Believe it or not, the actual amount of things happening that could be counted as point-worthy was actually pretty minimal. Both sides looked kinda tired from about a week of playing hockey on and off and both sides either in or just fresh off of a Back-to-back.
That said? Boston kept the pace pretty strong early on for once this week, outshooting the Habs 11-9 and in general keeping Carey Price honest with himself.
As it turns out, letting the Habs take control of several sequences is kind of a bad idea if you want to win hockey games.
The scoring was opened by Max Pacioretty, who advantage of loose puck security from Charlie McAvoy and rushed towards Rask. 2 on 1’s tend to create scoring, and this was no different. 1-0 Habs.
Kind of a rough play for the blueline wunderkind.
But fear not! For the Bruins have one of, if not THE best line in hockey right now, consisting of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and oh...who was that last guy?
Ah yes, David Pastrnak! Who took a shot that banked off of Carey Price and in on one of the most bizarre angles the Bruins have scored on...in the last week. It’s been a good week for weird goals just kinda slithering in for the B’s.
David Pastrnak banks one in off Carey Price, tie game in Montreal 1-1 #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/VgaI6BtD3y— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) January 21, 2018
Still...what an insane shot, and the shift that created it was this line painting a picture of how broken the Habs defense truly is.
Things kept a-rollin’ the Bruins way as several more strong shifts had Carey Price defending his net effectively on his own, with several second and third chance opportunities making it to his pads. One got to Torey Krug, and he ripped the puck right past Carey Price. 2-1 Bruins!
Snipe city population @ToreyKrug, 2-1 #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/cpMwJl0uLw— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) January 21, 2018
He’d been fishing for goals all of last game, so I’m glad he managed to get that cannonfire of a shot in.
The Bruins would then quite painfully break the Habs spirit going into the 3rd, and it would mostly stay like that for the rest of the game.
See above, basically.
The Bruins just gashed the Habs on the backcheck, utterly dominating them no matter what it was they did, had done, or currently were doing. Boston briefly thought they had put the game away with a PPG made by a Patrice Bergeron tap-in in front of Price, but video review undid that completely.
Thankfully, Boston still has David Pastrnak! Who now has 20 goals thanks to this fantastic work getting after his own rebound! 3-1 Bruins!
Lol, Jordie Benn is miserable.
Claude got desperate, and as time wound down he pulled Price. OFFENSIVE JUGGERNAUT Riley Nash made him pay for it. 4-1 Bruins and that’ll do it!
And with that, The Bruins take a 3-0 series lead against their hated foes.
I just needed to type that out so it stayed true in my head.
- Possession leaders for Boston were: Torey Krug (shocker), Brandon Carlo, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand.
- Torey Krug factored into all but one goal tonight and in general looked like the Krug of old. He’s been stringing strong efforts together over this past couple weeks and I’m glad he got to have a game like this one. Even if he still has his hiccups, we should be very thankful that he’s ironing them out.
- David Pastrnak is good at scoring goals. Grass grows, sky is blue, etc. etc.
- Jake DeBrusk didn’t factor into a goal tonight, but he sure wanted to. He was all over the ice for the B’s.
- I think I’ve figured out Boston as an entity: They at max will have one truly disastrous shift as opposed to several bad ones in a row, and while that means that Rask/Khudobin’s shutout totals might be low due to the enormously high danger situations they’ll suddenly leave their goaltender in, the B’s will still come back with all the fire in the world to make that particular bad shift not matter. They bend, but part of that bend is snapping forward and whacking the opponent in the head.
- Uncharacteristically poor play by Charlie McAvoy tonight in stretches. He clearly doesn’t like the Habs and will likely be glad to not see them until March when they’ve sold off 90% of their team.
- Good lord the Habs suck. Only 6 players were above 50% in CF% for them. The vast majority were well under 40%, and they played like it.
- Riley Nash has 21 points! Which is already good for his 3rd best NHL season! Bruce Cassidy found the offensive potential after all!
- Forget about staying ahead of the Leafs, you should start looking up at the Lightning.
The Bruins get a well deserved pair of days off before taking on the Devils at TD Garden at 7pm. See you there!