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Boston vs. Montreal live blog

by Shawn P. Roarke

Shawn P. Roarke's live blog
4.14.2011 / 6:43 PM ET

Well, that wraps it up here. Brian Gionta, a Bruin killer, added a second goal in the game's 57th minute to make it 2-0. This goal also came off a turnover -- this one by Milan Lucic just inside the Boston blue line. Gomez grabbed the loose puck and fed Gionta, who beat Tim Thomas with a snapper to the far side. Boston, not surprisingly, got booed off the ice. Off to the dressing rooms for some reaction. Thanks for joining me for this experiment. Hoipefully, we'll revisit it for Saturday's Game 2.

Bruins are clearly out of sorts here as they are having trouble gaining the blue line and, as a  result, can't get their forecheck game going. The one time they did so in the past five minutes, it resulted in a bad turnover by the Montreal defense and Boston's best scoring chance of the period.

Just as I say that, Milan Lucic has a great chance for Boston, bulling into the slot and over a Montreal defender as he snapped off a testing wrister. That is the kind of play Boston needs from its big 30-goal scorer, who didn't have a shot in the first two periods. In fact, Boston's first line has been eerily quiet all night.

This third period has a far different tenor than the first two. Boston can not get any sustained pressure in the attacking zone and Montreal is attacking on counters as Boston presses for the equalizer.

Intermission was clearly good for the canadiens. They have regrouped and have kept Boston from attacking for the game's first three minutes. They are, in fact, using their aggressive forecheck, to keep Boston pinned in its own end and work rather diligintly to find a means of egress. A far different posture for Montreal than last period.

Third period started

End of second period; MTL leads 1-0, BOS leads shots, 26-14

Brad marchand just had another great chance and was making a case of being Boston's Man of the match so far, but his candidacy just took a hit as he took a neutral-zone interference penalty for belting Tomas Plekanec as he crossed the blue line without the puck. That will certainly help Montreal alleviate the near-constant pressure it has been under this period.

14:09 Wow has Carey Price been good in this period. He has lareday made 15 saves, including a recent on on Brad Marchand on a partial breakaway. Montreal certainly doesn't want to see Price work this hard.

Bruins are out-shooting Montreal by a three-to-one margin this periood (12-4), but have nothing to show for it. Zdeno Chara is showing frustration Boston musty be feeling. He slammed his stick against the boarads afetr Carey Price gobbled up his shot. That is Chara's fifth shot on goal this period. Another two have been blocked. By the way, Travis Moen, who blocked one of those shots, is back.

What a stretch of action there. Boston continues to fire away from the point. They already have 11 shots this period and at least 8 have come from defenseman. One, off the stick of Zdeno Chara, may have cost Montreal a second player as Travis Moen skated to the bench in considerable pain after absorbing one of Char's 100 mph bombs. Andrei Kostitsyn is already out. Yet with all that, MoNtreal could still be leading 2-0 if not for the fact that Tomas Plekanec missed a wide-open net after Tim Thomas misplayed a puck on a Montreal counter attack.

Jaroslav Spacek forced into an interference penalty in the neutral zone as Boston continues to ratchet up the pressure. Montreal under duress as boston goes on its third PP. 0-for-2 so far.

Johnny Boychuk just made carey price make a brilliant toe save on another point shot, this one generated by a tremendous cycle from the marchand line. The rookie is having a good playoff game. On the other side of the ledger, Andrei Kostitsyn has been MIA since taking a big hit on the opening shift of the game.

Boston almost found the chink in Price's armor. Price had trouble with a long-range shot, bobbling it and giving Shawn Thornton a great shot at a rebound goal. Price, however, recovred in time. It has been all Boston this period. They already have 8 shots.

Boston has had three good opportunities from the point after Krejci was released from his penalty. Carey Price had to be sharp on each one.

Second period starts

Intermission observations:
The Bruins have to be a litle nervous asd Montreal can sit on a lead with the best of them and have handled Boston's foreecheck with a plomb in the first 20 minutes. Also concerning is the fact that several forwards have beat Chara wide with speed in the first, something to watch as series progresses. Some interesting numbers in the stat package, as well. Ryan White has indeed been a wrecking ball in first perioood, dishing out 5 hits, half of Montreal's 10 for the period. Boston had 13, but no player had more than 2. Players like Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Chara need to get more physically involved. P.K. Subban played more than 9 minutes in the first and was one of the best players on the ice.

End of first period, MTL leads 1-0, shots 8-8.

So much for that PP. Ryan White, who has been a buzz saw all period, just evened things up by roughing Ference up after the Boston D won the battle to an icing. It was a penalty of overzealousness, but it nonetheless negated the the last 67 of Montreal's man advantage.

This morning Boston coiach Claude Julien stressed his team could not take b ad penalties and David Krejci just took a dozy. He committed a hook, as minor as it may have been, 180 feet away from the Boston net. Montreal gets a second chance on PP now.

Building is still buzzing from a one-timer from Brad Marchand that hit the post with Carey Price clearly beaten. Best chance of period for Boston. But, Montreal has had the last five shots.

Montreal has had two good chances onm the PP. A point blast that Thomas threw himself at like a shortstop in the hole and then Thomas Plekenac wheeling out from behind the goal line for a stuff attempt.

Now the momentum is changing in Montreal's favor. They have dominated play foir the past three minutes and kaberle just took a hooking penalty in furious action around Tim Thomas' crease. Let's see what Montreal's PP vaunted can do here.

Somebody forgot to tell Ryan White that Boston is supposed gtgo have the physical advantage. The Canadiens forward is hitting everything he can. He had a big hit on his first shift and has followed it up with three or four more board-rattling hits.

Boston had just one shot on the power play, a breakaway by Brad Marchand that was denied by Carey Price, who has looked sharp in making saves on the seven shots he has faced. Montreal has just 3 shots, but leads 1-0.

Roman Hamrlik takes first penalty of the game, an interference penalty on Brad Marchand at the defensive blue line. Boston needs a good power play here to get its confidence up. This is considered their Achille's heel by many.

Boston has answered Montreal's knock-down punch pretty well, generating three quality chances of their own and jostling carey Price pretty good. Boston clearly wants to crash the crease at every opportunity and try to overpower Montreal's somewhat undersized D.

P.K. Subban, the man the Bruins love to hate, is already stirring the pot. He just checked Milan Lucic a second after a whistle to set off the first pushing match of the game.

2:45 Brian Gionta takes the air out oif this building pretty quickly when he pots a wide-open shot from just to the left of Thomas. A bad clear on a dump-in led to a turnover and one pass, from Scott Gomez, set up Gionta for a gimme as both D for Boston were out of position.

First period starts

7:06 p.m. We are just a few minutes from faceoff now. Both teams are on the ice and the pregame video is done. by the way, it is the third AC/DC song of the night, Thunderstruck. Thanks to PR guru John Dellapina, who made a dinner run for me, I am now fully fortified to document the game.

The scratches have been announced and there is only one real surprise. Montreal has scratched Paul Mara, one of their bigger D. Thought he would be key in handling Boston's size up front. Tyler Sequyin was scratched for Boston, but that was expected.

6:49 p.m. Well we are just 15 minutes until faceoff here and the intensity is really picking up. The Garden PA is on its second AC/DC song of the night, cranking out Hell's Bells as the ice is resurfaced. For Those About to Rock, meanwhile, announced Boston's arrival for the pre-game skate. I sense a theme here.

We'll have witty observations like that here all night. I hope you can join me for what should be a very interesting Game 1. You can also follow along on twitter here @sroarke_nhl.

--Shawn P. Roarke

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