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Canadiens aim to retain home ice, go up 3-1 on Bruins

by Matt Kalman


(Montreal leads best-of-7 series 2-1)


Big story: Fast starts in games have turned into a fast start in this Eastern Conference Second Round series for the Montreal Canadiens, who have led the Boston Bruins by at least two goals in every game. By building a 3-0 lead and hanging on for a 4-2 win in Game 3, the Canadiens lead the series 2-1 and can maintain the home-ice advantage they stole in Game 1 by winning again Thursday.

"We've got a business attitude (as a team), we approach games with a business mindset," coach Michel Therrien said. "This is what I like about our group."

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston's glaring mistakes defensively cost it in Game 3. But had the top offensive lines solved Montreal goaltender Carey Price early in the game, the Bruins might have relaxed and been more competitive. The line of David Krejci centering wings Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla was particularly ineffective. Iginla scored a late goal with an extra attacker; the line combined for four shots on net and coach Claude Julien is urging those players to pick up their games.

"This is a line that's been hot and cold for us in the playoffs so far," Julien said. "David's shown a little bit of frustration, so he's got to battle thorough that stuff. It's a line that's given us a lot this year, so you have to have a little trust, and right now that's what I've got. Things have got to get better for that line for us to be successful."

Canadiens: Therrien made the right tweaks to Montreal's lines, when forwards Brendan Gallagher and Thomas Vanek swapped spots and Vanek set up Tomas Plekanec's goal. The Canadiens have impressively grabbed the lead in this series without a goal from Gallagher or forwards Max Pacioretty or David Desharnais. Forward Dale Weise had the winning goal in Game 3 and defenseman P.K. Subban has three goals. Subban has been an uncontainable force against the Bruins.

"There's a lot of things I think I can do better," Subban said. "I'm [upset] they scored that second goal [in Game 3] and I'm on the ice for it. You're not always going to play a perfect game, but I look at the big picture. We got the win, that's the important thing."

Who's hot: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has a point in all but one of eight playoff games (three goals, six assists). … Subban has three goals and eight assists during a six-game point streak, and has multiple points in five of his past six games. Plekanec has a point in each game in this series.

Injury report: Boston defensemen Adam McQuaid (ankle) and Dennis Seidenberg (ACL/MCL), and forward Chris Kelly (back) are out. … Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk (lower body) is out.

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