BOSTON (CBS) – After taking a 3-2 series lead Saturday night at the TD Garden, the Bruins had a chance to advance to the next round by defeating Montreal for a third straight game Monday night in Canada.
That was not the case.
The Canadiens got on the board early within minutes of the opening faceoff, and that should have been an indication of how the rest of the game would go — through six games the team that scores first is the eventual winner.
Boston then carried the pace of play and even dominated through stretches until Max Pacioretty of the Habs scored on a breakaway and opened the flood gates after a miscommunication between defenseman Zdeno Chara and goaltender Tuukka Rask late in the second frame.
It was on after that — the Canadiens scored on a power play goal just two minutes later and the Bruins were completely unglued at that point. A partial empty net goal late in the third period proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Bruins.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones was on air following the game, and to help with the analysis he brought in Dave Goucher and Bob Beers of the Bruins Radio Network.
For Beers, the Bruins simply did not have the same sense of urgency displayed by the Canadiens.
“People will say the Bruins let one get away, but at the same time the Canadiens wanted this game more. Montreal came in and it was a mentality more than anything else. The Canadiens were going to do whatever it took to get a W and I don’t think the Bruins were able to match that.
“People will point at the missed opportunities by the Bruins, and that is a valid point and something to be discussed and something that needs to change for them, but it is a mentality that you have to have. The Bruins had that mentality in Game 5, and I don’t think they matched the mentality of the Canadiens here in this one,” said Beers.
It’s easy to point at rookie defenseman Kevan Miller for the first goal and giving Montreal the momentum early in the first.
Miller misplayed and couldn’t corral a bouncing puck in the corner off the boards, which then spilled out in front of the net for an easy backhand by Habs center Lars Eller — not exactly how you want to start the game.
But there were chances to be had after that that the B’s simply couldn’t hammer home.
“It’s a tough break for the Bruins and Kevan Miller on that mistake early. The crowd was already into it — they were going nuts the whole night. The Bruins were down 1-0 and here they are chasing the game again.
“They had their chances but they just couldn’t cash in in the second period on the power play, and the Canadiens were able to cash in on theirs. Pacioretty scores on the breakaway, they had the power play after that and scored. They’re up 3-0 and by and large the game is already over,” said Goucher.
The Bruins had three or four quality chances to tie the game between the Canadiens’ first and second goal, and as has been the story throughout the series, simply couldn’t capitalize.
“The game was there for the Bruins to get back into it even when they were down 1-0. Loui Eriksson had the tie on his stick in the first period when the Bruins came in on an odd man rush. [Milan] Lucic misfired on one in the first period on a pass from David Krejci on a two-on-one in the first shift. You had the tie on your stick again with Milan Lucic in the second period, among other guys — all that happened before Max Pacioretty made it 2-0,” said Beers.
Goucher and Beers chalk it up to just another game that will have no bearing on Game 7. The Bruins have been in this situation before — they are 3-1 in their last four game sevens and playing it at home should provide some sort of help.
Listen below for the full postgame analysis, including the highlights and lowlights in Plus/Minus:
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