Habs not resting on their laurels after Game 1 win

Habs not resting on their laurels after Game 1 win
May 2, 2014, 1:00 am
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BOSTON - The Canadiens have been in this position before.

Back in 2011, the Habs took Game 1 and Game 2 from the Bruins in Boston . . . and lost the series in seven games.

That's why after their 4-3 win over the Bruins Thursday night, they weren't puffing out their chests and declaring themselves the better team.

In fact, a quick look at the box score, and it would be a hard case to make, Carey Price aside.

The B's blasted 51 shots at Price, and the goaltender stood on his head for most of the night. He made a few huge saves in both overtimes, and denied the Bruins just long enough for P.K. Subban to score his second goal of the game and give the Canadiens the 1-0 series lead.

Matt Bartkowski had just gone to the box for bringing down Dale Weise in front of the net, and seconds into the power play, Subban struck with a slapshot from the point after the Habs won the faceoff.

"I definitely didn't expect to be the guy to put us over the top," Subban said, "but when we get an opportunity like that, two power plays, just try to be the difference, just try to put the puck on net. I thought our first power play, I don't even think we got a shot, so I got the puck in the slot, [Andrei Markov] made a great pass. But let's be honest, faceoffs are key . . . so if we don't win the faceoff we don't even get that shot. Between all our centermen and Carey Price, I thought they were huge for us today."

The team that wins Game 1 of the series between the Bruin and Habs has gone on to win the series 27 of the 33 times, but Subban was quick to note that this group of Bruins players are a tough bunch to put away.

"It's great that we won, but I've played against these guys more than a few times over the past couple years and in the playoffs and one thing I can tell you is this is a resilient team," Subban said. "That's not something you can say about every team, but against these guys I got to give them credit. They always battle back, they always find a way to persevere, and tonight it feels good to be the team that found a way to get it done."

He was certainly not ready to talk about whether his team can win the series with the way they played tonight.

"Listen, I don't even think we can think about winning the series," Subban said. "A couple years ago we came in here and took two games, went back, and we lost in Game 7. When there's success you got to take it and get better. I still think there's  a lot of things we need to get better on. We can't be giving up 50-plus shots, I'll tell you that, for the rest of the series. And Price shouldn't have to stop that many pucks."

But on this night, Price did stop that many pucks. He outplayed Tuukka Rask, who could be this year's Vezina Trophy winner.

"It was a battle," Price said. "It was exactly what we were expecting and we just gutted it out. It was a hard fought game that could have gone either way."

And the same can still be said for the series, which looks to once again be a special one. But was tonight's game typical of what we can expect the rest of the way?

"I don’t doubt it," Price said. "This whole rivalry has been going on for many years before I was born and it will probably keep going for a long time after I’m gone."