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Kessel ties things up at 1-1 to end the first period

04.20.09 at 6:19 pm ET
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MONTREAL, Quebec — 18:46: The Habs, as expected, are all over the Bruins in the opening moments. Tim Thomas makes a number of saves including stop on a Saku Koivu forehand and a backhander from Alex Kovalev while thingsd were getting scrambly in front of the net,

17:10: Another good save by Thomas on Georges Laraque in front after Chrisopher Higgins threw a pick at the net from the sideboards.

16:20: First penalty once again goes to the Canadiens. Tom Kostopoulos is in the sin bin for the Habs.

The crowd is taunting Thomas with a sing-sing chant of “Thomas, Thomas, Thomas”.

The crowd has already banged around Patrice Bergeron several times in the game, and the Canadiens look like they’re targeting the B’s center.

15:00: Carey Price looks sharp tonight. Great save in front by Price on Chuck Kobasew on the rebound of a Marc Savard shot. This is the best the Montreal goaltender has looked in all three playoff games. Whatever Bob Gainey used as motivation today seems to have worked.

13:45: A P.J. Axelsson bids slides behind Price, but trickles right through the crease.

A good deal of testing shots on Thomas in the early going from the Canadiens skaters. Looks like they’re trying to make him work a bit more than the first two games.

10:22: Another move to rattle Thomas. Gregory Stewart shoved Dennis Wideman right into the netminder after the whistle.

10:02: Good stop by Price on Bitz the right post.

8:08: Goal by CHristopher Higgins. He wound up and took a blast from the left faceoff circle with Glen Metropolit acting as diving human screen in front of the net. Thomas got a piece of the puck, but it still trickled into the net.

5:05: Sharp glove save by Thomas Tomas Plekanec with Gregory Stewart rushing at him.

2:46: Snapping back-handed wrister from Alex Kovalev at the right faceoff circle. When the puck releases from his stick, it looks like it’s been shot out of a gun.

1:25: And like that, the Bell Centre is silenced. It all starts with a bad Mike Komisarek turnover in his own end that ended up on the stick of Dennis Wideman inside the blueline. Wideman snapped off a shot that looked as if it hit Phil Kessel’s raised stick in the slot, and then shot high past Price.

The Canadiens and Bruins are locked in a 1-1 tie after one full period before a frenzied home crowd in Game 3 at the Bell Centre.

Final notes before Game 3 in Montreal

04.20.09 at 6:16 pm ET
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MONTREAL, Quebec — Carey Price in net for the Canadiens. Scratches for the Habs include Mathieu Schneider, Alex Tanguay, Patrice Brisebois, Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrei Markov, and Francis Boullion.

Milan Lucic (suspension), Andrew Ference (undisclosed injury) and Matt Hunwick (ruptured spleen) are out for the B’s.

–Andrew Ference skated on Monday morning for the first time, but is still probably a few games away with an undisclosed injury.

–The Bell Centre crowd is absolutely bonkers to the start the game. This should be really interesting.

Campbell on HNIC talking Lucic, ivory towers

04.20.09 at 9:16 am ET
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Here’s an interview with NHL head disciplinarian Colin Campbell where he’s getting his feet held to the fire during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. He fumbles, bumbles and stumbles his way through the interview, and sounds very defensive throughout while babbling about an “ivory tower.” While I think Milan Lucic’s actions warranted a suspension and it was a justified action, Campbell really doesn’t have a good explanation for the Mike Cammalleri incident against Martin Havlat that went without any punishment larger than a minor penalty.

Here’s Campbell vs. Ron McLean…Ding, ding.

Lucic suspended by NHL for ‘reckless and forceful blow’

04.19.09 at 6:02 pm ET
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Bruins winger Milan Lucic has been suspended by the NHL for Monday’s Game 3 of the best-of-seven series after delivering a blow to the head of Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre in the third period of Game 2 on Saturday night. Lucic was assessed a match high-sticking penalty following the hit.

The Bruins contended Lucic hit Lapierre with his glove in self-defense as Lapierre approached him in front of the Canadiens’ net, but NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell ruled that Lucic’s hit was a “reckless and forceful blow” that merited both a match penalty and a one-game suspension.

“While it is unclear whether Lucic’s glove or stick makes contact with Lapierre, what is clear is that he delivered a reckless and forceful blow to the head of his opponent,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.

It’s expected that big forward Byron Bitz will take Lucic’s spot in the lineup for Monday night’s Game 3 at the Bell Centre.

Read More: Byron Bitz, Milan Lucic,

Report: Lucic to have disciplinary hearing with NHL

04.19.09 at 10:14 am ET
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According to a report on TSN, B’s winger Milan Lucic will have a hearing with NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Sunday after getting a match penalty in the third period of Saturday night’s Game 2. Lucic was given a minor penalty for cross-checking when he came up high to Maxim Lapierre’s head with his gloves and stick when Lapierre approached Lucic in front of the Montreal net. Following the game, the refs amended their call and slapped Lucic with a match penalty for the exchange.

 According to NHL rules, a match penalty results in ejection from the game along with suspension pending a review by the NHL Commissioner’s office. That review appears to now be underway.

Lucic gets match penalty, facing suspension pending review

04.19.09 at 1:52 am ET
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Following an incident in front of the Montreal net in the third period of Saturday night’s Game 2 victory, B’s winger Milan Lucic is facing a “suspension pending review” by the NHL after earning a “match” penalty. Lucic was wrapped in a physical altercation with Mathieu Schneider in front of the Canadiens net, and then raised both his stick and fist at the face of Maxim Lapierre as he approached Lucic. The B’s contend that Lucic hit Lapierre in the face area with his glove rather than the stick, but he was assessed a cross-checking minor, fighting major and game misconduct for his actions.

“(Lucic) might have lost his composure a little bit in that area, but what you have to remember is that he got elbowed in the head and then high-sticking by Schneider. Then Lapierre comes in and Lapierre’s been an instigator through the whole series and even during the regular season,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “What Looch did was react to (Lapierre) coming at him. It wasn’t premeditated, and in reviewing it (Lucic) hit him with his glove. He had the stick in his hands, but the glove hit (Lapierre) in the helmet. Had the stick hit him in the head then Lapierre would have been down, but Lapierre stayed up and kept going at Looch. If there’s one thing, we all know that it wasn’t premeditated.”

Was it a glove or a stick that Lucic used to hit the rushing Lapierre in the face as he approached the B’s forward? Were the Looch’s actions a suspendable, particularly after the NHL’s disciplinarian Grand Poobah Colin Campbell basically condoned Montreal’s actions at the end of  Game 1?

All these questions and more should probably be answered on Sunday. Either way it should be a pretty interesting Game 3 up at the Bell Centre on Monday night.

Read More: Claude Julien, Maxim Lapierre, Milan Lucic,

The Sheriff to the Rescue

04.18.09 at 11:38 pm ET
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The moment that the Boston Bruins found out that Matt Hunwick had his spleen removed on Saturday afternoon, Shane Hnidy knew his time had come to provide the best kind of boost.

And that’s what he did when he fired a shot from the high slot past an unsuspecting Carey Price. The second period goal was arguably the biggest of the game since it came five minutes after Alex Kovalev brought the Canadiens within one goal, 2-1.

“I went in for a screen and was just trying to get the puck off and it went in the net,” Hnidy said following Boston’s 5-1 win at the Garden that but the B’s up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

“Shane Hnidy has been a good player for us all year,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “Coming into our lineup and doing the job he did is to his credit because he’s worked hard in practice and kept himself sharp. And the minute he’s had the opportunity, he’s come in and played well.

“The fact he was rewarded with a goal,  I was really happy for him, and that’s the kind of team we have right now,” Julien said. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Matt Hunwick, NHL, Shane Hnidy
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