Let it be known that the Big Bad Bruins are back! Do not expect to skate away from TD Garden without leaving a pint or two of blood on the ice!
The Bruins were able to outlast the Montreal Canadiens 8-6 in a wild game at TD Garden that featured 14 goals, 14 fighting majors, 192 penalty minutes, an 8-goal second period and a goalie fight (...well, kind of).
Brad Marchand's15th goal of the season opened the scoring for the Bruins at 13:16 of the first period. The Bruins broke out of their own zone cleanly and Mark Recchi lugged the puck into the attacking zone. Recchi left a drop pass for Patrice Bergeron just inside the blue line before an aware Bergeron found Marchand driving to the net. Marchand put a quick deke on Carey Price and tucked the puck past the Habs net minder.
Dennis Seidenberg extended the lead to 2-0 just 12 seconds later when he batted a puck out of mid-air from the slot off of a rebound from Nathan Horton's point shot. The goal was the defenseman's 5th of the season.
With the team's skating 4-on-4 to open the second period, Brian Gionta made it a one-goal game just 25 seconds into the period. Roman Hamrlik's perimter shot was stopped by Thomas, but the rebound found its way to an opportunistic Gionta at the doorstep with an vacant 6' X 4' target to shoot at.
The Habs knotted it up at 2-2 8:30 with a power play goal by P.K. Subban. Subban's one-timer form the left point deflected off the skate of Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and past Tim Thomas as Nathan Horton (hooking) made the skate of shame to the Bruins bench.
The Bruins re-gained the lead 1:18 later on Adam McQuiad's first tally of the season. McQuaid shot the puck from the right point and followed his shot to the net. Nathan Horton gained control of the rebound and dropped it back to McQuaid in the slot. McQuaid ripped a hard wrister to give the B's a 3-2 edge.
1:13 after McQuaid's first of the season, Yannick Weber popped his puck cherry with his first career NHL goal on a slapper from the high slot to tie it up at 3-3.
The Bruins took the lead again 31 seconds later on a goal by Michael Ryder after the former Hab tucked the puck past Carey Price.
Milan Lucic made it 5-3 59 seconds later at 12:31 of the second period. Nathan Horton's cross ice pass opened things up for Lucic to get off a quick wrister from the left circle.
Shortly after Lucic's goal, a big scrum ensued after Bard Marchand went in hard on icing touch-up. The players paired off in some pushing and shoving, before Thomas skated out of the crease and down the ice to challenge Carey Price. The two goalies jarred at each other a bit, shed some equipment, and squared off. Unfortunately, no real punches were thrown in the somewhat disappointing goalie fight. Despite the lack of punches, both net minders were assessed fighting majors and minors for leaving the crease. In total, 34 penalty minutes to 9 different players were handed out.
David Desharnais's power play goal on a tough angle shot from near the goal line at 12:48 of the second period pulled Montreal back to within one at 5-4.
The Bruins regained their 2-goal advantage with a shorthanded goal from Milan Lucic at 14:49 of the second period when he stuffed home a rebound off of a David Krejci shot.
The Habs made it a one-goal game again at 7:06 of the third period on a power play marker from Max Pacioretty. James Wisniewski skated the puck in deep and fed a pass out front to Pacrioretty, who was able to find a path to the net after Zdeno Chara lost an edge.
Michael Ryder appeared to have put the Bruins up 7-5 just shy of midway through the third period, but the goal was disallowed due to contact with the goalie (despite Marchand being pushed into Carey Price).
Michael Ryder put the puck in the net at 10:01 and this time it counted. Ryder got the puck in the slot, paused for a moment, skated to the right circle, and ripped a snap shot past Price for a power play goal and his second goal of the night.
Nathan Horton gave the Bruins an insurance goal with 5:06 left in the third period when he finished off a give-and go play with David Krejci with a wrister from the slot to make it 8-5.
With just under 3 minutes left in the game, tempers flared again when Nathan Horton and P.K. Subban started a scrum. Milan Lucic tried to get at Subban but the officials intervened. Away from the main scrum, David Krejci dropped the gloves with Benoit Pouliot...and Pouliot quickly dropped Krejci, who donated to the Red Cross.
With 40.5 second left in the game, a full-fledged brawl erupted. Andrew Ference and Travis Moen got into the initial fight. Ference took Moen to the ice and continued to throw punches as Moen was going to the ice. From there Shawn Thornton squared off with Roman Hamrlik, Johnny Boychuk laid a beating on Jaroslav Spacek, and Gregory Campbell bloodied up Tom Pyatt.
Did you think the fights were done? Oh no. Adam McQuaid tried to fight Max Pacioretty with 24.6 second left in the game but the refs stepped into aid the turtling Hab, who wanted no part of McQuaid.
The Cowardly Canadien, Pacioretty scored a meaningless power play goal with 14 seconds left in the game to account for the 8-6 final score.
- This was Claude Julien's 300th game behind the Bruins bench.
- Tyler Seguin was a healthy scratch tonight.
- Anyone who chants "USA" at a Bruins-Canadiens game is moron, especially considering that the Canadiens have more American-born players on their roster than the Bruins.
- Brian Gionta scored his 200th career NHL goal.
- Nathan Horton recorded 5 points (goal, 4 assists).
- Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, and David Krejci all finished +5 on the night.
- Scott Gomez, Lars Eller, and Andrei Kostitsyn all finished -4 for the Habs.
- Apparently, Nathan Horton went out and bought a new stick at a hockey shop like a beer leaguer and used it tonight (with the price tag still on it).
- The Bruins are back in action on when they host the Detroit Red Wings in the first leg of a weekend home-and-home series.
- The Bruins now lead the NHL in fighting majors with 56 scraps.
- For more on tonight's game (and probably claims about the Bruins' goonery and a call to end violence in hockey), check out Habs Eyes on the Prize
Tweet of the Night@TheBruinsBlog Matt KalmanThomas vs. Price -- looked like someone trying to touch Warren's headphones
Quotes from tonight's game after the jump...
"I think so. Guys stick up for each other and when one guy’s in there, they all come in. It’s important, that’s what you need, and we have that. It’s a pretty special thing."
Nathan Horton on if the fights bring the team together
"I don’t think I have, it’s nice. Obviously, it helps me a little bit with my confidence. It is nice but it’s nice to get the points, it’s a big game for us. It was a four-point game, and we won."
Nathan Horton on if this was his first 5-point game and how it feels
"Well yeah, I mean, I don’t know, maybe because I used a different stick tonight, maybe that was it. Hopefully that, and I’m playing with great linemates and they’re unbelievable players. You’re gonna get lots of chances, you just need to capitalize on them. I guess like we talked about before the game, to help the team out a little bit more and I know we’re working hard, and it’s nice to help the team contribute and be part of that."
Nathan Horton on his confidence level right now
"He was jumping in. I went off the blue line and he backed into his crease. And then so I’m like okay, and then he went in again and you just can’t let it be an outnumbered situation and so that’s what I was thinking when I went down there. He was more than willing to fight. And I had this big old plan. I was going to grab his right and I was going to throw lefts because I know he’s bigger and taller and has a reach on me. And I thought I could do a better job throwing lefts in him and when I went to grab he got a good hold on my right arm and I got nothing. So then I was like, oh now what do I do? Because I know he’s got a big right cocked and ready to come so I tried to switch arms and get my right free and I grabbed him by the back of the shirt and when he threw the right I pulled on…I was trying to pull him off-balance and his shirt came off his head and then I fell and…actually as I was falling my left arm came free and but then it was over. He fought with the fighter’s manners as far as not hitting when you’re down."
Tim Thomas on his fight with Carey Price
"We’re on opposing teams but we spent some time together at hockey camp a few summers ago and we were just at the All-Star game together. We’re on friendly terms. It was business. But once business is done, it’s done."
Tim Thomas on the sportsmanship that THomas Price showed after their fight
"No, I found out early in my career that if I get into their fights it throws me off my game. I get that adrenaline rush and then I get the crash. So actually most of the time when my guys are fighting of course I’m rooting for them to win, but I’m doing it from a distance, trying to keep my focus."
Tim Thomas on whether or not he likes to be involve in his teammates' fights
"Never. Well, juniors. Always with a forward, I never fought another goalie."
Tim Thomas on the last time he got into a fight
"I think that was just it. We haven’t beaten them yet this year and we wanted to come out and show them that we were ready to play. Playing physical is part of our make-up. We wanted to make sure we brought that tonight."
Adam McQuaid on how important it was to play physical tonight
"Yeah, that’s what I felt. I should probably keep my cool a little better there. I can’t take an instigator or anything late in the game like that. But that was kind of the reason I did what I did there."
Adam McQuaid on if he thought things were getting dirty at end of the game
"Yeah it was funny. Half of us couldn’t even sit down we had so many guys in there. Especially when guys step up like we did for each other and everyone’s getting in there it’s good. It’s a good feeling when you’re sitting in the box."
Brad Marchand on the crowded penalty box after the first scrum
"Yeah, that was tough. I know the ref was in a tough place there. I did hit the goalie, but their guy pushed me into him. There’s nothing I could have done. I was trying to stop and I think it might have been a tough call but that’s how it goes. Thank God Ryds [Michael Ryder] scored right after."
Brad Marchand on Michael Ryder's disallowed goal
"It was huge. Especially when they’re a few points behind us. We really wanted to push them down and have that game in hand. So especially after losing last game there when we were up two nothing, we really wanted to make a statement and show them that we mean business. We’re going to get on a roll here and not give them any chance to catch us."
Brad Marchand on the importance of making a statement against the Habs
"Yeah, well tough pond hockey. Not too many fights in pond hockey but it was a lot of fun out there. A lot of offense going on, and fights. It was a big game for the club."
Brad Marchand when asked if tonight's game reminded him of pond hockey
"No, I didn’t know that."
Michael Ryder when asked if he knew that he had never scored a regular season goal against his former team
"Good win. A good win for us. We needed that, and we went out and got it. You know whatever happened, happened and I guess there is a rivalry that exists between these two teams and it’s still there. So, we came out and played our game and I thought we did a good job of getting pucks behind them and had good support and were able to score eight goals."
"Well, it’s not something you like to see. I don’t think, you never like to see your goaltenders get into those kinds of things but, certainly not sitting here and condemning him for doing that, it’s the heat of the game. They were both willing combatants and you live with that."
Claude Julien on Tim Thomas' fight
"I’m not going to stand here and complain about that stuff. Teams have to stand up for themselves and they stood up for themselves and so did we. We’re not going to be throwing any daggers here at the other team. We’re just going to say it was one of those hard fought games where both teams played hard and that’s the way it ended."
Claude Julien when ask if the Canadiens did anything that he thought crossed the line
"It was just old time hockey really, going end end-to-end and scrapping it out. It was actually pretty fun to play in; it is just that the end result was not what we were looking for."
Montreal goalie Carey Price
"Well, I know Timmy (Thomas) pretty well. I think we were just out there play fighting more than anything. Neither one of us really wanted to get hurt, but we are out there doing whatever we had to do, I guess."
Montreal goalie Carey Price on his fight with Tim Thomas