Chara-less Bruins drop Game 2 to Canadiens 3-1

The Bruins were without captain Zdeno Chara on Saturday night for Game 2 and his absence was certainly felt as the Bruins fell 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens to go down 2-0 in the series.

Zdeno Chara, who was hospitalized on Friday night with dehydration, skated in warmups with the team before being announced as a late scratch just minutes before puck drop.

Mike "I'm not a Doctor" Cammalleri spotted the Habs with a 1-0 lead just 43 seconds into the game. Johnny Boychuk tried to make a breakout pass from the defensive zone to Brad Marchand in neutral zone. Boychuk's pass was about 15 feet off line and James Wisniewski stepped up into the pass lane and picked off the puck. Wisniewski's shot was kicked out with the pad by Tim Thomas, but unfortunately directed the rebound right to an opportunistic Mike Cammalleri.

Montreal went up 2-0 at 2:20 on a power play goal by Mathieu Darche moments after Dennis Seidenberg was whistled for a borderline interference call. Andrew Ference's sloppy reverse attempt ended up directly on the stick of Mike Cammalleri behind the goal line. Cammalleri fed the puck out front to a wide-open Darche for his first goal of the playoffs and an early 2-0 Montreal lead.

The Bruins finally got on the board for the first time in the series 7:38 into the second period on a goal from Patrice Bergeron. Mark Recchi gained the offensive blue line on the right wing and fed a long pass to Brad Marchand near the left circle. Marchand drew two Montreal defenders then sent a perfect pass to Patrice Bergeron all alone driving to the net. Bergeron gathered the puck and deposited it into the back of the net from the top of the crease with one fluid motion to make it 2-1.

The Habs regained their 2-goal lead at 17:21 of the middle period after Yannick Weber put back a rebound in the slot from a Lars Eller shot from the top of the right circle that handcuffed Tim Thomas. The Bruins turned the puck over to Roman Hamrlik in the neutral zone, who moved the puck up to Eller, before firing the puck on net leading to Weber's 1st goal of the series.



Notes:

- What was the point of having Zdeno Chara skate during warmups? Why trot out a brokendown horse in the post parade of race you don't intend to be in? If he was sick enough to miss a playoff game, I'm pretty sure and he and the team knew long before game time that he could not play tonight. Instead, the Bruins trotted him out there, plastered the image of him getting dressed up on the jumbotron, got everyone thinking that he was going to play, and announced the scratch about 15 minutes after the Habs had submitted their scratches. What did that accomplish? All that did was make it look like Chara punked out in a playoff game. I'm not sure that is the case, though. In Chara's defense, he looked like death tonight. This could be the defining moment of Chara's time in Boston and it might be because the Bruins threw him under the bus or maybe he really does have no heart. We will never know, but this won't help raise his stock in the mind of Bruins fans.

- Something tells me that Causeway Krejci won't be making any guarantees anytime soon.

- Shane Hnidy skated in place of Zdeno Chara and only saw 4:13 of ice time. His contribution tonight was dropping the gloves and challenging James Wisniewski after the Habs defenseman hit Rich Peverley from behind.

- Once again, the Bruins out-shot the Habs and come away with nothing to show for it. The B's out-shot the Habs 35-26.

- The Habs blocked 27 shots tonight of the 73 shots they directed towards goal (35 on net, 27 blocks, and 11 misses).

- Thomas has to do a better job of steering rebounds to the corner. I am tired of seeing the Habs break in on an odd-man rush after a turnover, Thomas making the first save, and leaving the puck sitting in the slot.

- The Bruins need to wake-up. I hope it's not too late. They have hit the snooze alarm twice now.

- The Bruins have gone down 0-2 in a playoff series 26 times in their history and never have come back to win the series. They got some work to do if they want to make history. If there is one barn you don't want to go to down 0-2 it is the Bell Centre.

- After the goal by Bergeron and the fight by Hnidy, it seemed like the Bruins had all the momentum and were going to make this a hockey game. I'm still waiting.

- Phunwin, you still like this first round matchup?

- Speaking of Phunwin, he and one of his buddies got drunk watching the game tonight and kept a running diary of game, which promises to be a great read. He will post it at some point, if he isn't blacked out.

- The Bruins announced that they have cancelled their practice that was scheduled for tomorrow morning in Wilmington. The team will travel to Montreal tomorrow afternoon.

Quotes:

"They definitely got a lot of traffic tonight. I thought that was definitely their game plan. But we have the same game plan as to box guys out and really create a battle and make it hard to get to rebounds and even they are going to get to them, they are going to have lumber on them at least. Our guys are doing an excellent job of battling in front."

Carey Price on if he was seeing the puck better tonight

"You always miss a guy like Zdeno, but having said that, the plan was to have everyone step up their game, make up for that by committee. It didn’t work out that way."

Tim Thomas on playing without Zdeno Chara

"I don’t know. I’m not on the bench, I’m in goal. So I don’t really, I don’t know. I didn’t pick up that mood from the locker room, and I’m not on the bench."

Tim Thomas when ask if the team seemed tighter tonight

"Well the first one, I kicked out the perfect rebound. The second one, it went off Seidenberg’s shin pad, it was just bad luck. It just changed the angle by about three or four inches and that’s the difference between controlling the rebound easily and having there be a rebound."

Tim Thomas on the rebounds that led to Montreal goals

"Well, 6-foot-9 guy with an 8-foot reach that can skate really well and hits incredibly hard, and on top of that has one of the hardest shots in the league. But we know that. It was our job to step up for him tonight and we didn’t do it."

Tim Thomas on what the Bruins missed with Chara out

"It was kind of last minute. I said earlier today that’s how I prepared. I prepared as I was going and I ended up. And I don’t know, that’s pretty much it."

Shane Hnidy on when he found out he was playing tonight

"It’s about taking it a game at a time. Obviously we are kind of in the same situation that we were before. It’s a long series and we have a great team in here and I think it’s about making sure that we all get up in here and do the job."

Patrice Bergeron on the Bruins' toughest challenge moving forward

"Absolutely.  You have a guy that is six foot nine and plays twenty seven minutes a game, he is an absolute monster out there.  What he can do offensively with his shot and defensively with his reach, this was a game we had to try to take advantage of and we came out with a victory."

James Wisniewski when asked if the Habs took advantage of Chara's absence

"Obviously he’s our captain, he’s our leader. But there are no excuses for that. We didn’t play like we can, we weren’t composed tonight and we didn’t play the proper way. You have to give them some credit. Every turnover we made they put it in the net. We have to regroup here and we will. We’re not going to quit as a team here. We believe in each other and I think the coaching staff will make some adjustments. And we have to go on the road and do the same thing they did to us. We’re going to be there and we’re not going to quit and we’re going to be ready to play Monday."

"When he came here you thought maybe he had a chance, he just didn’t have the energy. When you’re as sick as he was, it’s really hard to do that. Like I said, we’d rather have him Monday. This might have affected him two days if he plays tonight. And I believe he’ll be much better on Monday and the force he can be out there and that is the important thing right now."

Mark Recchi on playing without Chara

"Yeah, there is a lot to say, but that’s going to be between me and my teammates in that. But yeah there is a lot to be said and a lot to be talked about over the next couple of days. We’ll get ready for them and we’ll be ready for Monday. This team doesn’t quit in here. We’ve got a good group of guys in here who are not going to quit and they’re going to be ready to play on Monday. We know that execution has to be a heck of a lot better than where it’s been. And like I said, we’ll get on the road and maybe go and play a good road game and come in and we’ll go there and do what they did to us here and hopefully we can do that."

Mark Recchi when asked what he can tell his teammates from his playoff experience

"Well hopefully it’s going to be better. He deserves so much credit for what he did tonight, coming to the rink and going out there for a warm-up. He came off the ice and he was sweaty, he was dizzy, and there was no way in the world that we could have used him tonight, we could have played him. Absolutely no way. The doctors told us the same thing. I spoke to him and even attempting to come was courageous on his part, but there was absolutely no way that he could have played tonight. It’s unfortunate, we missed him. Certainly he did the best he could to even try. To be honest with you, it wasn’t even close."

Claude Julien on Zdeno Chara

"We hope. I mean, we got to see what’s going to happen here in the next couple of days. We’re feeling confident that he will be, but, if I’m gauging by today, I can’t make that assessment because we’ll see how these next two days go."

Claude Julien on if Chara will play in Game 3

"No. You weren’t here this morning, but obviously that’s one of the situations and we’re not going to comment any further than that. Still, and I know that he’s been beat up on a little bit with some of you media that think you know better than anybody else, but there was no way he could play. So anything else, it’s disappointing to see people making comments. And you’re going to say, "Well, we don’t know the whole thing." Well, I think if he could have played, he would have played tonight. He tried his best and he couldn’t play. So, disappointing that people would even question this guy for what he is and what he’s done."

Claude Julien when asked if dehydration was the only medical issue with Chara

"Again, I’ve said that all along in the playoffs we’re going to talk about our team. And we’re certainly not going to talk about individuals in any negative way. If there is something that has to be dealt with, it will be dealt with internally. And I think it’s important for us to do those things in the playoffs. And right now is not a time to jump all over anybody. And Tim has been a great goaltender for us all year and we expect him to continue to be that for us in the playoffs."

Claude Julien when ask about Tim Thomas' play

"We’ll see. We’ll see about that."

When asked if Tyler Seguin will play in this series

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