BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Montreal Canadiens by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play in Game 5 of their second round series at TD Garden.
1) Bruins brought their “A” game with them tonight. Milan Lucic got in on the forecheck and laid a few licks on Canadiens defensemen, the third line scored again after being a constant threat in Game 4 and the defense was once again strong for the most part. A more lively energy and snap to this first period for the Black and Gold than any other one in the series thus far.
2) PK Subban suddenly blew a tire and fell feet first into the boards retrieving a puck in the corner with Milan Lucic bearing down on hard on the forecheck. That’s the kind of play that won’t get a lot of respect from the hockey crowd, but it’s probably good for his survival rate.
3) Carl Soderberg scores his first playoff goal on a one-timer from the slot off a nice feed from behind the net by Loui Eriksson. The Swedish winger did a nice job of absorbing a hit from Douglas Murray as he threw it to the Big Swede in front, and the third line has been dominant in the last couple of games vs. Montreal. The secondary scoring is a huge deal for the Black and Gold.
4) Eight penalties in the first period tonight after a total of five in the last two games in Montreal. It looks like the referees are going to be calling things a little more closely tonight, and special teams will be a big factor in this game.
5) Players are falling down all over the ice, and the puck is doing some strange things. It was a really humid day in Boston and the building is pretty warm. The ice must be complete slush for the players.
The Bruins lead the Montreal Canadiens by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes of play in Game 5 of their second round series at TD Garden.
1) Two power play goals for the Bruins tonight as they finally crack the special teams seal in the series. In year’s past this kind of special teams bonanza would have been a problem for the Black and Gold, but they’re showing tonight exactly what they showed during the regular season: that their power play is as dangerous as they come.
2) Fun interactions between Milan Lucic and P.K. Subban: Subban has twice bailed on plays with Lucic bearing down on him on the forecheck, and then sheepishly tried to bait Lucic into a “fight” where the Habs defenseman certainly would have tried to draw a penalty. After the sequence Subban skated by the Bruins bench and Milan Lucic gave him the Hulk Hogan biceps flex. That’s good Bruins/Canadiens rivalry stuff right there.
3) Dumb play by Brad Marchand holding Lars Eller and putting Montreal on the power play while up 3-0 in the second period. Of course Montreal scored on a Tomas Plekanec shot from the left circle that appeared to go off Brenden Gallagher on its way to the net. Those are exactly the kind of plays that allow an opponent to creep back into the game, and it’s given Boston the dreaded two goal lead headed into the third period.
4) It appears that Jarome Iginla is having some skate issues. He’s lost his legs a couple of times, and twice has walked down the tunnel to the B’s room with Bruins equipment guys in tow. Didn’t stop him from scoring a power play goal in the second, however.
5) Bruins were shooting low on Carey Price that period. I guess they had to throw the change of pace at him eventually.