Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Heading home with advancement on their minds

Twenty four hours after Montreal suffered a setback on their path towards the Stanley Cup finals; a bounce back game provided yet another turn of momentum in what has been a highly entertaining series with their long time rivals the Boston Bruins.

Tuesday night the Canadiens once again regained their forward movement with a hard earned 1-0 victory over the B’s. The game was the usual hard hitting, crashing the zone kind of affair that has transpired for three of the four games so far. It was a key victory for Montreal, who were watching with increasing alarm as the Bruins began to believe not only in their abilities, but in the possibilities of taking down the NHL's top team of the East. With a game three victory the Bruins were recharged and back on the attack, by sidetracking that express the Canadiens have provided themselves with a valuable cushion to work with.

Again it was a goaltending duel between the elder statesman of the Bruins net and the youngest of puck stoppers defending the Montreal goal. Carey Price once again provided the sound goaltending that is quickly turning his name into a young legend in Montreal, collecting the first shut out of his still percolating NHL playoff career.

As befitting a game of tight hockey, the shot totals were almost identical, with a difference of only one shot between the two teams, a difference on the score board as well, as Patrice Brisbeois scored the only and winning goal in the third period.

It’s a just reward for Brisebois, the veteran who returned to Montreal as a free agent, often in the past he was the target of catcalls from the Montreal crowd and the occasional scathing indictment in the always incendiary Montreal press.

With Tuesday’s game winning and perhaps series changing goal, Brisebois has most likely stored up enough good will for this playoff year and beyond should he keep playing.

The loss like Game two will be a hard one for the Bruins to digest, written off prior to the playoffs as just the warm up act for Montreal’s march to Stanley; they have instead for the most part kept pace with the Habs stride for stride, hit for hit and goal for goal.

They came up one short on Tuesday, leaving them on the brink of elimination, setting the scene for even more intensity when the two teams reunite on Thursday night. If Games 2, 3 and 4 have been any indication, Game five could shape up to be one of those traditional Bruins/ Habs classics.

Boston Herald-- Bruins paying the Price
Boston Herald-- No goals in sight
NHL.com-- Stats Pack

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