Tim Thomas was an immovable object during the regular season, the 37 year old recorded nine shutouts in the regular season but has yet to register one in the playoffs. Carey Price was one behind in the season but is one ahead in the post season.
Trailing two games to none, Boston and Tim Thomas came to play on Monday and skated away with a 4-2 victory. With the teams getting two full off days, both teams should be well-rested for Thursday’s Game 4.
The Boston Bruins have scored only five goals in this series and are the only team in playoffs without a single player with more than one goal. But despite its lack of offense, Boston has a chance to tie this series at two on Thursday. Having Zdeno Chara back at full strength for Game 4 should help the power-play, which has been non-existent (0-for-11), as the Bruins are the only team in the postseason to not have a power-play goal. Chara missed Game 2 due to dehydration, and was not 100 percent recovered for Game 3. Patrice Bergeron (goal, two assists) is the only Bruins player to have both a goal and an assist in this series.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price has been excellent so far in this series, allowing just five goals with a save percentage of .956. But Price has now lost six straight decisions at home in the playoffs. Montreal needs to get off to a better start in Game 4 if it wants to retake control of this series. David Krejci scored 3:11 into Game 3 and before Montreal could get a feel for the game they were down 3-0. They managed to cut the deficit to 3-2, but allowed an empty-net goal to end their comeback bid. Michael Cammalleri has been outstanding again for Montreal this postseason, recording a goal and three assists in the first three games.
The Bruins have never won an NHL playoff series when trailing 2-0 (they are 0-for-26 in their history), and need to get more offense out of their key players if they want to tie this series. Leading goal scorer during regular season Milan Lucic has yet to record a point this postseason, while Nathan Horton only has one goal. While Montreal won the first two games in Boston, that has not equaled success for the Canadiens in playoff seasons past. The only other two times Montreal won the first two games of a best-of-seven on the road (1996 vs. N.Y. Rangers, 2006 vs. Carolina) it lost the series. I’m taking Boston to win again in Game 4 and head back to Boston with the series tied at 2-2.
Both Craig Tattan in his report and the NHL betting trends siding with the Bruins:
BOSTON is 52-30 ATS (63.4%, +17.2 Units) in road games against poor defensive teams - opponents average 29.5+ shots on goal over the last 3 seasons. The average score was BOSTON 2.9, OPPONENT 2.4 - (Rating = 1*).
BOSTON is 20-10 ATS (66.7%, +30.8 Units) in road games off a road win against a division rival since 1996. The average score was BOSTON 3.5, OPPONENT 2.5 - (Rating = 1*).