The opportunistic Montreal Canadiens used some timely scoring from their star players and another stellar performance from Carey Price to beat the Boston Bruins 4-0 and force game 7 in their second round playoff series.
Lars Eller opened the scoring, the beneficiary of a Kevin Miller bobble that flipped off his stick from below the goal line right out front to Eller who put it past a surprised and unprepared Tuukka Rask just 2:11 into the game, getting an already fired up crowd going ballistic.
As the second period was winding down, the Habs struck quick and put the game out of reach. First, Max Pacioretty flew the zone and got behind the Bruins defense and somehow an aerial pass from the Montreal zone went off a Bruin glove, bounced twice and ended up in the stick of Pacioretty on a breakaway, which he buried for his first goal of the series. Just two minutes later, with the Montreal Canadiens on a power play, the puck was kicked out of a scramble in the goalmouth by Pacioretty right to Thomas Vanek who was swooping in from the side boards and had an easy open net to make it 3-0 through 2.
Price didn’t need any more support than that, and he held fast and stopped everything the Bruins threw at him, totalling 26 saves for his 4th career playoff shutout. All 4 have come against the Bruins. Vanek capitalized on a turnover forced by David Desharnais and with Rask on his way to the bench Vanek had an open net from just outside the blue line for the gift goal.
Brendan Gallagher had 2 incredible scoring chances in this game, missing wide from about 6 feet away on a nearly empty net and then getting robbed by the paddle of a diving Rask on another seemingly wide open goal.
Game 7 goes on Wednesday night in Boston.