Home > Boston Bruins > Bruins win game 7 in thrilling OT. Advance to Eastern Conference Semi’s to face Flyers again.

Bruins win game 7 in thrilling OT. Advance to Eastern Conference Semi’s to face Flyers again.

Wow, I can’t say it enough times, what a game. This was a great game to watch, providing great, although sometimes unnecessary drama. But, the Bruins came out on top, winning the third OT game of this series, 4-3. Nathan Horton scored 2 of those 3 game-winning goals, and Boston was 3-0 in OT in this series. Going into this game, the Bruins had not won a Game 7 since April 29 1994. And that game was against the Montreal Canadians. To make matters worse, Tim Thomas was 0-2 career in game 7’s, with a 3.45 GAA and a .889 save percentage. All time in game 7’s Montreal 13-8, and Boston was 9-10. Nothing was on the Bruins side, except that they had home ice. But even still, this is a team that plays terrible at home, losing the first 2 games of this series at home in fact. But through it all, the Bruins showed that they are a very resilient team. So, let’s see how we got here.

Boston vs Montreal Game 7

Picture courtesy of bruins.nhl.com

1st Period

The game started with Montreal getting the first shot on net. Boston brought the puck into the attacking zone, and Seidenberg got a point shot off for an easy glove save by Price. Boston controlled the tempo of the game early, which was a good sign. If the Bruins want any chance of winning this game, than they need to control the tempo. The B’s can not play a fast paced Canadian type game. Off a face-off win by the Bruins, the puck was brought around the net by Marchand, and passed to Boychuck at the point. He got a slapshot off that gets by Price on the glove side. Boston had a quick 1-0 lead, just 3:31 into the game. Boston was out shooting the Canadians 6-3, just 5 minutes into the game. Montreal won a face-off in their own zone, but pressure from Recchi forced a turnover. Marchand would pick the puck up, and send it around the boards. There it was picked up by Recchi, who passed towards Ference in the near circle. The puck was lost amongst a few bodies, before Ference finally found it. He passed the puck back to Recchi, who got a pea off from the high slot to beat Price high blocker side. Boston had a quick 2-0 lead against Montreal, just 5:33 into the game. Montreal took a time-out, to try to calm things down. This was exactly the type of start the Bruins needed, now they just had to break Montreal’s back with another goal. Montreal seemed to find themselves little by little as the period went on. And at 8:22, we would have our first penalty of the game. Off a dump in by Boychuck, Michael Ryder and Plecanek went into the corner for the puck. Plekanec had his stick lifted, and he fell down. Well, that was enough in the eyes of the officials to warrant a hooking call. The very dangerous Montreal powerplay now had a chance to get right back into this game. Boston did a great job on the penalty kill, quickly eliminating 1:20 of the penalty. But then, Daniel Pallie would lose his stick. Montreal took advantage of this, and set up a man on his side in the slot. Yannick Webber made a tremendous shot, just beating Tim Thomas high glove side. The game was now 2-1, 9:49 into the first. Both teams would start dumping the puck in, not being able to set up any offense. Both defenses stepped up their play, and their was no space for either team to operate. Boston had a chance, as Bergeron brought the puck into the attacking zone. He passed to Marchand, who took a shot from the near circle. The puck was deflected down, and went wide. Recchi would recover the puck on the far boards, and passed around the net to Marchand. Marchand skated to the near circle, and passed down to Bergeron. Bergeron passed back to Marchand at the top of the circle, and he passed to Recchi in the slot. He couldn’t get a shot off though, as he appeared to be hooked by Hamerlik. No call from the officials though. Boston dumped the puck into the corner boards, and Pialle and Sopel went to retrieve it. Thornton hit Sopel from the opposite side, and apparently lead with his elbow. He would go to the box at 16:02 for elbowing. The Montreal powerplay wasn’t doing anything this time around. Boston dumped the puck in, and Subban and Campbell went into the boards for the puck. Subban was pinned against the boards by Gregory Campbell, and he took an absolute dive. When Campbell went to skate away, Subban held onto his hand and fell down. It was just pathetic! The refs need to be looking for these kind of plays, and call a blatant dive when they see one. On they played, with no call to either team. With under 20 seconds remaining in the penalty, Montreal dumped the puck into the Boston zone. Kostitsyn got an inadvertent stick up high on Seidenberg, as he was trying to avoid contact with him. It was now 4-on-4 for 3 seconds, before Boston would go on the powerplay. Boston started with lots of energy, but they cooled off after a clear by the Canadians. Boston had a good set-up in the attacking zone, and were passing the puck around looking for a hole to open up. Seidenberg passed from the point to Kaberle at the top of the far circle. He slap-passed to Kreci at the top of the near circle. He passed to Lucic in the slot, but a great play by Sopel to tie up Lucic didn’t allow him to get the puck. The penalty ended, and Boston ended the 1st period with a 2-1 lead.

2nd period

The 2nd period started with heavy attacks from the Canadians. Tim Thomas made back-to-back incredible saves seconds into the period. The Bruins brought the puck up ice in a 3-on-2 rush. Lucic passed from the near circle to Kreci in the crease, but the puck went right through without a touch. Montreal started getting tons of pressure on Thomas, but he was stuffing everything. Chara went for the puck in the corner, and took a hit from Eller. Chara appeared to go down a little easily, and was able to coax a cross-checking call at 4:41. Just seconds into the penalty, Montreal cleared the zone. Thomas went to stop the puck behind the net, and Travis Moen poked the puck away from behind him. Thomas scurried back to the net, and was able to stop the puck 5-hole at the near post. Seidenberg brought the puck up ice, and tried to pass back to Mark Recchi. The puck hit his skates, and was picked off by Plecanek. He now had a breakaway, and he beat Thomas shorthanded. Montreal had come from 2 down to tie the game at 2, 5:50 into the 2nd period. The Boston powerplay looked pathetic, and resulted in 1 shot on net. Boston looked like a much better team 5-on-5. Nathan Horton brought the puck into the attacking zone. He skated into the far slot, and passed across to Kreci in the near slot. He got a backhand off, but the shot missed high. It was like the shorthanded goal reminded the Bruins that Montreal is a good team, and they need to finish this game out. Their play started to increase, and they were getting good looks at Price. Boston had upped the tempo, and was attacking furiously. Boston was now caught with men up ice during a line change, and the puck was passed beyond 2 lines to Jeff Halpern. Halpern now had a breakaway, but this time Thomas made the save. Boston came right back with the pressure. Off a neutral zone face-off win by Montreal, Subban skated back towards Price with the puck. Subban then attempted to make a dee pass, but he fanned on the pass. A pressuring Kelly took a stab at the puck, but was unable to make anything happen, and Subban recovered the puck. Montreal brought the puck up ice, and Boychuck hit Halpern in the numbers, and he hit the stanchion. It was a hard hit, but nothing serious. The refs though felt that was enough for a boarding call, and the B’s would now be a man down for the remainder of the 2nd. The Boston pk looked good, able to clear the puck, and block shots before they reached Thomas. The 2nd period would end, and the game was tied 2-2 heading into the 3rd. This was setting up to be a classic.

3rd Period

The 3rd Period started with the Bruins having to kill of the remaning 12 seconds of the Boychuck penalty. They pinned the puck in the corner boards, and we were back to 5-on-5 hockey. Boston was controlling the puck early, getting lots of shots on Price. The 1st line of Lucic, Kreci, Horton looked particularly good. They were controlling the puck, and not allowing quick counter-attacks by the Canadians. Kreci had a great chance of a drop-pass by Horton in the high slot, but Price made a great save. Bergeron brought the puck up the sideboards, and passed back to McQuaid at the point. He got a shot off, and the puck rebounded right to Recchi at the far post. Recchi had 2 chances on the doorstep, but he couldn’t find the back of the net. The first chance bounced on his stick, and the second hit the post. A huge miss for the Bruins, and the game remained tied. Montreal had a couple of chances coming up ice, but some great back checking by the Bruins would negate their chances. As Boston passed the puck out of their own zone, Jeff Haplern skated towards Andrew Ference. Ference didn’t have the puck, nor did he just pass the puck. For some reason, Halpern bumped into him. Ference leaned his shoulder into him a bit, but it didn’t look that harmful. Halpern immediately hit the ice, and stayed down. He was helped off the ice.  It was quite an odd play. The game continued without any penalties to either team. The Bruins were taking the puck up ice, when Kelly’s stick rode a bit high on Hamerlik, and poked him in the chin. He hit the ice, trying to draw a penalty from the refs. There was no call, and the Bruins now had numbers up ice. The B’s set up a great triangle, with Peverley bringing the puck through the high slot. He passed to the point to Ference, who got a shot off that hit Chris Kelly in his skates. Kelly picked the puck up in the crease, and buried it in the back of the net. Jack Edwards said it best when referring to Hamerlik, “He dove one time too many!” He really cost his team by diving, and leaving his team outnumbered. Oh, and Jeff Halpern came back off the ice, just 2 minutes after the hit he “suffered”. No 15 minute quite room for him I guess. Boston was playing with a fire in their belly. The offense was getting some great shots on Price, while the D was hitting everything that came near them. Ryder made a great back-check on Gomez. He chipped the puck off the boards, ahead for Kelly. He was in behind the Montreal defense, and he had a clean breakaway. But Price made a tremendous blocker save. The puck flipped just over the net, hitting the top of the net in fact. Montreal had a sense of urgency now in their play. They had a tremendous burst of offense, coming from a face-off win in the Boston zone. The puck was sent back for a point shot, but Thomas made the save. The puck rebounded to Cammalleri, who tried to get a backhand chance off. The puck appeared to bounce on him, and he couldn’t get a clean shot off. Thomas had dived to make a potential stop, and was now in a bad spot. Cammalleri passed the puck to the slot for a one-timer, but it hit Adam McQuaid in the chest. Boston brought the puck up ice, and there was now less than 5 minutes to go in the game. Recchi had the puck in the far circle, with a couple of bodies in the way. He shot across ice to the glove side, but Price made a ridiculous glove save. Boston had a face-off win in the Montreal zone, but Chara couldn’t handle the puck. Cammalleri took the puck, and had a breakaway chance. But great pressure by Seidenberg limited his space, and forced Cammalleri to pull up on his chance, and he lost control of the puck. Bergeron was attacking the puck, controlled by James Wisniewski. Bergeron tried to lift his stick, but instead hit him in the shoulder. Wisniewski swung his head back like he was hit in the face, and he drew the penalty. Watching the replay, you can see the stick hit Wisniewski’s shoulder. Just another fake, from a team built on faking and embellishing hits. Boston was called for a high stick, and Montreal now had a powerplay for 2 of the 3:23 left in the 3rd. And Montreal would get on the board, off a one-timer by P.K. Subban at 18:03. There was now just 1:57 left in the 3rd period, and it was all tied at 3. Boston would control the puck during the last minute, getting tons of pressure in the Montreal zone. But, it would not matter, as this game was headed for sudden death overtime at 3-3.

OT

The game started out very scary for Boston. A harmless chip shot by Gionta was deflected by a skate, and went right towards Tim Thomas. Thomas just kicked out the left leg, and then lunged at the puck with his stick. He poked it way away from the net, and Boston survived a quick scare. Kostitsyn had a chance coming into the Boston zone. He got a shot off from the high slot that Thomas stopped. The rebound came out, and trickled just past the far post. Thomas was making some tremendous saves early, with Montreal getting all of the pressure on Boston early. But Boston never gave u, fighting hard to get the puck on Price. Montreal won a face-off back behind their own net. Pressure from Lucic forced the puck around the net, and Subban tried to chip the puck out of Montreal’s zone. Adam McQuaid pinched up the sideboards, and kept the puck in the offensive zone. Lucic gloved the puck down, and brought the puck through the far circle. He passed to Nathan Horton in the high slot. He skated back towards the top of the near circle, and got a shot off. And for the second time in this series, Nathan Horton had scored a game winning goal in overtime. The Bruins had won the game, 4-3 in sudden death overtime, and had now advanced to the Eastern Conference Semi Finals.

Post-Game Breakdown

This was a classic, easily. Boston had a quick early lead, let it slip away, and then got it back. With under 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd, Montreal was able to tie it. And in an overtime that the Canadians dominated, Boston came away with the win. Just a great game to watch. Boston had plenty of chances to put this game away though, being up by 2 goals just 5:33 into the game. But, a lack of attention and attentiveness allowed Montreal to come right back into this game. The real problem was the special teams for Boston. Boston scored all 4 of their goals at 5-on-5 hockey. The Canadians meanwhile, scored 2 powerplay goals, and 1 shorthanded goal. The Bruins pk unit looked very good, but the Montreal powerplay is too good, and had been extra effective against the Bruins. I do expect the pk to improve going into the next round. Boston will need to improve their powerplay though, which was 0-21 in the series. The first time in NHL history that a team had won a playoff series, when never scoring on the powerplay. I was very impressed by the first line in this game. They looked better in tonight’s game then they had all series. Nathan Horton was of course, very clutch. He had 3 goals in the series, with 2 of them coming in OT. They need to build on this game, and turn it up against the Flyers.

And what an interesting match-up we have now. The Bruins will play against the team that knocked them out last year, after having a 3-0 series lead, and a 3-0 lead in game 7 at home. I feel very confident going into this series though, for several reasons. The Flyers really struggled down the stretch, losing the #1 seed that they held for most of the year. They had a grueling series of against the Sabers, including being shut-out twice by Ryan Miller. The Sabers and Bruins are similar team, so this could be a good thing going into the game. Philly is having some trouble with their goaltending, switching back and forth between Sergie Bobrovsky, and Brian Boucher. If Tim Thomas plays just as good, or better than he did against Montreal, then Boston could come away with a win against Philly. The Bruins did have a 3-0 lead against a very similar team last year, and Boston has made some changes to their lineup. Boston needs to make a few changes to their game though to come out on top. Obviously, they need to change something about the powerplay. Their D needs to continue to make good decisions with the puck, especially when making passes out of their own zone. Tim Thomas needs to keep out those soft goals, and the offense needs to be more consistent. The 1st line showed improvements, and they need to build on tonight’s game. I think that the Bruins will win the series in 6. If it goes to 7 games, then the Bruins will probably lose game 7, since it’s in Philadelphia.

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