An outstanding display from Carey Price. Brilliant from start to finish, stopping 48 of 51 shots, including a plethora of tough ones, and the Canadiens take the opener in Boston.
It was PK Subban, with his second power play goal of the game, hitting the back of the net in the second overtime to give his team a huge 4-3 win.
They were outplayed but they weren’t outscored, which is the basic rule of the game. The team that scores most, wins.
And they weren’t always outplayed, it just seemed like it. Tuukka Rask had to come up big often.
The Canadiens opened the scoring in the first with a blueline wrist shot from PK with the man-advantage, and the team, after weathering an early onslaught, settled down and picked it up a notch.
In the second, Rene Bourque made it 2-0 on a pass from Lars Eller, and Price was magnificent throughout, especially during a Bruins power play that was ridiculous in the fury seen around the net.
The Bruins took charge. They slammed bodies, stormed the net, kept coming, rang pucks off posts, came close far too often, kept the puck in the Canadiens end for several heart-stopping days and weeks it seemed.
Often I couldn’t look.
Our man stood tall though, before, during, and after. Price stole it for his team, but brilliant playoff goaltending is a time-honoured tradition, and legends are slowly carved from performances like this.
Not only did he help his team win, but he might have started the process of being in the Bruins’ heads. Maybe they’ll toss and turn all night, thinking of what might have been. Maybe they’ll think about storming the net on Saturday. Maybe they’ll start to question their ability to beat this guy.
And if they think they should be more forceful, they’ll remind themselves that the Canadiens bulged the twine twice on the power play and they’ll have to think twice about being more physical.
Maybe they’ll blow their minds from thinking too much. Although Brad Marchand doesn’t have to worry about that.
For a hundred years, goalies have been saving the day on special nights, and on Thursday in Boston, it was Price’s turn. But he’ll need to do it again and again, although hopefully the players in front of him will decide to keep the puck in the other end more often than game one.
Another rule of the game. Keep the puck in the other end as much as possible.
The Bruins pushed hard in the third and would tie it at two, and the game became as intense as most seventh games. To win the first would be huge. Blowing a two-goal lead was already disappointing. Losing the opener would be a painful blow.
After regaining the lead on a shot by Francis Bouillon, the Bruins would tie it again with just 1:58 left in the third. A horrible turn of events. Sometimes I wonder if my old ticker can handle this sort of thing.
No scoring in the first overtime, Price continued to be sensational, and after Matt Bartkowski took a holding penalty at 4:10 of the second overtime, PK blasted it home just seven seconds later.
I’m sure Jack Edwards had lots to say about that.
And isn’t it lovely that the one player that Bruins players, fans and media consider the most despicable was the one who settled things. Has to be a hockey god thing. Thank you PK, for scoring the winner and wounding Bruins fans.
A huge game-one win. The Canadiens’ fifth straight playoff victory. Carey Price held the fort.
The DD, Vanek, Max line was ineffective all evening but that should change. The Punch Line had off-nights too.
The Eller, Bourque, Gionta trio was Montreal’s best, and aside from Price and Subban’s heroics, my choice for best skater on the night for the good guys was Lars Eller. He skated well, made smart decisions, and had several fine chances. The same could be said for Rene Bourque. They picked up where they left off from the Tampa series. Many wondered if they could. And they did.
Brendan Gallagher came to play too. But many were quiet and we’re expecting a different story in game two.
Goal scoring recap – PK, Bourque, Bouillon, and PK.
Final shots on goal after four periods and four minutes – Boston 51, Montreal 33.
Next game – Saturday at 12:30 pm eastern. A lot of people hate afternoon games. I don’t mind them as much as many, but I’m not overly crazy about them either.
I suppose I’m used to early starts after living on the West Coast for so many years. For West Coasters, Saturday’s game is at 9:30 am, which truly sucks.