Final, 3-1 Canadiens: That’s it. The season is over. The Bruins won the President’s Trophy but couldn’t get past the second round.
It was no doubt a disappointment, and considering it was the Habs who eliminated them, it has to hurt extra hard for the Bruins.
Normally I say I’ll see you for the next game, but unfortunately this time, that won’t be until the fall.
See you then, and thanks for following along this season.
Third period, 19.4, 3-1 Canadiens: Not much happening here. Not looking good.
Third period, 2:01, 3-1 Canadiens: Well, maybe it’s not exactly over. Markov got called for interference — a blatant offense on Krejci, though Krejci sold it pretty hard — and the B’s have a power play.
Claude called a timeout, and it’ll be 6-on-4 for this one.
Third period, 2:53, 3-1 Canadiens: Dagger.
Danny Briere sent a pass through the slot, and it hit Chara’s skate and went through Rask. What an awful way for the Bruins to lose.
Third period, 4:31, 2-1 Canadiens: The B’s comeback efforts might have to go on hold for two minutes. Johnny Boychuk just stood up Bournival in the neutral zone and was called for interference. Can’t argue that call, unless you believe no penalty should ever be called int he final five minutes of a Game 7. But it seemed pretty fair.
You just know P.K. Subban is looking for the dagger here.
Third period, 8:34, 2-1 Canadiens: Jarome Iginla is playing like a man possessed right now. He’s got seven shot attempts in total, and four have made it on net. He, along with linemates Krejci and Lucic and D-men Miller and Bartkowski, held the puck in the Montreal end for what felt like a full minute. They had their chances, but Price turned them away. The shift finally ended with an exhausted Iginla trying to take the puck to the net and sneak it past Price, but Price held his ground.
Also of note, Pacioretty just slashed Chara in the left hand. Chara was in some clear pain. Worth monitoring.
Third period, 13:21, 2-1 Canadiens: First TV timeout of the period. There’s only two more of these. The Bruins remain composed, but it’s going to take more than composure to score this tying goal (and then the winning goal). The Canadiens haven’t been perfect in this series when it comes to holding third-period leads, so I expect a stronger effort from them to try to actually increase their lead instead of sitting back. Montreal only has 15 shots on the night.
Third period, 14:57, 2-1 Canadiens: In a series full of missed opportunities, the Bruins just had their first big one of the night. Krejci fired a shot on net, and the rebound kicked in front. Iginla gathered the puck on his backhand and tried to slip it around Price. However, Iginla’s shot hit the outside of the post. Big missed one there (though it was by no means an easy shot)
Third period, 16:02, 2-1 Canadiens: Brendan Gallagher carried a puck in offsides, but the whistle came very, very late. So what else was there for Chara to do but level the little man into the boards? Those two went toe-to-toe earlier and I don’t think Chara appreciates Mr. Gallagher’s presence.
Third period, 18:28, 2-1 Candiens: Penalty killed. Time for 5-on-5 hockey, presumably for the duration of this one.
Third period, 20:00, 2-1 Canadiens: Here we go. Twenty minutes. Season’s on the line.
Bergeron, Marchand, Chara and Boychuk are out there to kill this penalty.
End of second period, 2-1 Canadiens: The B’s were able to kill off the first 45 seconds of that penalty, but the Habs will have 1:15 on the freshly Zamboni’d sheet to try to net a huge insurance goal.
The B’s penalty kill has been strong tonight, but they just dodged a bullet as Marchand was stuck way out of position trying to retrieve his stick in the corner. The point shot didn’t make it on net, though, and the B’s eventually cleared the zone to drain the final seconds off the clock.
As far as anything else goes, not much matters. It’s the third period of Game 7. The Bruins need a goal to really put the pressure on Montreal. The Habs need a goal to essentially ice the series. It’s going to be bananas. For now, we’ll all take this 15 minutes to catch our breath.
Second period, 45.5, 2-1 Canadiens: Just as the B’s had momentum and this building started rocking, it’s another penalty on the B’s. This one’s on David Krejci for holding the stick. Really, Lars Eller’s stick was in Krejci’s midsection and he pushed down on it for space, but he closed his hand on it eventually, and that was enough for the call. The whole “refs put their whistles away in Game 7” thing is just not happening tonight.
Second period, 2:02, 2-1 Canadiens: The Bruins are on the board.
Late in the power play, David Krejci skated toward the slot and then dropped a pass back to Krug. With Iginla in front, Krug sent a shot toward net. Iginla deflected it past Price, and the building is alive once again.
Second period, 3:55, 2-0 Candiens: Another chance for the B’s to wake up, as Max Pacioretty grabs Dougie Hamilton’s stick out in the open for too long. That’s two for holding the stick. B’s power play needs to be better right now.
Second period, 5:40, 2-0 Canadiens: A whole lot of puck movement, but not a whole lot of rubber toward the net on that power play for Boston. Eriksson took a pass from the corner and tried to wrist it on net from in close, but Gorges got a stick on it to deflect it wide of the net.
The B’s mustered one shot on net during the man advantage, squandering an opportunity to cut the lead in half and inject some life into the building. Instead, it remains mostly silent in here. Obviously the Bruins have proven capable of engineering some fantastic comebacks, but they’re doing little to make people believe in them tonight.
Second period, 8:12, 2-0 Canadiens: At least there’s this — the B’s are going on their first power play of the night. Lars Eller to the box for interference.
Second period, 9:38, 2-0 Canadiens: You can’t leave the zone if you don’t have the puck, but that’s exactly what Carl Soderberg did. He thought he had the puck on his stick, but it bounced over the blade. That left David Desharnais with a whole lot of space, and he passed dot-to-dot to Max Pacioretty, who one-timed a shot into the net as Rask lunged right to left.
Second period, 13:58, 1-0 Canadiens: Patrice Bergeron has by far been the best player on the ice tonight. I would have bet $100 that he would have buried that chance he just had, as he skated the puck in on a 2-on-1, but Price remained calm in the net and waited out Bergeron’s dekes to make the save in close.
Through 26 minutes, Bergeron has four shots on net as well as two blocked shots, and he’s 13-for-14 on faceoffs. Kid is having himself a night — the type of performance that will inspire others to live up to his level.
Second period, 17:35, 1-0 Canadiens: The B’s killed off the penalty to Marchand, and he ended up with a scoring chance right on the doorstep after exiting the box.
That wasn’t the start to the period the Bruins wanted, but the PK might give them some momentum here.
Second period, 19:53, 1-0 Canadiens: Brad Marchand just got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for spraying Price with snow. That’s another weak call, and that goes for any night, but especially a Game 7.
Second period, 20:00, 1-0 Canadiens: Second period underway in Boston. Let’s see if the B’s can keep things together a bit better.
End of first period, 1-0 Canadiens: The Bruins didn’t get the goal they wanted before intermission, but they at least started playing the type of hockey they’re going to need to play if they want to come back. Bergeron was aggressive behind the net on the forecheck, and he picked the pocket of Markov. The puck went right to Marchand in front, but he lifted the puck too high. The Bruins kept the pressure on, and in the waning seconds of the period, Dougie Hamilton dropped a pass back to Iginla at the right point. Iginla fired away at a mess of bodies in front of the net, and Matt Fraser showed some serious skill to redirect it on net from the slot. However, Price kept his right pad stapled to the ice to make the save.
The Bruins at least provided some reason to believe late in the period. They lead in shots, 9-6, and if they play like they did in those final minutes, they’ll be fine.
First period, 2:37, 1-0 Canadiens: The B’s killed the penalty, allowing no shots during the two minutes. This crowd is nearly silent though. A goal in the final minutes here seems almost necessary. It’s lethargy all around.
First period, 5:47, 1-0 Canadiens: The refs are supposed to keep their whistles in their pockets for these games, but that’s not the case tonight. Zdeno Chara was just battling Rene Bourque along the end boards, and he got called for holding. It may technically have been the right call, but you never see that called in a Game 7. Tough cal for the B’s, who need to kill this penalty to prevent all the life getting sucked out of this building.
First period, 8:05, 1-0 Canadiens: Jarome Iginla just got off a nice shot from the left faceoff dot, aiming five-hole with a hard wrister. Price made the stick save, though.
First period, 10:33, 1-0 Canadiens: Zdeno Chara and Max Pacioretty got tangled up in the Boston end and spent the better part of 20 seconds wrestling in the corner. Finally, the whistle blew and both head to the box for matching holding minors.
First period, 11:12, 1-0 Canadiens: The B’s kill the penalty thanks to dogged work from the PK unit, and really the Bruins should be going on the PP after Josh Gorges just put his knee into the back of Reilly Smith’s thigh to trip him. Alas, no call.
First period, 13:42, 1-0 Canadiens: The Habs have a lead, and they have the game’s first power play.
Brad Marchand went crashing into Carey Price. Though Andrei Markov tackled Marchand and caused the collision, Marchand got the penalty because he was skating recklessly in an area where you have to be careful. Don’t tell that to the 17,565 fans here tonight, though.
First period, 14:23, 1-0 Canadiens: The Bruins still don’t have a shot on net.
First period, 17:42, 1-0 Canadiens: Scoring first has been the key to this series, and the Canadiens have done that tonight.
Travis Moen worked in the corner and passed to Danny Briere, who sent a pass across the crease to Dale Weise. Weise was able to tap it in for the game’s first goal. Matt Bartkowski simply never saw Weise, and the Montreal fourth line made that one look much too easy.
That goal came on the first shot of the game for either team.
First period, 20:00: Rene Rancourt has offered his fist pumps, and we are ready for hockey.
Bergeron won the opening faceoff, and Game 7 is underway. Here we go.
7:04 p.m.: Here are your starting lines tonight:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Matt Bartkowski-Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Vanek-Tomas Plekanec-Michael Bournival
Josh Gorges-P.K. Subban
The teams have taken the ice and the building is rocking. We are two anthems away from puck drop.
6:40 p.m.: Based on lineups in warmups, there are no changes to either team from Game 6. Like I said, no surprises tonight. Your best vs. their best, and see what happens.
Thirty minutes to puck drop here at the Garden.
6:21 p.m.: I’m just getting settled in here at the TD Garden, and I’ve got news. It does look like they’re going to play some hockey here soon.
Warmups start shortly, and I’ll have updates then.
Here’s a peek inside the Garden right now:
4 p.m.: Oh my goodness, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got a Game 7.
We are just three hours away from the puck dropping on what is sure to be an epic battle between these two historic rivals, but those 180 minutes are going to feel like 180 years.
There’s arguably nothing better in all of sports than a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They never disappoint in terms of intensity and effort, so it’s a safe bet to assume we’re all going to witness a battle tonight.
Just about everyone is willing to make a prediction, but I know better than to make such proclamations. Game 7’s are simply unpredictable, and that’s part of what makes them so great.
Last night, we saw a perfect example of home ice not meaning much, as Pittsburgh lost on home ice to the Rangers in Game 7 of their series, completing a Penguins collapse after the team held a 3-1 series lead.
Now the Rangers await the winner of tonight’s game.
I’ll provide updates from the pregame scene here at the Garden all the way until they’re shaking hands at center ice.