|04.23.11 at 11:07 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
Brad Marchand got the Bruins on the board at 4:33 of the third period, beating Price for his first career playoff goal. The lead would later be relinquished as Jeff Halpern tied it at 13:56, breaking up Tim Thomas‘s shutout bid.
In skating to more than two scoreless periods, the teams made the 44 minutes of shutout hockey the longest a game in the series had gone without a goal. Prior to Saturday, a goal had been scored no later than 8:13 into the first period.
The teams will next play on Tuesday in Montreal for Game 6 at the Bell Centre; a win will permit the Bruins to advance to the conference semi-finals. If necessary, Game 7 will be played the following day at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Milan Lucic finally got involved on offense. After leading the team in goals during the regular season and tying for the team lead in points, he had just five shots and no points through the first four games of the series. He got the primary assist on the game-winner, and he did a much better job of making his presence known in Game 5. He led all skaters with seven shots on goal, consistently went in hard on the forecheck and found himself with a few quality scoring chances around the net.
– Lucic wasn’t the only one shooting for the Bruins in the first period, as their 12 shots on Price marked just the second time this series that the Bruins have hit double-digits in first-period shots on goal. It didn’t pay off Saturday for either team, but the B’s have the right idea.
– Michael Ryder was a temporary fan-favorite before the game thanks to his Game 4 heroics, but the crowd really took it to a new level in the first period when Ryder made what at the time was the save of the game, stopping Tomas Plekanec with Thomas way out of the net.
In addition to his work as a part-time netminder (he actually played the position in ball hockey back in his Canadiens days), Ryder continued to get chances Saturday as well, though none made their way past Price.
– Marchand came up with a clutch goal on a night in which he’d been made popular for the wrong reasons. First, he nearly went face-first into the ice in the second period while attempting to throw down with Plekanec on a play that earned each player a roughing minor.
At the second period’s conclusion, Max Pacioretty — possessing villain status around these parts for shoving Zdeno Chara and jumping Steven Kampfer at different points this season, but more widely recognized as the victim of Chara/a Montreal stanchion from March 8 — tweeted that the game was “longer than marchands [sic] nose.” Pacioretty deleted the tweet shortly after and apologized.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins probably would have preferred it if Benoit Pouliot remained in the lineup for the Habs, as Halpern was able to score the equalizer in his second game back in the lineup. Halpern got back in for the Canadiens on Thursday after missing Games 1 and 2 with a lower-body injury.
– Boston struggled in the faceoff circle, as Montreal won 33 of 57 draws through the end of regulation. The subpar performance on draws didn’t have a huge effect on the game until they lost a defensive zone faceoff that directly led to Halpern’s game-tying goal late in the third. The Canadiens were also able to kill some time when the Bruins were on the power play by winning faceoffs in their own end and sending the puck down the river. The B’s actually did a much better job in the first overtime, winning 14 of the 20 draws in the frame.
– The Bruins went 0-for-3 on the power play — including missing out on a chance to end it with a man advantage in the first overtime — and are now 0-for-15 in the series. They got some nice setups and some decent looks at the net, but they need to find a way to score on the man advantage, plain and simple. They still seem too lackadaisical when it comes to getting traffic in front and digging for rebounds. Shots from the point can be the best power-play strategy when you’re getting screens, deflections and rebounds, but the Bruins aren’t getting much of any of that right now. They’re starting to get some dirty goals at even strength; now they just have to carry that over to the power play.
|04.23.11 at 9:27 pm ET|
Max Pacioretty may not be able to play, but he can still chirp. Check out what the injured Habs winger tweeted after the second period Saturady (stick-tap to Michael Berger for finding the screen-grab after it was deleted):
|04.23.11 at 6:29 pm ET|
Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia and others at the TD Garden for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=544866eb6c” mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=544866eb6c” >WEEI.com Bruins Game 5 Live Blog</a>
|04.23.11 at 1:09 pm ET|
To say Milan Lucic has struggled this series would be an understatement. After leading the Bruins in goals and tying for the team lead in points during the regular season, Lucic has no points and just five shots on goal through four playoff games. Lucic said he isn’t about to get down on himself, though.
“This is not the time to get frustrated and be negative and bring yourself down,” Lucic said. “Because when you’re bringing yourself down, you might bring someone else down with you. You don’t want to be doing that.
“At this time of year, the only thing that matters is wins and losses,” he added. “It’s tough to be negative and feel sorry about myself when we’ve won the last two games. Other guys have stepped up and obviously played well. Hopefully they can keep their play up, and I just want to do whatever I can to start playing like they are. For myself, all my focus is to elevate my game and play the way I know I can.”
With the series now even at two games apiece, Lucic said he’s not only looking at Saturday night’s Game 5 as a fresh start for both teams, but also as a fresh start for himself.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a fresh start,” Lucic sad. “It’s almost like 0-0 again. For myself, it’s obviously hopefully a chance to get myself back and get myself going and start doing the things I know I can do.”
Starting slow in the playoffs is nothing new for Lucic. He was held off the scoresheet for the first five games of last year’s opening round series against Buffalo before breaking through with two assists in Game 6. He went on to register five goals and two assists against Philadelphia in the next round. Lucic said the key then and the key now is to find a way to get that one bounce that gets things going.
“I think it was just getting a good bounce,” Lucic said when asked how he broke out of last year’s slump. “When you start thinking positive again, it’s almost like a weight gets lifted off your shoulders once you get that bounce. It seems like the bounces haven’t really been there [this year], but you have to find a way to battle through things and get those bounces again.”
|04.23.11 at 12:26 pm ET|
All the Bruins were on the ice for Saturday’s morning skate except Mark Recchi, who opted not to take the ice. Recchi also opted out of Thursday’s morning skate before Game 4 in Montreal. The forward lines and defense pairings are expected to be the same as they were in Game 4.
The Canadiens had all hands on deck for their morning skate, but coach Jacques Martin hinted that there could be some changes to the lineup come 7 p.m. Saturday night. “We’ll decide on our lineup game time,” he said, adding that Montreal needs “more from certain people.”
|04.22.11 at 10:55 pm ET|
The Bruins are coming off one of the more exciting victories they have had in recent memory, as they came back three times to beat the Habs in overtime on a Michael Ryder goal less than two minutes into overtime in Game 4. With the B’s having tied the series at two games apiece, they can prove that there is such thing as a home ice advantage by beating the Habs in Game 5 Saturday night. Here’s what they’ll need to do in order to grab the series lead Saturday at TD Garden.
1. Believe in momentum
Claude Julien thinks that momentum is overrated, but if the B’s can keep Game 4 fresh in their minds, they should be able to go with a full head of steam. Coming from behind the way the Bruins did at the Bell Centre is no easy task, and it was a rather embarrassing game for the Habs to lose given that they blew three leads in their own building. The B’s confidence combined with whatever the slipping Canadiens are feeling is probably a good thing for Boston.
2. Find Milan Lucic
The Bruins are still waiting for their leading goal-scorer from the regular season to pick up his first postseason point. So far, he’s been kept off the scoring sheet and has compiled a minus-2 rating. An indication that he probably isn’t working his way out of it is that he has had one or zero shots on goal in three of the four games thus far in the series. He is definitely off for some reason, but if he can get more involved in the play and show signs of life, the Boston’s top line may actually resemble a top line.
3. Pepper Carey Price early
The Bruins have had nine shots on goal or less in the first period of three of the series’ first four games. That’s no way of finding out whether they can get to Price, and it has shown. Aside from the two pucks they were able to get past Price on nine shots in the first period of Game 3, the Bruins haven’t scored on Price until the second period. Here’s a breakdown of the B’s shots on goal and goals per period in this series:
Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins with 16 shots on goal this series.
4. Remember March 24
This series has been all about the road team thus far. The got the two goals in both Games 1 and 2 and sat back with the lead en route to big road victories. The Bruins scored a pair of first-period goals Monday and mounted a terrific comeback victory on Thursday. For whatever reason, the home team just can’t seem to win.
If the Bruins can think back to their March 24 win, they can change that trend. Johnny Boychuk scored 1:01 into the game, and the Canadiens seemed to give up at TD Garden from there, with the B’s grabbing a lopsided 7-0 win. The game was also Tim Thomas‘ lone shutout vs. the Habs, and though he’s looked fantastic at stretches during games this postseason, he has yet to dominate for 60 minutes.
5. Limit the turnovers
When the Canadiens have scored this series, it has often been because of uncharacteristic turnovers by the Bruins. It started when Tomas Kaberle put too much zip on a reverse in Game 1, and it has continued throughout the series. The B’s still have yet to play the type of game they need to, though the last half of Thursday night’s contest displayed guts like no other.
|04.22.11 at 9:04 pm ET|
MONTREAL — The fact that Mark Recchi is highly respected in the Bruins locker room should come as no surprise to anyone. The 42-year-old has seen everything in his time in the NHL, so when he talks, people listen.
The future Hall-of-Famer did just that after the team’s loss in Game 2 to the Canadiens, telling ESPN recently that he told teammates that they could come back from the 2-0 lead the Habs held after two games. After all, Recchi and the Hurricanes won four in a row to sink the Habs back in 2006 after dropping the first two games of the quarterfinals. The rest, as they say, is history, as the Hurricanes went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Recchi’s words were heard loud and clear by teammates, and they are now halfway to their goal of taking the series after winning Games 3 and 4.
“He said something the other day in the room and everyone kind of perked up a little like, ‘Wow. If Recchi said it, than it’s true,'” linemate Brad Marchand recalled Thursday morning. “It’s great having him here. He’s such a leader. Every time he steps up, he always says the right thing at the right time. It’s great.”
For Marchand, the inspiration from Recchi hasn’t been limited to speeches given to the team. Recchi told the rookie earlier in the season to expect criticism from him.
“One day he was like, ‘I’ll get upset with you. It’s not going to be about you missing a pass, or that you should have given it to me at this [point], but playing your position, little things like that.’ He’s just so good at critiquing you and helping you grow into your game and being in certain positions, stuff like that,” Marchand said. “He was always helping me, telling me to be a certain way or in a certain place. He was really good with that with me throughout the year.”
Marchand’s rookie season was a successful one, as he totaled 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points. Many of those points came playing on the same line as Recchi and Patrice Bergeron after beginning the season with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Though Marchand didn’t always play with Recchi, the help he got from the 42-year-old seemed to come all year after No. 28 expressed an interest in tutoring the youngster.
“He was just like, ‘Listen. I want to help you, and help you out in areas where I think you could maybe do things differently,’ but he never once got upset with me about a pass or anything like that,” Marchand said. “He never got upset with me in general. He would help me out, and any little teaching point that he could help me out with, he really helped me a ton.
“Little things, how he carries himself in the room and off the ice, when to talk to the guys, when to not chirp guys, stuff like that. It’s unbelievable the amount of stuff he knows and he sees throughout the game. He’s like another coach on the ice.”
So, what is a young player thinking when one of the best to play the game begins listing how he could do better? A sensitive player might be disappointed in some, way, shape or form or take feel like they’re doing something wrong. When it comes to Recchi helping Marchand, that isn’t the case.
“You’re very grateful right away, because some guys — a lot of guys — will just sit there and let you make your mistakes,” Marchand said. “He’s that guy that will step up. He likes bringing young guys along, you can tell. The way he talks to everybody, and all the young guys, he helps them out. I was very grateful to have a guy like him teach me things that maybe other guys wouldn’t have. I learned a lot from him this year.”
Recchi’s tutelage of Marchand isn’t the first case in which he’s helped a younger player. Among the youngsters Recchi has helped along the way is Jordan Staal, whom he let live in his guest house back when Staal was a rookie in the 2006-07 season.