December 19, 2011

Post-Game Breakdown: Bruins keep rolling with 3-2 win over struggling Habs

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 3, Montreal 2

Recap: Benoit Pouliot opened the scoring at the 12:13 mark, beating his old team on a feed from Rich Peverley to make it 1-0. Boston’s lead lasted just 1:13, as Mike Cammalleri set up Tomas Plekanec in front for a quick wrister that knotted things up.

In the second, an Andrew Ference pass from behind the net ricocheted off David Krejci and past Carey Price to make it 2-1 Boston. With less than six minutes to go, Tyler Seguin hit Brad Marchand with a gorgeous saucer pass just inside the zone. Marchand showed great patience and beat Price with a falling backhander to make it 3-1.

Montreal cut it to 3-2 with 1:14 remaining on a goal from Erik Cole but couldn’t come up with the tying tally in the final 74 seconds.

Records: Boston 22-9-1, 45 points; Montreal 13-14-7, 33 points

Key Play of the Game: With Canadiens crashing from every direction, Tim Thomas made a trio of point-blank saves in 11 seconds starting at the 3:31 mark of the third period — a pretty impressive feat. One member of the opposition found his way into the net, but the veteran Bruins goalie made sure the puck didn’t join him there.

Connolly’s Commendations: Have to lead out with tremendous kudos to Boston’s so-called third line, which continued it’s great run. Peverley, with a helper, now has six points in the last four games. Pouliot, meanwhile, has goals in back-to-back contests and a three-game point streak going.

Thomas definitely had to be on his game tonight. The undermanned Habs managed to create a bevy of quality chances, forcing No. 30 in Black and Gold to have to be sharp throughout.

Connolly’s Critiques: Sans Lucic, the first line had a pretty quiet night. Don’t be fooled by Krejci’s goal — it was his only “shot” of the game and it came off of his foot. Nathan Horton, meanwhile, failed to put a puck on net. On top of that, Horton had the turnover that led to Montreal’s goal late in the third period.

Notes: Dennis Seidenberg, in his quest for his first goal of the season, fired a shot from center ice on an open net with one second left and hit the post.

Final Thoughts: Boston improved to 19-2-1 in the past 22 games, while the Habs just keep on slipping further and further. Montreal is now 12 points back of Boston in the division and will need a minor miracle to have any shot at reigning supreme in the Northeast this season.

Next: The Bruins won’t be back in action until Friday night when the Panthers invade TD Garden.