goals have been scored in the 5 games between Boston and Montreal, with each team
scoring twelve underlining just how close the series is. The Bruins are up 3-2
and looking to close the series tonight.
needed a double overtime to take the series lead and go back on the road where
they have performed so well this season.
Home ice advantage is virtually nullified as Boston has won both games
in this series in Montreal and if their record is any indication, would
probably prefer playing in front of a hostile crowd rather than in the friendly
confines of the Boston Garden.
goaltender Carey Price has stood on his head this series and did so again on
Saturday night turning aside 49 of 51 shots.
Unfortunately for the Habs, it was just not good enough as his
counterpart Tim Thomas also turned in a stellar performance saving 44 of 45
shots and sealing a huge victory for the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens have the advantage on special
teams having killed all 15 of Boston’s power plays though their own power play
unit has not fared as well, connecting on only 2 of 16 opportunities. If the Canadiens are to push this series to a
7th and decisive game, they must figure out a way to put the puck in
the net when presented with the man advantage.
Bruins are looking to make history tonight.
Never, in their storied history have they come back from a 2-0 deficit
to win an NHL playoff series. The B’s are
0-26 in series’ where they dropped the first two games but ironically Montreal
has lost their last two series where they won the first two games back in ’96
against the New York Rangers and again in 2006 against the Stanley Cup
champions that year, the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Bruins have outshot the Canadiens throughout this series but perhaps
the most revealing aspect of this tumultuous battle has been the recent uptick
in performance by the Bruins top line. Nathan
Horton buried the game winner in Game 5 which was his second goal in as many
games while Milan Lucic had 7 shots on goal on Saturday after tallying only 5
in the previous games combined. Couple
their recent contributions with the pivotal play of Michael Ryder who almost
didn’t make the playoff roster and the outstanding goaltending of Tim Thomas
and this is why the Bruins are in command headed into Game 6 tonight.
have solved the riddle of the Canadiens to a point. They understand the need to stay out of the
penalty box and contain Montreal’s superior speed by being physical but not
foolish. The Bruins defense has been
hammering Canadien attackers when they cross the blue-line and Thomas has been
slamming the door shut on even Montreal’s most brilliant opportunities. The game is listed as a pick tonight at the betting odds window which is
apropos considering how tight the series has been thus far. But the Bruins have thrived all year on the
highway and with their first line now gelling, it should be a long night for
the home team and the beginning of a celebration for the visitors. Play
the Boston Bruins -110.