November 22, 2011

Post-Game Breakdown: Thomas unbeatable again as B’s blank Habs

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 1, Montreal 0

Recap: After getting dominated in the shot department to start the game, Andrew Ference got the B’s on the board with a wrister from the blueline to put the Bruins up 1-0 over Carey Price and the Canadiens. Montreal, for the better part of the night, continued to carry play. Were it not for Tim Thomas and a few narrow misses, they likely would’ve run away with one.

Unfortunately Boston’s netminder was damn-near superhuman, stopping all 33 shots he faced to blank the Habs, giving the B’s their ninth-straight victory.

Records: Boston 12-7-0, 24 points; Montreal 9-9-3, 21 points

Key Play of the Game: With 1:39 left in regulation, Rich Peverley was sent to the box for an egregious cross-checking penalty. Thomas somehow kept the Canadiens at bay, even when Price was pulled, stopping two quality chances in the final minute and a half — including a tip-in attempt by Erik Cole.

Connolly’s Commendations: First and foremost, a tip of the cap must go to Thomas, as he earned his second straight shutout. By all accounts, the one he got on Saturday night was an absolute cakewalk against the Islanders. On Monday, Thomas had to be a brick wall to keep his team ahead, as he stopped more quality chances in the opening minutes than New York had all game a few days back.

Boston’s PK came up big tonight. Usually prone to letting the Habs’ power play dismantle them, the Bruins stopped all four of Montreal’s man advantages.

Connolly’s Critiques: Though it seems to be punishable by death to criticize him, Monday just wasn’t a good night for No. 37 in Black and Gold. Patrice Bergeron had an uncharacteristically poor showing at the dot (won 6-of-18 faceoffs) and was essentially a non-factor for most of the contest.

Ditto for David Krejci, who played 15:55 but never did much to get noticed. No. 46 had zero shots on goal, who 3-of-7 faceoffs, and wasn’t credited with any hits. It’s now five games and counting since Krejci earned his last point.

Notes: P.K. Subban suited up for his 100th NHL game in the loss. The Bruins’ longest winning streak is 14 games, a record set way back during the 1929-30 season. Joe Corvo was shaken up in the first period when he seemed to suffer a leg injury, but the d-man returned in the same frame. Corvo, however, finished the night with just 15:21 of TOI.

Next: The B’s will conclude their three game road trip on Wednesday when they visit Buffalo to take on the Sabres.