this morning, check out Habs Eyes On The Prize
UPDATE (11:00 PM ET) Post-Game Quotes:
"That was a game we were excited to play and be apart of. We knew it was going to be a tough game but we were excited for that challenge. It is very disappointing."
Montreal Canadiens Defenseman Hal Gill
"I think, you know, why not, I mean the response is you want to win the hockey game. We’re in a battle with the Bruins, we’re trailing them by three points and that was an important game. You know, we just came short. We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish."
Canadiens Head Coach Jacques Martin when there was no response from his team toward Zdeno Chara
"I didn’t realize it was my first. I didn’t know that. Having said that, it’s the 25th of my career, and it’s a memorable one. I’ve been on the other end of the spectrum over the years, playing against Montreal. It’s a nice victory I’ll remember forever."
Tim Thomas on recording his first shutout of his career against Montreal
"I obviously don’t know exactly all the comments. But he’s such a great teammate and such a respected guy and leader. It’s a thrill to have him. We all learned so much from him. He’s obviously the next Hall-of-Famer and such a classy guy. Like I said, I can’t thank him enough to be my teammate and be part of this team, and helping all of us to be better."
Zdeno Chara on Mark Recchi's recent comments on 98.5 The Sports Hub
"Well I have to be honest with you guys. I wanted to take the heat off Zee [Zdeno Chara] for a day and I’m a big boy. And I think anyone who knows me, knows that I have great respect for the Montreal organization, I played five years there. I have great respect for Doctor [David] Mulder, the medical staff there. I had a great five years there. I took the pressure off of Zee. In twenty-two years, I’ve respected all my teammates, all the players I play against. My record has shown that. For twenty-two years, I took the pressure off of Zee for one day, I’m a big boy, I can handle it. I have nothing but great things to say about the Montreal organization, I had five great years there. And it’s still an unfortunate situation it all happened. We all hope Max [Pacioretty] gets a full recovery here soon and we know he’s well on his way. And like I said, this is something that I believe in twenty-two years I’ve been very respectful to players and opponents throughout. So that should be the end of it really."
Mark Recchi on the reaction to his recent comments
"No, we never had anything said to us, we were prepared to just play hockey. So we knew that. We knew what we had to do, get pucks deep and play our game and play physical. We didn’t expect it to get out of hand at all really."
Mark Recchi when asked if the league spoke with the players before the game
"I’ve said it all year: great guys, great leadership. Guys that have been around a long time and guys who really want it. I think that’s how you win games. You go far in the playoffs when you have leaders like that. Guys look up to guys like that, especially myself. It’s nice to feed off of them. You always have them and it’s pretty special."
Nathan Horton on the unity in the Bruins' room
"These are fun games to play. We had tremendous support from our fans. It was important for us to get off to a good start and just to play. With everything that has been surrounding this game with all the things that don’t involve the actual game, it was important for us to play our game. Games like this are fun. We collectively treated it like a playoff game. Rightfully so. It had that feel to it. You could tell everyone was ready."
"I played playoff games in junior hockey. Unfortunately I had to watch a lot of games the past seven years. It was exciting for me and Nathan [Horton] to be involved in a game like this. It was the closest we have been to a playoff game."
Gregory Campbell on playing in a "playoff-like atmosphere"