Final, 4-0 Canadiens: This one’s been over for a long time, but now it’s officially over. And mercifully for the Bruins.
Game 7. Wednesday night. 7 p.m. See you then.
Third period, 23.5, 4-0 Canadiens: Weaver and Chara got tangled up, drawing a whistle, and then a whole big scrum broke out. Iginla grabbed Markov, who wanted nothing to do with Jarome. Krug grabbed Gionta and got in a few bops. Iginla got in a shot on Weaver. Fans threw trash onto the ice, and we now have a delay. Delaying the inevitable.
Third period, 49.9, 4-0 Canadiens: David Desharnais got called for interference after wiping out Brad Marchand. It won’t matter.
Third period, 3:56, 4-0 Canadiens: With Tuukka Rask pulled early for the extra skater, Thomas Vanek jumps on a loose puck in the neutral zone and scores into the empty net. Rask hadn’t even made it to the bench yet. It was the perfect bookend for a disastrous game for Boston.
Third period, 5:15, 3-0 Canadiens: The Habs took a timeout after an icing, but they remain in control of this game.
Third period, 8:55, 3-0 Canadiens: A Chara blast led to a scramble in front, and despite Jarome Iginla’s celebration, Kelly Sutherland ruled no goal. Replay showed that David Desharnais jumped on the puck as it sat on the goal line.
The play was reviewed by the crew in Toronto, and though it looked clear that the puck didn’t cross the goal line, it was possible that Desharnais touched the puck in the crease. However it was ruled that he didn’t close his hand on the puck, that he batted it away instead.
Really tough bounce for the Bruins there.
Third period, 11:14, 3-0 Canadiens: The Bruins killed the penalty, but those minutes keep ticking off the clock without Boston generating any chances. With the way the Habs are locking down their own end, it’ll take a series of wildly fortunate bounces for the Bruins to even sniff getting back into this game.
Third period, 16:02, 3-0 Canadiens: Milan Lucic is going to the penalty box for tripping P.K. Subban while on the forecheck. Lucic got his stick between Subban’s skates, and Subban did the rest from there. Could get ugly here.
Third period, 18:05, 3-0 Canadiens: Tuukka Rask just robbed Rene Bourque on a one-timer in close. It prevented this one from getting out of hand.
Third period, 20:00, 3-0 Canadiens: Here we go. Will it get worse, or will it get interesting? We shall see.
End of second period, 3-0 Canadiens: Tuukka Rask swallowed up a hard shot from Pacioretty late in the period to prevent this one from really getting out of hand, but still, the Habs take that 3-0 lead into the locker room.
Lucic missing an open net currently stands as the critical moment of the game. If he scores that, which any top-line winger should, it’s a tie game, 1-1, and the see-saw could swing either way. Instead he missed it, and the Canadiens tripled their lead minutes later.
You need to be nearly perfect to win these road playoff games. Missing a chance like that is going to come back to bite you 10 times out of 10.
Second period, 2:21, 3-0 Canadiens: A big old-fashioned mess of bodies in front leads to a loose puck and a Thomas Vanek goal.
Pacioretty kept alive the play after Rask made a save, and with Rask lying on his back, Vanek skated toward the goal line and backhanded in the power-play goal.
It’s just about over, even though there are 22 minutes left to play.
Second period, 2:47, 2-0 Canadiens: Look out — The Habs are heading on a power play. Gregory Campbell got called for high sticking after he caught Markov right in the face in the neutral zone. Danger zone here for Bruins.
Second period, 4:36, 2-0 Canadiens: And just as I was saying this game was resembling much of the rest of the series, it continues. A long possession in the Montreal end leads to nothing for Boston, and Max Pacioretty takes off to chase down a long stretch pass. Pacioretty got inside of Chara and quickly shot to beat Rask cleanly through the five-hole. It’s 2-0 Canadiens, and the Bell Centre is reawakened.
Chara had a chance to disrupt that opportunity, but oddly he elected to do absolutely nothing. Instead of getting a stick on Pacioretty, he had a front-row view of a nice goal.
Second period, 5:19, 1-0 Canadiens: Play continues to go back and forth, and it looks like the Bruins have found a way to match — or at least compete with — Montreal’s desperation level. The experience on Boston’s roster has allowed the B’s to really make this period look like much of the rest of the series has looked, with the Bruins controlling the possession game and generating the majority of the shot attempts.
Second period, 8:00, 1-0 Canadiens: An absolutely frenzied stretch of play just finally ended, after the game went several minutes without a whistle. Much of that time was spent in the Montreal end, as the Soderberg line and then the Krejci line maintained heavy, heavy pressure for at least a minute. The exhausted Montreal players couldn’t get off the ice, but the Bruins couldn’t capitalize.
They sure got a chance, with a puck bouncing to Lucic inside the left faceoff dot. With Price out of position, Lucic had a lot of net to shoot at, but he missed the far post by a mile, and play continued. In a game like this, that’s a chance that Lucic has to finish. You let those guy by the boards, you’re not going to win very often on the road against a team facing elimination.
Second period, 12:10, 1-0 Canadiens: Another futile power play for Boston goes by. Marchand had a decent chance off a Hamilton setup, but Marchand’s shot missed high by a healthy margin.
Second period, 14:52, 1-0 Canadiens: P.K. Subban gets called for holding the stick, and the B’s go back to the power play. Subban blatantly grabbed Soderberg’s stick along the wall in the Boston end, and in doing so he negated a scoring opportunity for Montreal.
Second period, 17:12, 1-0 Canadiens: The Bruins killed the penalty, thanks to a strong save by Rask and Gallagher missing wide on a golden opportunity in front of th net.
Second period, 20:00, 1-0 Canadiens: The puck has dropped on the second period. Habs on the PP.
End of first period, 1-0 Canadiens: All things considered, that wasn’t the worst possible period for the Bruins. They played poorly, but they survived that opening surge and they’re only trailing by a goal. They needed to score at least one of those to win this game anyway, so it’s hardly a deficit that is too daunting for a Bruins team that has thrived on the comeback in this series.
However, the Canadiens will be on the power play to start the second period, because Dougie Hamilton went after Plekanec after the horn sounded to end the period, and he picked up a roughing penalty as a result. It was a cheap call, as Hamilton didn’t really do much of anything, but the refs — Dan O’Halloran and Kelly Sutherland — punished him for being too aggressive after the whistle.
The Bruins did a lot to level the ice in the second half of period, as evidenced by their ability to close the gap in shots attempts. The Habs have attempted 21 shots (11 on net, seven blocked, three missed) compared to Boston’s 18 (eight on net, five blocked, five missed). The Canadiens have dominated the faceoff circle, winning 13 of the 21 draws thus far.
First period, 4:21, 1-0 Canadiens: Subban and Bergeron got into a mutual tackling match, and they both go to the box for roughing. Two minutes of 4-on-4 upcoming.
First period, 4:58, 1-0 Canadiens: The Bruins had a terrible power play, getting absolutely nothing on net and barely even possessing the puck. Alexei Emelin was a man possessed, running around hitting everyone he could. The Bruins had a chance there to put one on the board and calm things down on the road, but instead they might have fired up the Bell Centre crowd even more.
However, Lucic trucked Emelin late in Emelin’s shift, and Emelin needed to head to the dressing room for attention.
The Canadiens lead in shots right now, 9-4.
First period, 7:37, 1-0 Canadiens: Bruins are heading to the power play after Mike Weaver caught Loui Eriksson with a high stick. Montreal is mad, but it was an obvious call.
First period, 8:06, 1-0 Canadiens: The Bruins survived — for the most part — the initial onslaught from Montreal, which was to be expected out of the gate. It’s 1-0, but it could have been worse.
Tuukka Rask showed great poise after the entire net nearly crashed over his head. Play continued because the posts didn’t come off, and a point shot deflected into a dead area to the right of the net. Brendan Gallagher sent the puck toward the net, but Rask made a diving stick save, a la Tim Thomas on Steve Downie in 2011. That was a game changer.
Shortly thereafter, Carl Soderberg sent a picture-perfect feed across the slot to Loui Eriksson. His shot beat Price but — you’re going to believe this — smoked the crossbar. No goal.
The Bruins have hit about 12 posts this series.
First period, 13:49, 1-0 Canadiens: The game heads to its first TV timeout, and the Bell Centre is going completely bananas. The Bruins created an uphill battle for themselves with that early mistake.
First period, 17:49, 1-0 Canadiens: Torey Krug sent a puss behind the net to Kevan Miller, and Miller mishandled the puck and sent it toward the goal mouth. Rask extended himself in an attempt to poke the puck away but he couldn’t get it, and he left an open net for Lars Eller.
That’s a big gaffe by Miller, and the Habs have an early lead.
For what it’s worth, the team to score first has won every game this series.
First period, 20:00: Plekanec won the opening faceoff, and Game 6 is officially underway in Montreal.
7:31 p.m.: Beaulieu is indeed in there, and Murray is out. Here are your starters.
Puck drop in mere minutes.
7:12 p.m.: The Bruins’ lines remain the same based on pregame warmups.
6:55 p.m.: We’ll know for sure shortly, but early reports indicate the Habs are making a lineup change. And unfortunately for the Bruins, it looks like Douglas Murray won’t be suiting up. He’s been a one man disadvantage every time he’s on the ice, and he was out there for Matt Fraser’s overtime game-winner in Game 4.
Nathan Beaulieu will be in the lineup, according to reports. It’s just assumed that Murray will be the odd man out, because he’s been thoroughly lousy in his three games.
Beaulieu has 23 games of NHL experience under his belt, and this will be his first ever playoff game.
5 p.m.: Will tonight be the night that the Bruins close out the Canadiens? Or will we get a nail-biting Game 7 on tap for Wednesday night?
Those questions will be answered tonight, as the B’s and Habs take the ice for Game 6.
The Bruins own a 3-2 lead after finally resembling the President’s Trophy winners on Saturday night in Game 5. It wasn’t a perfect game for Boston, as Montreal is still a very strong team that is skilled at disrupting the Bruins’ plans. Still, it was as thorough a win as the Bruins have had in this series, as they were playing with a comfortable lead for the first time.
But tonight, it’s going to be a whole lot more difficult for the Bruins. The Habs have shown loads of resiliency already in this series, and they’ll be bringing their best effort tonight in front of their home fans.
The Bell Centre has obviously been a house of horrors for the Bruins over the years, and memories of Game 6 in 2011 are still fresh in the minds of the Bruins who were on that team.
It’s hard to know exactly what to expect, and that’s why we’ll all watch.
We’ll have all the updates, from pregame line combinations until a winner is decided, right here in the live blog.