Comment
0
Tweet
0
Print
RSS Feeds

Canadiens force Game 7 with 4-0 win over Bruins

Tuesday - 5/13/2014, 4:26pm  ET

Montreal Canadiens' Lars Eller (81) celebrates with teammates Brian Gionta (21), Rene Bourque (17), Mike Weaver (43) and Nathan Beaulieu (40) after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period of a second-round NHL playoff hockey game on Monday, May 12, 2014, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

MONTREAL (AP) -- Old rivals Montreal and Boston are going to another Game 7.

The Canadiens kept up a strong pace and produced their best effort of the playoffs and Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist and Carey Price made 26 saves in a 4-0 victory on Monday night over the Bruins that staved off elimination.

The Eastern Conference semifinal series is tied 3-3 going into Game 7 on Wednesday night in Boston.

"It's sudden death now," Pacioretty said. "Everything in the past will be forgotten once Game 7 rolls around.

"They like playing in their building. We have to find a way to come out the same. We're a frustrating team when everyone's skating like that and everyone's on board. We have to find a way to do that again."

Pacioretty, who had only one assist in the first five games, scored and set up Thomas Vanek's goal in the second period. Lars Eller scored in the first for Montreal and Vanek added his second of the game into an empty net with 3:56 left.

"I was just waiting for my time to pitch in offensively," Pacioretty said. "Obviously you wanted it to happen more often in the playoffs. But I feel confident. You want to feel you're helping the team win and I think I did that."

It is the same scenario as the previous time the teams met in the postseason in 2011, when the Canadiens won at home to force a Game 7. That year, they lost the decisive first-round game in overtime and Boston went on to win the Stanley Cup. It is the 34th time overall the teams have faced each other in the playoffs.

The game turned in the second period after the Canadiens, leading 1-0, held off a fierce Boston attack through a 5:11 stretch without a whistle. It included killing a minor penalty to P.K. Subban and was highlighted by a Price stop at the doorstep on Milan Lucic.

Defensemen Mike Weaver and Josh Gorges shared a nearly three-minute shift in the midst of it.

"You're just buying time," Weaver said. "I think guys at that point, you've just got to be positionally sound. You can't be chasing all over the ice."

Not long after, rookie Nathan Beaulieu threw a pass up the middle that Pacioretty chased down and went in alone to score.

Boston coach Claude Julien felt that stretch was his team's best chance to make a game of it.

"The second goal probably hurt us the most because we were spending a lot of time in their end and we had some great chances to tie the game, but that kind of turned the tide around," Julien said. "I didn't like the way they got their goals tonight.

"But we had more lines going than we've had this whole series. We spent a lot of time in the offensive zone, but if you hit posts and miss open nets. ... You've got to bury those chances. Tonight they came back to haunt us."

Asked what he expects from Game 7, Julien said: "I expect us to win."

When Montreal coach Michel Therrien was asked the same question, he said: "Anything can happen in a Game 7. That's the beauty of it."

The TD Garden crowd in Boston jeers Subban, but the Canadiens defenseman denied feeding off it. Even if he has had some big moments in that rink, including a late goal in a 4-2 loss in Game 5 on Saturday.

"I don't give them that credit," he said. "I go and play the game.

"I play to win, I don't care who's there. I don't care if there's nobody in the stands. I'm going there to win. It's irrelevant to me. I hope that it's a hostile environment. It makes it all better."

Montreal's big move was to bring 21-year-old Beaulieu in to replace Douglas Murray on the third defense pair. The team's 2011 first-round draft pick responded to his first career NHL playoff start with an assist and a plus-2 performance in only 9:36 of ice time.

"I never played at a pace like that before," he said. "It was incredible. It was good to get the first period under my belt and I felt I settled down after that."

Montreal got off to a strong start after a rousing pregame show and the teams played at a frantic pace through the first two periods.

Despite having the best of the play in the opening 20 minutes, the Canadiens needed an unusual play for the only goal.

   1 2  -  Next page  >>