Max pain: Pacioretty goal dooms Bruins

Max pain: Pacioretty goal dooms Bruins
May 13, 2014, 9:30 am
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MONTREAL – Nearly everybody in the Bruins dressing room agreed that Game 6 turned on the Max Pacioretty breakaway goal with less than five minutes to go in the second period. It pushed Montreal’s lead to 2-0 and completely sidetracked the building B’s momentum in the middle period. It eventually sentenced Boston to a one-sided 4-0 thumping at the Bell Centre that sets up a Game 7 Wednesday night at TD Garden.

“I’m not taking any credit away from that team because they played well tonight,” said Claude Julien. “I didn’t like the way they got their goals tonight, and we could have been better in regard to that.

“The second goal is the one that hurt us the most because we were spending a lot of time in their end. We had some great chances to tie the game, but then [the Pacioretty goal] really turned the tide.”

The backbreaking score was a successful stretch pass for Montreal that connected Nathan Beaulieu’s pass with a streaking Pacioretty, who got behind Zdeno Chara on his way to the net. Both Loui Eriksson and Dougie Hamilton seemed to get a piece of the Beaulieu feed as it went airborne, but couldn’t knock it down before it reached the streaking Habs winger.

Boston’s defense had done a good job of slowing things down in the neutral zone and eliminating the Habs’ stretch pass strategy in the previous two games while holding Montreal to two goals, but that was out the window in Game 6.

In the weirdest development on the play both Chara and Tuukka Rask seemed to make halfhearted defensive plays on the Pacioretty score before he fired a puck through the five hole of the B’s goaltender.

“I kind of hesitated because I didn’t want to get burned again like I did on the [Eller goal], and I got burned a different way,” said Rask, who allowed all four goals on 28 shots when he couldn’t get off the ice fast enough when his coach pulled him for an extra skater late in the third period. “I think me and [Chara] kind of got caught looking at each other.

“I thought he was going to dive and he thought I was going to play it. So it’s just another gift. It was one of those plays where I didn’t really do anything, and [Chara] didn’t really do anything.”

For Pacioretty it was his first goal of the series after getting neutralized by Chara, and the first playoff point for the rookie defenseman Beaulieu in only his second NHL game in the last three months. For the Bruins it was the giant flashing sign that Game 6 wasn’t going to be their night at the Bell Centre.