Canadiens overpower the Bruins, 3-1

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Canadiens overpower the Bruins, 3-1

By Danny Picard and Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Thursday night marked the first time all season theBruins allowed more than one power-play goal in a game. And they paid for it,allowing Montreal to score twice on the man advantage as they lost to theCanadiens, 3-1, at the TD Garden.

Brian Gionta put the Habs ahead 2-1 just 29 seconds into thethird period as he beat Tuukka Rask with a one-timer from the left post on thepower play. It was Montreal's second power-play goal of the game, and cameas a result of a perfect saucer pass from Michael Cammalleri from the rightwing.

Cammalleri lifted the puck over a sprawling DennisSeidenberg, and Gionta put it home, which proved to be the game-winner.

Scott Gomez added insurance just over 10 minutes later on apuck that trickled past the goal line after Gomez' initial shot appeared to hitthe cross bar and come down off Rasks skate.

The goal made it 3-1 Canadiens, and sealed the deal onRasks fifth loss of the season (0-4-1) in as many appearances.

The Canadiens got on the board first, after P.K. Subbanblasted a one-timer past Rask just 5:19 into the first period. It was apower-play goal for Montreal, coming 18 seconds after Tyler Seguin was called for tripping.

Zdeno Chara tied the game at 1-1 just over 10 minutes later,wristing a puck top shelf after Milan Lucic showed an extraordinary amount ofpatience, taking the puck behind the net, drawing several Canadiens playerstowards him, and hit Chara with a cross-ice pass up to the top of the leftcircle.

GOLD STAR:Patrice Bergeron helped set up Boston's only goal when he sacrificedhis body to keep possession in the offensive zone in the first period,and played nearly 21 minutes of competitive, battling, quality ice time. He finished with four shots on net along with hisassist, and won 14-of-21 faceoff attempts while continually creatingoffensive pressure in the first two periods.

BLACK EYE:One shot for Nathan Horton after he passed up numerous chances on thepower play? No registered hits for Zdeno Chara in a game against theMontreal Canadiens? Did Daniel Paille even actually play in Thursdaynight's game against the Habs? The Bruins had some pretty solidperformers in the loss to Montreal, but there were some curious momentssurrounding the rivalry game.

TURNING POINT:Once the Bruins started making a parade to the penalty box in thesecond period a trend punctuated by Shawn Thornton, who normally has shown the ability to stay out of the box for non-fighting penalties, taking twostraight minors it was only amatter of time for the Habs to break through.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6-1-1 the record of Habs goalie Carey Price at TD Garden against the Bruins during his star-crossed career with Montreal.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Last four games we gave up the first goal. The goal tonight was toscore the first goal. But as you saw it didnt happen. I don't knowwhat the problem is with it. We gave up the first goal. I don't knowwhy. We just don't come out like we want to." Dennis Seidenbergaddressing question about Bruins giving up first goal of game fourstraight games.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.