One of the most historic rivalries in the NHL will resume Thursday when the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens square off in the second round with the prize being an advancement to the conference finals.
Montreal won the season series 3 games to 1, with one of the wins coming in a shootout. The Montreal Canadiens outscored the Boston Bruins 8-7.
These are two of the premier goalies in the league. Tuukka Rask is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy this season and Carey Price is an Olympic Gold Medalist. Rask had a GAA of 1.16 and .961 SPin the Boston Bruins first round series against the Red Wings, while Price had a slow start to the series against the Lightning and finished with a 2.33 GAA and .904 SP in the Montreal Canadiens first round sweep.
The Habs rely heavily on their top 2 pairs, with the third pairing used sparingly. P.K. Subban leads the way with 5 points, but the group did not score a goal in 4 games.
Boston has had the best power play in the first round, with an outstanding 37.5% success rate. Montreal’s was about half as good, coming in with the 9th ranked PP at 15.4%.
Boston also has the 3rd best penalty kill, clocking in at 90%, while the Canadiens were only successful on 71% of their kills, with the 14th ranked unit.
Going into round 1, I stated the Canadiens couldn’t have had a better matchup in the first round with the Lightning, and that became even more favorable when Ben Bishop couldn’t take the ice in the series. The Canadiens got through that with a sweep, but the Bruins are an entirely different animal than the Lightning. The physical, bruising style of the Bruins will wear down the Habs and it will start early, just like it did against the Red Wings.
BRUINS in 5
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