Bruins

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

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.