By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
HALIFAX Any win over the Canadiens feels good for a member of the Bruins, so there was happiness in Halifax as the Bs took it to Montreal in their first of back-to-back preseason games North of the Border.
The Bruins scored a pair of short-handed goals and overwhelmed Montreal goalie Peter Budaj in a 30-shot attack that finished with a 7-3 victory for the Bs at the Halifax Metro Centre. It had the extra bit of sweetness when Brad Marchand who grew up just 10 minutes outside of Halifax celebrated his homecoming with a goal.
Joe Corvo and Gregory Campbell opened up the scoring with goals in a chippy first period, and the Bruins really exploded in the middle 20 minutes with an impressive show of special teams. Marchand knocked home the rebound of a Chris Clark shot on the power play, and then both Daniel Paille and Zdeno Chara added shorthanded goals to push Boston far ahead of their ancient hockey rivals.
Tyler Seguin finished things off for the Bruins with a beauty of a goal in the third period. Seguin had a strong effort from beginning to end, and thoroughly beat Peter Budaj after taking it up to the right wing and firing from the face-off circle.
There were plenty of punishing hits being delivered all over the ice, and the first period was punctuated by a bout between Alex Henry and Shawn Thornton that ended up in a draw.
GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand had 50 friends and relatives in the house -- and he didn't disappoint them. Running around doing his agitating thing, Marchand scored in front of the hometown crowd when he potted the rebound of a Chris Clark shot for a power play goal. Appropriately Marchand heard a chorus of mixed boos and cheers when he scored in front of a Halifax barn filled with testy Habs fans, but it didnt take anything away from his hometown moment. Marchand has looked good in camp, and appears as ready as any other veteran to strap on the hockey pads and get after it for another season. It speaks to the work he put in back in Halifax once his Boston partying ways were done after winning the Cup.
HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Seguin scored a sweet goal on a rush up the right wing and actually assisted on Jordan Carons third-period strike though he was robbed by the Halifax scorekeepers and looked every bit the improved product hes seemed in training camp. Seguin set a tone for the evening by speeding around and getting himself physically involved in the game over his first couple of shifts, and the hard work carried over into offensive production. If Seguin plays like that more often than not, hes going to enjoy a very good season for the Bs.
BLACK EYE: Peter Budaj was brutal for the Canadiens, giving up seven goals. Budaj has to assume he wont play all that often sitting behind Carey Price this season in Montreal, but he needs to stop a puck or two when he is in there. The first goal he gave up to Joe Corvo was a bad angle softie, and things just got worse from there.
TURNING POINT: At the end of a chippy first period that saw the Bruins build a narrow 2-1 lead, Shawn Thornton and Alex Henry pummeled each other to a pretty good draw that seemed to reel things back under control. The bout was a far cry from the beating Thornton put on Henry during the infamous Barber Pole Sweater game in Montreal back in 2009, but the enforcers need to get themselves ready for the hockey season as well.
BY THE NUMBERS: 27 the number of saves for Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin, who looked sharp in his likely only start of the preseason. Khudobin is a goalie the Bs targeted in the Minnesota organization before dealing for him, and he continues to look like good insurance in case anything goes awry with the Tim ThomasTuukka Rask partnership this season. Hes been called the Euro-Tim Thomas in Bs circles over the last few years, and he looked like it Sunday night.
QUOTE TO NOTE: I think those were the Montreal fans. Theyre a little bitter about the way things went last year, but thats the way it goes. Any time they boo us its a good thing. Brad Marchand talking about the loud mixture of boos and cheers that accompanied his return to the home rink in Halifax playing against a crowd heavy with Habs fans.