Final, 4-2 Bruins: It’s all over. Some pushing and shoving ensues, but the Bruins skate away with a 4-2 win. They now lead the series 3-2 and have a chance to advance with a win in Game 6 on Monday night. We’ll see you then.
Third period, 41.9, 4-2 Bruins: The Habs are offsides. Montreal net empty.
Third period, 2:29, 4-2 Bruins: The Habs aren’t done yet. Subban sent a slapper — an absolute missile — through traffic, and Rask never saw it. It’s 4-2 Bruins with 2:29 left.
Third period, 3:22, 4-1 Bruins: A slight delay to the party. Matt Bartkowski grabs P.K. Subban and gets called for holding. Obviously embellished by Subban, but no doubt another tackle by Bartkowski.
Third period, 5:48, 4-1 Bruins: As I was just saying, the B’s weren’t letting off the gas. They just got the game-clinching goal as a result.
Matt Fraser sent a hard shot on net from the half wall, and Price kicked the rebound right to the slot. Loui Eriksson was all alone there, and he waited to stickhandle around the downed netminder, and he buried his second goal of the postseason.
This one’s over. The Bruiins are about to take a 3-2 series lead.
Third period, 6:26, 3-1 Bruins: The Habs are running out of time. They need to get desperate fast, because the Bruins aren’t letting off the gas pedal.
Third period, 9:53, 3-1 Bruins: The Bruins continue to hunker down defensively to prevent Montreal from getting any shots in close. The Habs have had their share of shots from the blue line and the half wall, but the Bruins are putting together a team effort to really lock down the entire area in front of the net.
If one of those point shots deflects in, it’s trouble, but the Bruins are doing all they can to protect the dangerous areas on the ice.
Third period, 13:42, 3-1 Bruins: Both goaltenders just came up with big stops top keep this score at 3-1. First, Rask made a kick save on a point shot by Emelin through traffic. Play moved down the other end and Reilly Smith ended up getting the puck inside the left faceoff circle. Price kept his legs tight and prevented a five-hole goal, and they play on.
On the most recent shift, Matt Fraser took a pass from Soderberg and had a big chunk of open net staring him in the face high to the blocker side. Yet Fraser missed and hit the glass behind the net, and so they play on.
Montreal has a slight 4-3 advantage in shots this period, as play has been pretty even.
Third period, 20:00, 3-1 Bruins: Here we go. Third period underway. I don’t know what to expect except for some drama.
End of second period, 3-1 Bruins: The second period comes to an end with the Bruins holding a healthy yet not dominating lead. The power-play goal for Montreal was so incredibly important, because the Habs are now in their dressing room believing they’re in this one. Lord knows they’ve seen enough third-period comebacks in this series to know they’re possible.
Still, there’s not too much to fault the Bruins for on the goal. The Marchand penalty really came as a result of Eller’s ability to sell the hold, as he was doing just as much, if not more, holding on the play. Marchand was obviously frustrated by the call, as evidenced by his after-the-whistle cross-check of Eller before heading to the box. And on the power play goal, the Bruins did allow too much traffic in front, but it was hard to account for Gallagher, who had been downed in the corner moments before.
The Bruins are still getting their chances, but Price made two big saves to prevent this one from getting out of hand. He’ll need to be perfect in the third if the Habs are to have a chance.
Second period, 5:21, 3-1 Bruins: The Habs have life.
The puck came to Tomas Plekanec at the left faceoff dot, and he sent a shot toward net. With traffic in front, the puck hit a body (or two) and got past Rask. The goal gets credited to Brendan Gallagher. That ends Rask’s long shutout streak, which stretched back to the second period of Game 3. And more pressing, the Canadiens are alive in this game.
Second period, 6:59, 3-0 Bruins: Lars Eller interfered with Marchand in the neutral zone, and as a result, Brad Marchand gets a holding penalty.
Give credit to Eller for knowing how to draw that one. The Habs need a power-play goal here to give themselves a chance to get back into this.
Second period, 8:45, 3-0 Bruins: Milan Lucic and P.K. Subban were engaged in a whole lot of rough stuff along the boards. Subban very carefully picked his spots, and he got in a sneaky forearm to Lucic’s face. It was then that Lucic nearly blew his top, but once he realized that Subban didn’t actually want anything to do with him and instead was just trying to draw Lucic into committing a penalty, the big Bruins winger backed off.
The Canadiens then iced the puck, prompting Therrien to call timeout. Subban spent most of that timeout jawing at Lucic on the Boston bench. I’m not sure what he could possibly have been saying there, but considering Lucic laughed in his face last game, I don’t think No. 17 is too worried about it.
Second period, 18:24, 3-0 Bruins: That didn’t take long.
Zdeno Chara wrestled in the corner for the puck, and Torey Krug sent an amazing backhand pass all the way across the goal mouth to Jarome Iginla, who one-timed the shot past Price for the game’s third goal.
This place is, as you’d expect, going nuts.
Second period, 18:30, 2-0 Bruins: Another power play is upcoming for the Bruins. Johnny Boychuk stepped up in the offensive end to lay a big hit on Plekanec, and Plekanec’s stick came up high on Boychuk. Two minutes for high sticking.
Second period, 18:56, 2-0 Bruins: The Bruins have a power-play goal, and they have a 2-0 lead as a result.
Great cycle work led to a Dougie Hamilton shot from the right point. Reilly Smith skated to the slot and redirected it on Price. The netminder slowed it down between his legs, but the puck slipped ever-so-slowly across the goal line.
The play was reviewed to see if it was a kick, but there’s no taking that one off the board.
It’s 2-0 Bruins.
Second period, 20:00, 1-0 Bruins: With 1:44 left on the Boston power play, the second period has begun in Boston.
End of first period, 1-0 Bruins: It was an eventful end of the period, as a mad scramble in front nearly led to a Montreal goal. But Kevan Miller was able to get his stick on Tomas Plekanec’s doorstep bid, and Plekanec then went plowing into Tuukka Rask. A mad fracas broke out in front of the net, and surprisingly only Plekanec’s goaltender interference penalty was called. The B’s had 16 seconds of power-play time to end the period, and they’ll have 1:44 on the fresh sheet to start the second. A goal there — which would be the first PP goal for Boston this series — would be massive.
Also of note, Lucic is getting back to his physical ways. He demolished Alexei Emelin on a forecheck 13 minutes into the period, and he was bearing down hard on P.K. Subban late in the period. Subban wiped himself out to avoid getting hit, aka pulling a Subban, but Lucic is doing what’s necessary to lead to offensive possession. You’d think goals might start coming for that line if they can start with a physical forecheck.
A look at the stats:
The Canadiens lead in shots, 9-8, while shot attempts are tied at 18-18. Four of those Montreal shots came on the power play, while two Bruins shots have come shorthanded. The B’s might have had better chances shorthanded than Montreal had with the man advantage.
Hits — the most poorly kept stat in sports — favor the Bruins, who are apparently doubling up the Habs, 16-8. Boychuk’s stapling of Eller to the boards in the neutral zone stands out as a memorable one, as does Patrice Bergeron sending Mike Weaver flying in the final seconds of the period.
Carl Soderberg has his first career postseason goal, becoming the sixth Bruin to do that this postseason.
First period, 3:00, 1-0 Bruins: The Bruins’ PK is doing some dogged work out there tonight. Rask had to make a glove save early, but the penalty killers kept the puck to the outside for the rest of the two minutes. Brad Marchand even led a 2-on-2 rush which led to Price freezing the puck and an offensive zone faceoff for Boston.
The B’s PK is now 2-for-2, having allowed just two shots total on Montreal’s power plays.
But they’ll need to do even more work, as Tuukka Rask got called for delay of game after flipping the puck out of mid-air and over the boards. Tough break, but that’s the rule.
First period, 5:14, 1-0 Bruins: The B’s still have the lead, but they’ll have another penalty to kill after Dougie Hamilton decked Brendan Gallagher into the Boston net. That hit came just after Rask made a spectacular toe save to deny a Desharnais bid after the little forward sneaked behind and inside Zdeno Chara’s long reach. Huge save by Rask — just his third of the night — but the B’s have another penalty to kill.
First period, 6:40, 1-0 Bruins: The Boston Bruins have an early lead, and this building is going bananas.
Following a Montreal icing, Loui Eriksson flipped a puck toward the goal mouth from behind the net. The puck had eyes and found Carl Soderberg, who beat Price cleanly for the game’s firs tgoal.
First period, 12:02, 0-0: The B’s killed nearly all of that penalty, and then Plekanec ends up taking a stupid interference penalty in the neutral zone. It’s 4-on-4 for 14 se
conds before the B’s get another power play.
First period, 13:48, 0-0: The Bruins had a couple of solid chances, including a sneaky shot from Zdeno Chara which was stopped by the blocker and a hard wrister from Iginla through traffic that Price saved with his leg pad.
But just after the Bruins’ power play ended, Bartkowski ended up tackling Lars Eller. He’ll now head to the box as the dangerous Montreal power play gets its first chance of the night.
Marchand and Gallagher are also in the box for matching unsportsmanlikes for some extracurriculars after the whistle.
First period, 16:00, 0-0: Matt Bartkowski’s biggest asset is his skating ability, and he just used it to charge into the Montreal zone and put pressure on Max Pacioretty, who ended up tripping the B’s D-man. B’s to the power play early. They want this badly.
First period, 17:17, 0-0: You’re not going to believe this. OK, maybe you are. The Bruins just hit another post.
This time it was Reilly Smith, who hit the crossbar in Game 4 and just dinged the left post after beating Price clean to the blocker side. Perhaps Smith can catch the right post on his next shot to complete the trifecta.
First period, 20:00: Game 5 has begun in Boston, but not before Brad Marchand slammed Brendan Gallagher down to the ice before the opening puck drop. Things are testy already.
7:02 p.m.: The long Daniel Briere mystery has been solved. He is out of the lineup tonight. Brandon Prust will take his spot.
The Bruins made no changes to their lineup. Andrej Meszaros is a healthy scratch.
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Max Pacioretty-David Desharnais-Brendan Gallagher
Josh Gorges-P.K. Subban
6:39 p.m.: Daniel Briere is still out there participating in the warmup, and he took normal line rushes, so perhaps that earlier report was premature. We’ll know for sure when the official roster sheet is released minutes before puck drop.
For the Bruins, Matt Bartkowski looks to still be in the Boston lineup.
6:23 p.m.: I’m just getting settled in here at the TD Garden, where a fresh sheet of ice awaits the two teams for warmups. The early word is that Daniel Briere will not be playing tonight for Montreal, so Michel Therrien continues to tinker with his lineup.
We’ll know better after warmups what both teams’ lineups will look like. That begins in just a few minutes, so I’ll have an update shortly.
For now, here’s a quick look inside the TD Garden during the calm before the storm:
5 p.m.: The first four games of this series have been chock-full of drama, but it’s all amounted to this — a brand new series. With the teams splitting both the first two games in Boston and the next two games in Montreal, we find ourselves here, looking at a best-of-three series from here on out.
Let’s play some hockey, shall we?
The massive shift of momentum and pressure that was forced into action by Matt Fraser’s game-winner 1:19 into the overtime period on Thursday night has given this series a whole new face. Instead of the Bruins heading into this one knowing a loss would end the season, they’ve now flipped the pressure on the Canadiens. Will Michel Therrien better employ immobile defenseman Douglas Murray now that he’s cost Montreal a game? Will Carey Price hold up to the pressure that is exponentially more intense than it was a week ago? Will the Bruins’ efforts finally begin to wear down the opponent?
Those are all questions that would not be even pondered right now if not for that dramatic overtime win for Boston. Of course, the Bruins haven’t won anything, and a stinker tonight would really negate all the hard work that got them here.
Personally, I’ve seen this before from the Bruins — a lackluster start to a series, followed by a dramatic win that gets the team rolling. I certainly can see the Bruins finally taking control of this series. For as much as you have to respect the Canadiens’ dedication to shot blocking and defense in this series, the Bruins have clearly been the better overall team for three of the four games. This is a series they should win, but they’ll need to win tonight to avoid facing elimination in Montreal on Monday. You don’t want to be facing elimination in any building, but the Bell Centre may be the least desirable locale in the NHL.
But that’s Monday. For tonight, we’ve got some hockey, and everything that happens on the ice — from pregame warmups until the final second ticks off the clock — will be right here in the live blog. Follow along to see which team takes control of this wild series.