Boston Bruins 1, Montréal Canadiens 6: Final
Glen Murray watches as Christobal Huet gets a bead on his bid in the first period (NHL)
|The Canadiens Alex Kovalev, from Russia, is checked into the baords by Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara, from Slovakia, during the first period.
As seen on Versus --
The Montréal Canadiens got goals from six different sources as they skated to a 6-1 victory over their ancient rivals Monday night in Montréal. Canadiens netminder Christobal Huet (31-saves) was monstrous in goal and made a Bruins comeback, and an extension of the club's four game win streak, virtually impossible thanks to his acrobatics.
"This is a very humbling game," said Boston head coach Claude Julien following the game. "Just when you think you are on top you realize that you can come back down to Earth pretty quick.
"I think we did that tonight (and) if anything you hope your team can learn from that."
The Bruins visited Quebec in the first of eight games between these teams this season and the first of four games at the Bell Centre.
The game began with a very quick pace and with the Montréal crowd whipped into a frenzy by the appearance of new middleweight boxing champ Lucien Bute.
The Canadian champion presided over the ceremonial puck drop and both clubs hit the ice with their collective hair on fire -- as per usual for a Boston vs. Montréal matchup.
To set the tone for the evening, and with 10:48 remaining on the clock in the first, Montréal's Huet made a sensational stop on a Boston 2-on-1 presided over by Glen Metropolit and Glen Murray.
After making an initial save on Metropolit, the rebound ended up on Murray's stick in the slot. Miraculously, Huet stayed with the play and Murray's bid ended nestled in the big blue, blanc et rouge
pads of the Habs keeper and kept the score, 0-0.
Huet's opposite, Boston's Manny Fernandez was tested often, if less spectacularly, and was also up to the task through the first half of the first frame, but a defensive miscue after a lost face off in the Boston end led to a Chirstopher Higgins' goal for Montréal at 12:14.
|The Canadiens Christopher Higgins scores past Boston Bruins goaltender Manny Fernandez during first period.
Higgins' goal remained the only score of the period as the teams hit their locker rooms during the first intermission with Montréal leading, 1-0.
The second period started with the same frenetic pace and Huet needed to make several point blank stops early on.
With Boston unable to best his goaltender, Montréal's Tomas Plekanec won another face off in the Boston zone and the puck ended up on super sniper Alex Kovalev's stick -- he put the Habs up 2-0 at 6:28.
Boston spent much of the second half of the second period within the Canadiens zone, but Huet looked bigger and bigger as the stanza continued and the Bruins continued to send shots in the direction of the Montréal net without any satisfaction.
"When you get behind it is even more important to keep your composure and slowly battle back," explained Julien. "Instead we started missing chances and made bad decisions that put them in positions to score."
Failure to capitalize on their opportunities hurt the Bruins again when late in the second period a failed Boston bid turned into a 2-on-1 the other way.
Montréal's Tom Kostopoulos passed to Canadiens agitator Steve Begin and the latter beat Fernandez on a tip in at 17:48. That score sent the Bruins to the second break down by three.
|The Canadiens Kyle Chipchura falls over Boston Bruins' Marc Savard during the second period.
Just 1:45 into the third period Patrice Brisebois scored to give the Bruins an almost insurmountable task as they attempted to climb back into the contest from four goals down.
On the power play, Boston's Dennis Wideman attempted to do just that when he fired a puck by Huet at 6:41 to make the score, 4-1.
But with the Bruins pressing, and on a delayed penalty, Habs rookie Mikhail Grabovski killed the remaining Boston momentum when he beat a helpless Fernandez on a 2-on-1 breakaway to make the score 5-1, Montréal.
It was Grabovski's first NHL goal.
Montréal defenseman Andrei Markov beat Fernandez short side to make the final scorecard read, 6-1, Canadiens.
"It is tough mentally at this moment," said Fernandez post-game. "But I think I need to relax a little bit and get back into the right frame of mind."
Fernandez and the Bruins have a couple of days to regroup before facing the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
|Three star selections