|Date of game: 5/1/2014
Recap: Boston vs. Montreal
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - P.K. Subban's power-play goal 4:17 into the second overtime gave the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of this Original Six Eastern Conference semifinal matchup.
Boston's Matt Bartkowski was called for holding at 4:10 of the second overtime and Montreal won the faceoff at the left circle.
Andrei Markov eventually got the puck to Subban in the high slot and the defenseman fired a slap shot through traffic, knocking a water bottle into the air with his second goal of the game that gave the Canadiens the early series lead.
"We did a good job of moving the puck and getting people open," said Subban. "They're a good team on the penalty kill, our forwards did a good job of winning battles and getting the puck back to the point. That was the difference."
No strangers in postseason play, these two squads are meeting in the playoffs for a 34th time, with the Bruins having taken six of the last nine series.
However, it's Montreal that has gained the home ice advantage in this series, and will look to repeat its success when Game 2 is set to take place in Boston on Saturday afternoon.
Rene Bourque had a goal and an assist and Francis Bouillon also scored for the Canadiens, who cruised past the Tampa Bay Lightning in the quarterfinals with a four-game sweep.
Carey Price, who posted a 2.33 goals against average and .904 save percentage in the opening round, stopped 48 shots in the victory.
"It was a hard-fought game and it could have gone either way," said Price. "I don't want to point out individual things that I or anyone else did, it was a full team effort."
Tuukka Rask, who came into the game leading all playoff goaltenders with a 1.16 GAA and .961 save percentage during Boston's five-game defeat of Detroit in the first round, gave up the four goals on 33 shots.
"We played a great game," said Rask. "But we've got to kill those penalties and I've got to keep the puck out of my net so that's the only changes we need."
Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuk all scored in the loss for Boston, which has the top overall seed in the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy champions.
The only goal of the first period went to Montreal, as the team lit the lamp while on the power play to take a 1-0 lead.
With Bartkowski in the box for tripping, the Canadiens worked the puck at the points, with Markov sliding the disc to the high slot and Subban finding the back of the net thanks to a wrister through a screen at 11:23.
Boston's best chance of the period came with just over three minutes left, as Krug took a pass at the right circle and tried to get Price out of position, but he didn't bite and Krug's shot was easily turned away.
Price finished the first period with 13 stops and was challenged a minute into the second. David Krejci split the defense and slipped to the backhand, but Price forced the shot wide of the net.
A bit later, the Canadiens took a 2-0 lead when a turnover near mid-ice saw Lars Eller feed Bourque, who skated down to the right circle and slipped a shot between the pads of Rask at 3:38.
Boston had a power play later in the second that saw Jarome Iginla fire a shot on net from the left circle that was stopped. The rebound came back to him, but he shot that one just wide to the right of the net and Price finished the frame with another nine stops to keep Boston off the board.
The Bruins, though, scored on consecutive shots in the third period to take the lead.
Boston finally solved Price at 2:44 of the third, when Smith snapped a shot from the outside right circle that went between the legs of a defender and into the net with a screen provided by Patrice Bergeron.
Just under four minutes later, it was Krug tying the game while trailing a rush down the left wing. He took a feed from Milan Lucic and blasted home a shot for his second of the playoffs.
Montreal went back on top with 7:51 to play in regulation. The Canadiens were applying tremendous pressure in the Boston end and it paid off, as Brian Gionta sent a pass from the left side back to the circle and Bouillon snapped it home.
Boston, though, was able to tie the game with 1:58 to play in regulation after Brad Marchand grabbed the puck at the left of the net and sent it to the high slot, where Boychuk slapped it into the right corner.
Price made a tough right pad save on Bergeron halfway through the first overtime, then made a nice stop on a Krejci backhand down low about two minutes later.
"We've got to find a way to bury those great opportunities we had," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "Probably where there's some regrets there, not burying those."
The Montreal goaltender made 14 saves in the first overtime, while Rask stopped six to force the second session.
Montreal was awarded a power play with 27 seconds left in the first extra session when Daniel Paille was called for tripping, but was unable to take advantage before the period ended or when the second overtime started.Game Notes
Montreal has won 24 of its playoff series against Boston ... The last
postseason meeting between these two teams came in 2011, when the Bruins
dispatched the Canadiens in seven games in the quarterfinals. The Bruins went
on to win their first Stanley Cup since 1972 ... Montreal went 2-for-3 on the
power play, while Boston was 0-for-2 ... The Canadiens took three of four from
the Bruins, including two games in Boston, during the regular season.