After seemingly losing it in Montreal, the Boston Bruins got their “Big & Bad” back when they returned home as they steamrolled the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 to take a 3-2 lead in their second round best of 7 series.
Perhaps steamrolled is a bit strong when it came to the Canadiens’ push back, but the Bruins style of play took over as it became hard-hitting, physical affair from the get-go. Also, after just 5 total power plays were called in the two games in Montreal, the referees found their whistles again as 9 power plays were handed out in game 5.
Boston took the lead just under 14 minutes into the first, with Carl Soderberg winning the offensive zone faceoff, Matt Bartkowski rimmed it around the boards where Loui Eriksson retrieved it behind the net and put a backhand pass to Soderberg in the slot and he fired it past Carey Price.
Boston took control early in the second, with a pair of power play goals. Reilly Smith had a couple of cracks before he finally tipped in Dougie Hamilton‘s point shot to make it 2-0 1:04 into the second. Tomas Plekanec took his third minor of the game just 24 seconds later, and 6 seconds after that Jarome Iginla counted again after Torey Krug pinched down the boards in the Habs’ zone, and put a blind backhander into the slot right on the stick of a wide open Iginla. His quick snapshot was past Price before anyone even knew he was there and the Boston Bruins were rolling.
The Habs got one back before the period was out while on a power play of their own. Brendan Gallagher was the center of attention as he was launched (or launched himself, depending on your point of view) into the boards behind the Bruins net. He laid there for a moment or two to see if a penalty was going to be called, and seeing there was none, showed miraculous healing ability and bounced back up and headed to the front of the net. As this was happening, the puck found its way to Plekanec just above the faceoff dot, and his wrist shot went in off Gallagher past Tuukka Rask. Rask was incensed as Gallagher was standing in the blue paint. I guess Rask didn’t go to the Carey Price school of “initiate contact and fall” to draw a penalty and his protests fell on deaf ears.
Eriksson added some insurance as the third period wound down, putting the rebound of a Matt Fraser shot past Price to make it 4-1. P.K. Subban wired a one-timer slapshot past Rask while the Canadiens were on a 6-on-4 with Price on the bench . There was still almost 2 and a half minutes left, but the Habs could get no closer.
The Canadiens’ backs are now against the wall as the Boston Bruins have 2 chances to end the series, the first coming on Monday night in Montreal.