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Boston falls short, 1-0

Tuesday, 03.20.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
By John Bishop  -
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Boston falls short, 1-0\r\n
Podcast: BruinsCast

The Boston Bruins fell just short of the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night, 1-0, as a full house in Montreal's Bell Centre saw a strong defensive effort by both Northeast Division teams turn on one goal.

In a game played at Stanley Cup timbre, right wing Guillaume Latendresse of Ste. Catherine, Quebec, scored the winning goal and young Montreal netminder Jaroslav Halak, shut out Boston to give Le Club de Hockey Canadien two pivotal points in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Boston backstop Tim Thomas was outstanding in defeat and made 31 saves to keep the B's in the game for 60-minutes.

"They did a good job in the neutral zone and we didn't get established…until late," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "That was probably the difference in the game. The neutral zone was how they got their goal.

"I know one of our guys got beat, but it was an outnumbered rush and (that came out of) the neutral zone."

When the NHL schedule was distributed after last season, any member of the wide and varied fandom of the Bruins circled this week as surefire, on-ice entertainment. Bookended by a two game set with their chief American rivals, the New York Rangers, the B's would "enjoy" a home-at-home series with their ultimate nemesis, the Habs, in late March.

But despite the hype and the playoff stakes surrounding the Original Six match up, it was a very carefully played first period by both squads. The Black & Gold and Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge made sure to minimize mistakes and only three minor penalties were called (2 to Boston, 1 to Montreal).

Thomas, the Boston goalie, and Montreal young netminder Jaroslav Halak, each needed to make just seven saves in the initial session. Meanwhile, the rugged trio of Jeremy Reich, Ben Walter and Jeff Hoggan started the game for Boston and Bruins head coach Dave Lewis' newest energy line was involved in several scoring chances off the hop.

Much of the second period was a mirror image of the first, this time with the Stanislav Chistov, Mark Mowers, and Petr Tenkrat unit earning some notice. But with about five minutes remaining in the middle stanza, the "Flying Frenchmen" began to live up to their ancient moniker.

Thomas kept the Montrealers from gaining more than the one goal lead they had earned by the 40-minute mark. But the newest New England folk hero was unable to stop Quebec's latest legend-in-making, rookie Guillaume Latendresse, who scored his 16th goal of the year at 19:00 when he ended up alone in front after beating a Bruin defenseman to the puck.

It was the only blemish on what had previously been a superlative effort for the Boston goalie, and through two periods, Thomas had made 19 saves and several of the spectacular variety.

But the Habs rookies would rule the day and Halak would earn his first NHL shut-out on the strength of his 30 saves and Latendresse's lone goal.

Thomas, who fell to 30-24-4 on the season, finished the evening with 31 saves.

"We haven't scored a goal in six periods," said Lewis after the game. "We have to score. We were around the net sometimes, but not enough.

"For most of game it was pretty evenly matched. They did generate some more scoring chances in the second. We didn't get enough."

The Canadiens will follow the Bruins, who now reside in 13th place, back to Massachusetts for a return bout on Thursday night in the TD Banknorth Garden.
Coors Light - To the Black, The Gold, and The Cold




1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43


P. Bergeron 61 18 26 4 44
L. Eriksson 61 14 21 2 35
R. Smith 62 12 23 11 35
B. Marchand 57 18 16 8 34
M. Lucic 61 13 21 11 34
D. Hamilton 62 10 24 0 34
C. Soderberg 62 10 24 6 34
T. Krug 58 11 20 6 31
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 60 7 19 8 26
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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