Talking Points: Price the No. 1 star for Canadiens
Carey Price was unquestionably the No. 1 star for either team with a 41-save performance against his arch-rivals, and so many five star saves against a Bruins team that was throwing everything at the Montreal net. Price made a couple of excellent stops in the first period on Dominic Moore and Riley Nash, and then somehow deflected a Torey Krug screaming one-timer with his helmet in the second period before making 14 more saves in the third when a misstep here or there could have cost the Habs valuable points. Certainly it felt like the Bruins deserved a better fate on Tuesday night, but it also was a clear case of Price stealing a game for his team. This game was a reminder of just how much better the Habs are with Price between the pipes.
The Bruins had their moments in the second night of a back-to-back, but they also collapsed in the second period after climbing back to tie the game up on Colin Miller’s first goal of the season. The Torey Krug/Adam McQuaid pairing got a little too over-aggressive, and the fourth line couldn’t contain Alex Galchenyuk finishing off a great lead pass from Alex Radulov in a mismatch between forward groups out on the ice. The fact that this play happened just 20 seconds after the Bruins had tied the game in the second period made it a gut punch play for Boston, and set them back a bit in a game they never really closed their grasp on.
It looked like the Bruins were going to hang around to earn at least a point at the Bell Centre, but instead it was the same old story against their arch-rival Canadiens in their building. An Alexander Radulov point shot was kicked out in front of the net with Alex Galchenyuk battling with Brandon Carlo, and the puck spit right into the slot area for Paul Byron to crash down and score the game-winner with Zane McIntyre unable to recover in time to gobble up the rebound attempt. The Habs game-winning goal arrived with just 1:02 to go in the third period, and gave the Bruins one last gasp effort where they couldn’t get one past Price.
David Pastrnak finished with four shots on net, what appeared to be the game-tying goal in the third period that would have ensured the Bruins of at least a point and a game that the Habs defense had difficulty containing for much of the evening. The goal was Pastrnak’s ninth of the season in just 13 games, and continues a real strong progression in his game to a dangerous offensive level for other teams game-planning against the Bruins. In all Pastrnak finished with four shots on net, eight shot attempts, a pair of hits, a takeaway and a blocked shot in 19:38 of ice time. He was one of Boston’s best players throughout the game, and kept on fighting even after Shea Weber rag-dolled him a bit on a shift in the first period.
BY THE NUMBERS
20-2-0 – the record for Montreal netminder Carey Price in his last 22 starts dating back to last season
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We deserved much more than what we got. It was disappointing in a way and encouraging in another that we played this well on a back-to-back.” – Claude Julien with mixed emotions after dropping a 3-2 loss to the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.