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Bruins-Canadiens Game 3 Plus/Minus: Defensive Breakdowns Doom Boston

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Montreal forward Dale Weise scores a second period goal against Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in Game 3 of their playoff series. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Montreal forward Dale Weise scores a second period goal against Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in Game 3 of their playoff series. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins were flat for the first two periods, and dropped Game 3 to the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night to fall into a 2-1 series hole.

The Bruins didn’t give their best effort over the game’s first 37 minutes, and once again found themselves facing a 2-0 deficit. A pair of defensive breakdowns by Kevan Miller and Dougie Hamilton gave Montreal two golden opportunities, and the Habs took advantage of each of them.

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bruins’ radio team of Dave Goucher and Bob Beers joined The Adam Jones Show following the loss, and said Boston’s woes can be traced back to their poor play on the defensive end.

“I don’t think it’s the building or something Montreal is doing, quit simply there were breakdowns,” said Beers. “It’s a matter of being aware.”

“The frustrating part of the first period was you expected Montreal to come out with a lot of energy and emotions, and they did, but they had one decent chance. The Bruins really had the better of the chances, but you looked up and they’re down 2-0,” added Goucher.

“They did what they wanted to in taking the fans out and not giving the Canadiens chances,” said Beers. “It was just bad breakdowns that led to two goals.”

Subban’s breakaway goal to put the Habs up 2-0 came as he left the penalty box following a failed Boston power play. The Bruins are now 0-for-6 this series on the man advantage.

“I didn’t like the power play,” said Beers. “You have a chance to tie the game after Plekanec scores and Subban goes to the box, but they really didn’t generate a lot off of it. It makes them 0-for-6 this series on the power play. It was something that helped them in the first series and throughout the season, but it hasn’t been a weapon yet this series.”

Looking ahead to Thursday night’s Game 4, Goucher said the Bruins must clean up those defensive breakdowns if they want to even the series, and they have to generate better chances against Montreal netminder Carey Price.

Boston put 86 shots on Price over the first two games, and had just 28 on Tuesday night. But Beers said he would prefer quality over quantity when it comes to shots on net.

“It’s the quality of shot,” said Beers. “How many Grade-A opportunities were there; there were some that missed the net and some that never got shot away. I don’t need a huge number there, but it has to be some quality chances getting through. Price made so many saves, especially in the first half, where he calmly gloved it because he saw it coming in.”

Bruins-Canadiens Game 3 Recap

98.5 The Sports Hub

Plus/ Minus

Plus

- Patrice Bergeron: The assistant captain scored Boston’s first goal at the end of the second period, his third of the postseason and second in as many games. The tally gave Boston some life, and Bergeron finished with a team-high six shots, three blocked shots, and was 17-for-28 at the face-off circle.

- Team Fight: Though it was too little too late, the Bruins kept fighting through the third period.

- Staying Out Of Box: The Bruins were whistled for just one penalty after committing nine in the first two games in Boston.

Minus

- Kevan Miller: The rookie D-man botched a handoff with Tuukka Rask in the first period, leading to Tomas Plekanec’s goal.

- Dougie Hamilton’s Breakdown on P.K. Subban’s Goal: Dougie lost track of the time remaining on Subban’s penalty, leading to a breakaway for the Montreal defender, who beat Rask to make it 2-0 Canadiens.

- B’s Give Up Another Breakaway: Andrej Meszaros and Johnny Boychuk left the Dale Weiss open and the forward took off for another breakaway goal to make it 3-0 Montreal in the second.

Bruins-Canadiens Game 3 Plus/Minus

98.5 The Sports Hub

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