2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 7: Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins @ TD Garden
3-4 Final OT; Boston wins the series 4-3
The Montreal Canadiens have this ability to making home-ice advantage not a factor at all until it is they on the home ice. But if Boston could get the crowd in the game early, who knows what could happen in this series' Game 7.
Could the Habs act as they did in Game 6 and make it two Canadian teams going onto Round 2?
Getting the Boston faithful into the game, Johnny Boychuk opened the scoring at 3:31 of the first period. Boychuk pulled back the slapper and Patrice Bergeron blocked the view for Carey Price. Bergeron provided enough of a screen that Price hadn't a clue of where the puck was until the very last minute, and that minute was too late to make the save. Then two minutes later, Marck Recchi made it 2-0. On the play, the Canadiens looked very un-Montreal. They were scrambled all over the place and lost. Recchi had the whole middle lane to himself and honestly, not many would miss a shot from there with that much open ice and view of the net.
Displeased with the starting five minutes, Montreal head coach, Jacques Martin, called a timeout. Nearly ten minutes after the call from the bench was made, Yannick Weber put the visiting team on the board! Weber let loose a snapper shot that flew high glove-side (not un-Cammalleri like) after Michael Cammalleri set up the young forward for the PPG! Where the Bruins have failed to light up the lamp, the Canadiens have taken advantage of their man-advantage privileges and scored many on the power-play.
Down by one after the first intermission, the Habs faced another deterrence towards evening the ice. Lars Eller was penalised with a cross-checking minor, but not even being down a man is going to dampen the thoughts of scoring for the Montreal team. And 5:50 into the period - 1:10 into the Boston power-play - Tomas Plekanec made it a tie game! Plekanec stripped the Boston skater of the puck and went straight towards the net with one goal in mind - getting a goal. As Plekanec's body drifted towards the right, the puck stayed right where it was. Tim Thomas followed the skater instead of the puck and that was a choice he shouldn't have made. Plekanec tucked the puck around Thomas's stick-side and it took a lucky bounce off of the base of the far post before dishing into the net!
After looking shaky in the first period, the rest of the game started to shape up well for the Habs. Price looked better, the defence looked a bit more awake, and the skaters knew their roles. But that would stop near the half-way mark of the third. Chris Kelly chips the puck down into the offensive zone and then knocked Roman Hamrlik down. Kelly continued the play and went to the net, picked up the loose puck, and shovelled the rubber over a sprawled Price.
Not one to stay down (as we have seen), Bergeron awards the Montreal team with a PP. That's not something you want to do ever if you're the Boston Bruins against Montreal. And Bergeron learned why the hard way. PK Subban mustered up all of his strength and like a laser his shot flew past Tim Thomas to tie up the game at 3 with just under two minutes left to play!
But 5:43 into the OT period, Nathan Horton released a slapper and his shot takes a bite out of Jeff Halpern. The fluttering puck just gets past Price's glove-hand and into the net it goes and the series comes to an end.
Next year is going to be a good one, boys. Make next year even better!
(1) Nathan Horton
(2) Chris Kelly
(3) Mark Recchi