Habs win opener in double OT
BOSTON—Carey Price was all-world in goal while P.K. Subban delivered a double-overtime dagger with a blast from the blueline as the Montreal Canadiens held off the hard-charging Boston Bruins for a wild 4-3 win in the opening game of their second-round series.
No wallflower, Subban savoured the spotlight last night after scoring two power-play goals and leading all skaters with 33 minutes, 49 seconds of ice time.
Is there a better feeling than scoring a double-overtime winner, he was asked?
“I’m sure there’s a better feeling,” the 24-year-old replied after pausing to reflect.
“Winning the Cup.
“That’s one win for us [tonight] but we’re going to need a lot more to have the Holy Grail feeling,” Subban stressed.
Job 1 in Game 2 on Saturday is helping Price out more. The Canadiens’ goalie with ice in his veins faced 51 shots, compared to 33 for Tuukka Rask at the other end.
“We can’t be giving up 50-plus shots,” Subban conceded.
Price deserved the victory after staving off the Bruins’ comeback the way he did, Subban added.
“When a guy’s standing on his head like that, you’ve got to find a way to win,” he reasoned.
“It doesn’t matter who it is.”
Subban’s second power-play goal of the game came from the point through traffic at four minutes, 17 seconds—silencing the sell-out TD Garden crowd of 17,565, some of whom responded by tossing garbage on the ice.
Matt Bartkowski was in the box for holding, as he was for Subban’s first score.
Rene Bourque and Francis Bouillon also scored for Montreal, which outshot Boston 4-1 in the final OT period.
Reilly Smith, Torey Krug, and Johnny Boychuk had Boston’s goals.
A smiling Subban, whose ice time can be regulated by coach Michel Therrien depending on performance, said there was a simple reason for his success.
“I think that I’m always playing my best when I play a lot,” he said somewhat mischievously.
Subban also loves a big stage—and he delivered last night.
“A really solid game for us,” Therrien said of Subban.
Down 2-0 after 40 minutes, Boston came on strong in the third to force overtime.
Boston threw everything it had at Price, who kept the Canadiens in it while extending the roller-coaster game.
Price combined brilliance with a little luck in holding back the rampant Bruins.
“It was a battle,” Price admitted. “It was exactly what we were expecting.
“We just gutted it out. It was a hard-fought game,” he added.
“It could have gone either way.”
Boston nearly won it in the first overtime when a puck leaked through Price’s pads but somehow deflected off the post through the crease.
A pad save by Price saved the day later in the period, then the sprawling Montreal goalie robbed David Krejci on a backhand from in close minutes later.
Rask stopped Lars Eller at the other end to extend the game.
Boston outshot Montreal 14-6 in the first overtime period for a 50-29 overall edge. The final count was 51-33.
“I made some saves but I couldn’t make the game-savers as you say,” noted Rask, whose career mark against Montreal in Boston fell to 0-9.
Bruins’ coach Claude Julien was calm in the face of the loss.
“This is just Game 1 here. You don’t get frustrated after just one game,” stressed Julien, who had no complaints with the two overtime penalties called against his team.
“I didn’t mind the way our team played tonight,” he added. “We had lots of chances.
“Sure we fell behind 2-0, but we showed some resiliency and came back.
“I thought we carried the play for the most part.”
“The only thing is we have to find a way to bury those great opportunities that we had,” Julien said.