MONTREAL – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing by a 2-0 score in Game 3 of the second round of the playoffs at the Bell Centre.
1) P.K. Subban is simply dominating this series this far. He’s got three goals and six points in two games plus one period, and scored on a breakaway out of the penalty box freed up on a nice Lars Eller pass. Subban was in the box for what appeared to be a clean, thunderous hit on Reilly Smith, but got his karmic return with the breakaway chance once Dougie Hamilton made the strange decision to leave the area Subban was invading from the box. Subban made one move on Rask, and buried it past the flopping Finnish netminder.
2) Zdeno Chara took a slash on the first shift of the game, and was gone for more at least the first five minutes of the game. He returned without incident and appears to be okay, but it bears watching as it takes plenty just to get big No. 33 to go to the dressing room.
3) Kevan Miller and Jarome Iginla with costly errors on Montreal’s first goal. Tough shift all-around for Miller, who was beaten to a Tuukka Rask pass attempt by Michael Bournival, and then left the front of the net wide open for the Tomas Plekanec backdoor crash. Iginla was also late checking Plekanec as he crashed toward the net, and Thomas Vanek found with a tape-to-tape pass.
4) Between Miller’s costly defensive zone shift and Hamilton’s gaffe opening up the pathway for Subban to the net, it looks like some of the young B’s defenseman are feeling a little shaky here in their first postseason game at the Bell Centre.
5) Looked like a good hit from P.K. Subban on Reilly Smith to me rather than a roughing call. Sure he got his arm up a bit into Smith’s chest, but that was a good hit where Subban lined up a forward skating with his head down a bit. Subban also took out Thomas Vanek on the hit, though, and the Habs forward didn’t return in the first period. That could be costly.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing by a 3-1 score after 40 minutes in Game 3 of the second round of the playoffs at the Bell Centre.
1) Way too many breakdowns and loose Bruins defense allowing breakaways/odd man rushes with golden scoring chances on Tuukka Rask. Rask hasn’t been stellar, but he’s also been beaten on a pair of breakaways and a tape-to-tape backdoor pass with brutal coverage in front of the net. None of the goals have been his fault, and Carey Price has made 20 solid stops at the other end of the ice. Rask is once again being outplayed by Price.
2) Seven posts for the Bruins in this series after Jarome Iginla hit one in the second period while Milan Lucic was swinging through a on a drive-by to the net. That’s the perfect answer to the B’s seemingly being “pretty lucky”, according to Montreal goalie Carey Price.
3) Patrice Bergeron gets an important goal at the end of the second period on a tipped Torey Krug shot after a face off win in the offensive zone. That gives the Bruins a shred of hope going into the final period, and they’ll need all hands on deck to pull out another comeback. The Bruins have scored seven goals in the third period in the last two games and come back twice on Montreal. Could a third time be in the cards?
4) Andrej Meszaros has been swallowed up multiple times by Montreal’s speed here at the Bell Centre, and has allowed a forward behind him for a scoring chance at least twice. That includes the Dale Weise killer breakaway goal in the second period. It should be time to put Matt Bartkowski back in the lineup. At least he has the speed to play this kind of game with Habs, and Meszaros is having some bad brain cramps at the wrong time.
5) Seven shots on net for Rene Bourque, who has once again showed up in a big way for the Habs. The third line for Montreal is outplaying the third line for the Bruins in this series thus far.