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Bruins tie series 2 all on Ryder’s OT goal

In a stunning turn of events, the Boston Bruins took game 4 in Montreal, 5-4 in overtime. This was an incredible game to watch. It was very dramatic, and will be an instant classic in the storied rivalry of these two original 6 teams. Of all people, I never expected Michael Ryder to score 2 goals, and be the reason the Bruins won. He has been terrible in the first 3 games of this series. But, he turned it on tonight. Hopefully he looks this good for the rest of the postseason. Now, on to the game that was.

1st Period

This was a fast and furious game from the get-go. Montreal was applying a ton of pressure early. Just 3:00 into the game, they were already diving. Desharnais embellished a stick up high by Chara. Desharnais brought his own stick up to get around Chara, and in effect he lifted Chara’s stick right into his face. Very comical. He did not get the call, much to the displeasure of the booing Canadian’s fans. And of course, Desharnais was fine. Boston tried to bring the puck up ice, but it was taken away along the sideboards. The puck was sent back to Hamerlik who passed up to Moen. The puck came off his stick and into Boston’s possession. Boston brought the puck up ice, and had a huge chance to score first. Bergeron passed from the neutral zone to Recchi, who tried to pass back to Bergeron. Wisniewski couldn’t handle the interception, and Bergeron took it back. He then took a shot at the net, that bounced up high off of Price. Recchi caught it and gloved it down right in-front of Price, but shot a backhand wide. Just after 5 minutes into the game, Montreal started setting up camp in Boston’s zone. Montreal had a great chance off a rush. Gionta found the puck behind Thomas and made a turn-around pass to Moen right on the doorstep of the crease. Thomas held the post, and covered up the puck. Seconds later, Montreal had another great rush up ice. A shot came from the circle by Hamerlik and Thomas thought he caught the puck. It actually squirted out right to a Moen, but Thomas robbed him of a goal. Both teams were unable to get the offenses going midway through this game. But then, Montreal started bringing lots of pressure. Montreal dumped the puck in, and Thomas couldn’t slow it down in the trapezoid. It was picked up by Desharnais, who brought it behind the net. He passed to Cammalleri in the crease, but his shot was blocked. The puck bounced all the way to the point, and was found by Sopel. His shot hit Thomas in the right arm, and just snuck through for the first goal of the night at 8:13. The first team to score is 25-5 in this Stanley Cup Playoffs. So it is not looking good for the B’s. After that goal, Montreal really started to feel it. They brought tons of pressure, and the Boston offense looked very weak. Around the 11:30 mark, Boston started getting some sustained pressure in the attacking zone. They weren’t getting any shots on Price, but they were at least controlling the puck, which was better than letting the Canadians skate all over them. But, it eventually happened. Around the 13:00 mark, Montreal got some shots on Thomas. Gomez found Gionta who had a chance in the middle of the slot, but Thomas stuffed him. The rebound came right back to him on the blocker side of Thomas, but he made a great move to close the space and deny Gionta a goal. Montreal was hounding the puck, and getting shots all over Thomas. But the Canadians hurt themselves by getting an interference penalty by Lars Ellers at the 14:24 mark. Again, a pathetic Boston powerplay, and the game remained 1-0. The only thing it did do, was slow down Montreal’s momentum for a couple of minutes. Boston had some sustained pressure in the final 2 minutes of the period, but remained goalless. It was a crazy first period for Tim Thomas, but he was up to the challenge. He allowed just 1 goal on 15 shots. Meanwhile Care Price was barely challenged, stopping all 8 shots he faced. It was 1-0 heading into the 2nd period.

2nd Period

The second started like the first period, with tons of pressure from Montreal. Boston ran a great counter-attack, and a minute and a half into the period Chara shot a missile from the point. It hit Price in the left shoulder, tumbled over him into the crease. It looked like a sure goal, but Hall Gil found the puck and swatted it away from the goal line. Boston then had a chance off a Montreal change, and Michael Ryder was found up ice behind the Montreal defense by Kaberle. Ryder had a breakaway, and beat Carey Price high glove side at 2:13. It was now 1-1 in Montreal. Montreal ran a great counter-attack of their own. Tim Thomas made one incredible save after another. Boston came right back, but Price stonewalled ’em. It was a furious flurry of shots from either team. Cammalleri just missed on a chance all alone in the slot. The puck trickled wide, but was found by Gionta behind Thomas. He passed to Gomez who shot on Thomas in the slot. The puck hit Thomas in the gut, and bounced right to Gionta. He passed through the crease to Cammalleri who had a wide open net and scored at 6:52. Montreal went back on top 2-1. Just 55 seconds later on a 2-on-1 rush Kostitsan slips a puck in 5-hole against a spread eagle Thomas. It was now 3-1, and looking bad for Boston. Claude Julien decided to call a time-out to regroup his team. It seemed to have worked, as Boston upped the pressure. Peverley tried singlehandedly to get the B’s back into the game. Around 9:20 he skated up ice, deking out the Canadians defense and getting a shot on goal, but Price made a stop with the glove. Boston kept fighting though. Ference took a big hit to move the puck up to Bergeron. He skated into the Montreal zone, and passed to Marchand. Marchand had the puck knocked away, but a sprinting Ference shot a bomb on the loose puck and beat Price high glove side at 9:59. Great retribution for getting hit hard. Boston was now back in it at 3-2. Boston had a great surge, and started controlling the puck. As the 5 minute mark approached Montreal started getting control of the puck back. The game became a back-and-forth battle once more. Around the 16:50 mark Boston won a face-off in Montreal’s zone. They were able to control the puck by some great play by their defencemen. A shot by Seidenberg bounced off of Price. Marchand found it behind him, and passed through the crease to Bergeron, and Patrice buried it in the net at 17:04. It was now a 3-3 game. Boston controlled the puck in Montreal’s zone as the seconds ticked down. It was 3-3 heading into the 3rd.

3rd Period

As the third period started, Boston took the puck into the Montreal offensive zone. Just 37 seconds into the period Bergeron took a hooking penalty. Montreal had just their first powerplay of the evening. Montreal won the opening face-off, and took it to the point. Gionta had an opening in the slot, but his stick broke on his slap-shot attempt. Subban had the puck down low, and brought it to the circle. He surprised Thomas with a shot just above the blocker that hit the crossbar and went in. It was the first goal for Montreal on the powerplay, and it gave them a 4-3 lead just 1:39 into the 3rd. Boston finally was able to get a counter-attack started around the 7 minute mark. Brad Marchand tried a wraparound chance. The puck went by Price, and Bergeron found it. Price made the move and stuffed him. Suddenly, there was a pileup of red jerseys around Price. Marchand took a shot at the puck into the pile, but it stayed out. Then the puck was lost amongst all the bodies crashing around the net. Johnny Boychuck found the puck, and skated back just a little to improve his angle on Price. He took his time, and shot at the net. Carey Price somehow made the save with his glove hovering above the ice. Around the 8:30 mark, Boston had a great rush coming up ice. Horton came through the middle and passed to Lucic on his left. He passed from the circle across ice to Kreci. Kreci beat his man and deked Price to his forehand. He had a wide-open net for a backhand shot, but could not find the puck. Price found it and covered up. On the ensuing face-off, Lucic had the puck come back to him. It was in around his skates, and he tried to make a pass across ice. The pass was picked off by Cammalleri who now had a breakaway. But Thomas came out to take away his angle, and caught the puck in his gut. Montreal started playing very conservative hockey. The pace of the game slowed down very much. Boston started getting good looks at Price. Ryder brought the puck up ice, and sent it into the corner. Peverley picked it up, and passed back to Ryder. He went behind the net, and passed back to Peverley in the slot. He took a shot that rebounded in the crease. Kelly found the puck and jammed it through the 5-hole, and it was now a tie game at 13:42, 4-4. Ryder had another great shift, bringing the puck up ice. Going towards the back of the net, he passed back to Kelly who had another chance to score. Kelly hit Price in the chest, and the puck bounced away. Montreal brought the puck up ice, trying to get back into the game. The puck was brought down towards Tim Thomas, and passed through the crease. But no one was there to put it home. Boston held the puck in Montreal’s zone, and Seidenberg took a shot from the point. The puck hit Plekanec and he tried to make a self-pass up the boards. Seidenberg tried to make a check, and found himself in no-mans land. He locked up with and would get called for interference at . P.K. Subban took the puck off the face-off win. He went down to the corner-boards, and blew a tire. Boston picked it up, and Peverley brought it up ice. He passed to Bergeron, who got a high shot off on Price. He lunged with his right shoulder, and appeared to have hurt himself. Montreal was attacking relentlessly at the Boston net, but Thomas and the rest of the PK unit looked great. Montreal was kept out of the net, and the third period came to a close. Time for some OT in Montreal.


Overtime started, and Montreal had a chance early. Less than a minute in, Chara had the puck right next to Tim Thomas. He fanned on the pass attempt, and two Canadians jammed for the puck. The puck was found by Cammalleri who passed to Plekanec who shot a bomb at the net from the high slot. Thomas jumped out of the crease and made the save. Boston took the puck up ice, and had numbers due to another bad change by the Canadians. It was a 3-on-1 for Boston, but we all know how they disappointed last game going 0-3 on 3-on-1 chances. Peverley took the puck up ice, and shot just wide of the net. The puck was picked up by Kelly in the corner who passed through the crease to Ryder in the slot. Ryder calmed the puck down, and roofed it for the game winning goal. Boston, after never leading in the game all night, had just stolen its second game in Montreal 5-4 in OT.

Post-Game Breakdown

Wow, what a great game that was. It was fast paced, very thrilling, filled with tons of drama, and of course Boston coming out on top was just perfect. This was easily a classic game in this storied rivalry. It was a very even matched game the whole night. Montreal out shot Boston 38-35, and out chanced them 17-16. Coming into this series, I wasn’t too sure about Boston’s ability to finish. But after that game, I feel a little better. Michael Ryder was dynamite tonight, coming up with 2 goals. Most people around Boston wanted Ryder out for his ineffectiveness in the first three games, and instead wanted Seguin. I would put myself in that boat. But, Ryder knew the pressure was there and stepped his game up. The only problem is, will he do it next time out?

Boston played a very good game all around. Thomas was getting peppered all night. But he never lost his composure, and kept fighting through what was a very tough night in net for him. The defense made good passes for the second straight game. The first two games at home were littered with bad passing out of the defensive zone. They have cleaned that up, and are finding ways to get into the attacking zone. The offense has definitely improved. Although, it’s hard not to improve off of 1 goal in two games. In game 3, I said that this offense was lucky to have scored 2 of their 3 goals. But they really stepped it up tonight, and I was pleased by what I saw. Boston still has plenty of problems to worry about though. The top line of Lucic, Kreci and Horton is doing nothing. Kreci had a goal in Monday’s game, but he has also missed on two easy opportunities. Horton has not been able to get going. Subban has shut him down every time he’s on the ice. Luci has been invisible. It’s hard to say anything else about a guy when he doesn’t show up anywhere in a game. If that top line can get going, Boston could win Saturday night at the Garden. The powerplay has been pathetic all year. So why would that change in the postseason. Boston is 0-14 on the man advantage. Claude has to change something up, and take a different approach somewhere. I said that if Boston lost the first 2 at home, then they would lose the series. Well, they may have changed my mind. Boston isn’t in a must win situation on Saturday. Partially because they were able to win both games in Montreal. However, if they come out flat, and can’t muster anything in the game Saturday and lose, then I would not expect them to win when they go back to Montreal. If Boston wins the game Saturday night, then I would fully expect them to win the series. They then wouldn’t have to win the game in Montreal, but it wouldn’t hurt. Considering how bad this team is at home, and how nice it would be to rub it in those hypocritical disgraceful Canadian fans faces.

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