Line-juggling helps Bruins to beat Habs
MONTREAL—Changing his lines in the third period paid off for Boston Bruins’ coach Claude Julien.
Julien moved rising star Tyler Seguin onto a unit with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, and it produced the tying and winning goals on its first two shifts as the Bruins nipped the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 last night.
“That Krejci line’s been awesome for us, but tonight they weren’t able to generate much, so I said, ‘Let’s move guys around here and give them a little spark’ and it worked out,” he added.
“Look at ‘Siggy’ driving the net on that first goal.”
Seguin sneaked in front to take a Krejci pass and lift it over Carey Price to tie the game only 14 seconds into the third period.
The speedy young centre then slipped the puck to the left-wing on a rush and Lucic fed it in front.
The onrushing Krejci got there just before Montreal centre Tomas Plekanec to tip it in at 2:05.
P.K. Subban scored his first of the season on a second-period power play for Montreal, which was stoned by Tuukka Rask while outshooting Boston 11-4 in the opening frame.
The Canadiens (6-3-0) ended a five-game home winning run.
“We played well in the first period, but starting in the second we kind of backed up,” noted defenceman Andrei Markov, who picked up his ninth point in as many games.
“We stopped playing our game.”
Boston ended up outshooting Montreal 23-22.
The Canadiens play tonight in Buffalo before facing the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
Julien called it the best game so far this season for Rask, who has built a 6-1-1 record as the starter while veteran Tim Thomas is on a self-assigned sabbatical.
Rask stopped Lars Eller on a breakaway 10 minutes into the game, and got a break in the second when Plekanec was in alone but lost control of the puck and shot it into the corner rather than at the net.
“He’s had the right attitude,” Julien said of his goalie. “With the high expectations, he’s just doing his job.
“He’s a normal goaltender, which might be a surprise to a lot of people,” Julien added.
“But he’s so easy-going. There are no issues.”
The Krejci, Lucic, and Nathan Horton line has been Boston’s best this season while Seguin went into the game in a slump with only one goal in the first eight games.
“I was feeling snake-bitten, but I’m glad one went in and we pulled this one out,” Seguin remarked.
“I feel I’ve been playing decently.
“I had a couple of goals called back,” he noted. “Things weren’t going in.
“But we got it going in the third.”
It was a mostly skirmish-free game for the rival teams, who stuck to strong positional hockey other than Montreal’s brief letdown in the third period.
The Canadiens did not allow the Bruins a shot on goal until more than 11 minutes into the game, but solid saves from Rask kept it scoreless.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Dallas edged Edmonton 3-2 (OT) and Anaheim blanked Colorado 3-0.