The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins met on Wednesday night, marking another meet of the NHL’s greatest rivalry. It was apparent early on that Montreal weren’t prepared because their game was sloppy, especially on the defense. This led to extensive zone time for the Bruins and their perfection line. The theme of sloppiness continued as the Habs turned the puck over to Brad Marchand who made a brilliant play by pushing through two Canadiens and slipped a graceful pass by to the waiting David Pastrnak, who finished the play to make the game 1-0 Bruins.
The Habs response was a great penalty kill followed by some fantastic scoring chances of their own. Those were answered by a couple of amazing saves from Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.
As the period went on, Montreal and Boston proving how much they hate each other, would exchange some unsavory words and hard hits. Near the end of the period there was a short-lived fight.
Score: 1-0 Bruins
The second period would be no different. Another turnover, another odd man rush, another goal for Pastrnak. Things seemed to be going Boston’s way until just a couple minutes later the Habs answered with a redirection goal, making it 2-1.
Tension only rose as Zdeno Chara cross-checked Brendan Gallagher to the face after he harassed Chara.
Yet again, a scrum would break out. This sheer passion kept the game interesting throughout.
Penalties for the Canadiens would ensure a 4-on-3 power play for Boston. Pastrnak, fighting in front of the net, potted a rebound to score a hat trick goal and become the leading goal scorer in the league with 41 goals. Friendly fire left Sean Kuraly injured and leaving the ice late in the 2nd period. Soon after Charlie McAvoy also received an injury from blocking a shot. McAvoy returned to start the 3rd period.
Intense play from Montreal wouldn’t be enough for the Habs to score in the 2nd.
Score: 3-1 Bruins
Desperate back and forth play in the 3rd showed how much this game meant to both teams. The teams traded unsuccessful power plays, with outstanding goaltending from both Carey Price and Tuukka Rask.
The game became a hitting match as the third period dragged on and an exciting, fast-paced game unfolded.
With the pressure on, the Habs pulled their goalie in a vain attempt to turn the game around in the final minutes. This wouldn’t pay off as Patrnak fed Patrice Bergeron the puck to shoot into the empty net.
Ultimately, it wasn’t a lack of effort but a lack of discipline that lost Montreal the game.
Final Score: 4-1