A game with so much hype, a game that we had talked about all week, a game that was supposed to bring out the best in the Canadiens, a game that we were supposed to win to revenge the hit by Zdeno Chara on Max Pacioretty. On a Thursday night in Boston, the Canadiens fans kept waiting for that game, the game that never happened. The Habs delivered their worst effort of the season and the big bad Bruins walked all over them crushing them 7-0. Tim Thomas made 24 saves for probably the easiest shutout of his career.
Playing in his 200th NHL-career game, Carey Price expected a better effort from his teammates. Instead his teammates, who failed to show up in the team bus, left him all alone to face the Bruins. Price surrendered five goals on 33 shots he faced and was pulled in favor of Alex Auld for the second time in his last three outings.
With four players coming back from injuries, there were plenty of changes made to the Canadiens' lineup. Many did question the coach's decision to make so many changes for such a crucial game. Tomas Plekanec, one of those players, had a tough game going -4 for the night and was serving a 4-minutes for high-sticking when the Bruins scored their third goal in the first period.
Boston started the game aggressively and 61 seconds into the match, Johnny Boychuk beat Price with a shot that Price never saw with Milan Lucic parked in front of him. Montreal did well on their first powerplay chance of the game but Tim Thomas made some good saves to preserve the lead. At the other end, Price was once again kept busy facing 18 Bruins shots. With 6:17 remaining in the first frame, Price made a good save when Gregory Campbell tipped in a shot by Chara. Puck was trapped between his pads but not knowing where it was, he pushed the puck in his own net for a 2-0 Boston lead.
Nathan Horton scored on the powerplay to extend the lead to three goals. The goal happened with 42 seconds remaining in the four-minutes penalty served by Plekanec. Price anticipated a cross-ice pass committing himself on the play but the pass was blocked by Mara in front and unluckily for the Canadiens the puck went straight back to Horton who put it in a semi-deserted net.
The second period saw things calming down with Boston getting most of the scoring chances on power plays. Scott Gomez, who once again was a non factor on the score sheet took two stupid penalties when his team was starting to get some momentum. Price stopped all 11 pucks fired in his direction and we had to wait till the end of second to see the first dance of the night between Paul Mara and Gregory Campbell. The two went head to head with no apparent winner. This was Mara's fourth fight in Canadiens' uniform since joining the team last month.
Horton scored his second of the night on a 2-1 rush with David Krejcki and beat Price with a perfect shot in the top corner. The most embarrassing goal for the Canadiens was scored by Campbell, his second of the night, while the Canadiens were enjoying a two-man advantage. The goal was a direct result of a turnover by Gomez on Boston's blue line.
Adam McQuaid, a shot tipped in by Lars Eller and Tomas Kaberle, his first goal in the Bruins' uniform completed the scoring for the Bruins. Tim Thomas had easy life in Boston's net but still had to come up with good saves on Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez in the second period after the Canadiens' had started to put some pressure in Boston's zone.
Even though Boston handed the Canadiens three power power plays in the third period, including an extended 5 on 3 advantage, Montreal was unable to get anything going with all the goals coming from Boston's sticks. Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic and David Krejci all ended the game with three assists each. This was one game the Montreal fans would like to forget soon, a game that never turned out to be a game.
Montreal will be back at home to face the surging Washington Capitals on Saturday night
HiD Three Stars
- Nathan Horton
- Tim Thomas
- Zdeno Chara
HiD Turning Point
Montreal's decision to dress up four players who hadn't played for a while.