Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty shares his best and worst from Game 5 between the Bruins and Canadiens.
GOLD STAR: Clearly it goes to Carl Soderberg after scoring the game’s first goal, finishing with a game-high three points and really leading the way for the third line to dominate in the last two games vs. Montreal. Soderberg was a force for the Bruins in his 16:41 of ice time, and has found some pretty special offensive chemistry with Matt Fraser and Loui Eriksson in the last couple of games. The Big Swede is a big play waiting to happen when he gets the puck in the scoring areas as Loui Eriksson found him with the pass in the first period to set up his one-timer. After that it was his passing and center play that helped open things up for a six-point and plus-6 night for his line.
BLACK EYE: Tomas Plekanec was an active player for the Canadiens, but perhaps he was a little too active. It was the Habs center that took three straight penalties in the first and second periods, including calls for throwing a forearm into the head of Tuukka Rask, and then hitting Johnny Boychuk in the mouth with the butt end of his stick on a routine body check. The last two penalties led to power play goals for the Bruins in the first 1:36 of the second period, and the Bruins never looked back after that point. Plekanec also had an assist, some hits and takeaways in a decent game otherwise, but the lack of discipline really buried the Habs in the end.
TURNING POINT: The two power play goals for the Bruins in the first 1:36 of the second period, including a second PP goal that was scored six seconds into the possession, really acted as a severe gut punch to the Canadiens. They were down 3-0 at that point and reeling from the quick strike scoring, and never truly recovered despite getting their own PP momentum-seizer at the end of the second period. So many times this season the Bruins were victimized by allowing goals in the first or last few minutes of periods, and in Game 5 they finally did it to somebody else in the Montreal Canadiens.
HONORABLE MENTION: Loui Eriksson had his best game of the playoffs in Game 5 as he absorbed a big Douglas Murray check behind the Montreal net to set up Carl Soderberg’s goal in the first period, and then iced the game in the third period with his goal after a nice move to fake out Carey Price. Eriksson finished with two points, a plus-2 and six shot attempts in 18:22 of ice time while teaming with the Big Swede to generate all the secondary offense that Boston could ask for. Above and beyond that, Eriksson has the best mustache going in the B’s dressing room by far.
BY THE NUMBERS: 15-1-1 – the record for the Bruins this season when Carl Soderberg scores a goal, which pretty much guarantees a good result for Boston.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I don’t believe in peaks. I think hard work in every game, that creates peaks. I don’t know, I’ve been pretty good right now, but I think I can play on this level the whole time.” –Carl Soderberg breaking it all down after his three-point performance in Game 5 earned him the Johnny Bucyk Old Time Hockey jacket.