Meet Once More
The Canadians host the Bruins on Tuesday at the Belle Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with the opening face-off slated for 7:05 PM ET. This will be Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series that’s all knotted up at 1-1. According to NHL betting odds Boston is a -130 money line road favorite and the posted total is 5.0. The Canadians defeated the Bruins in 3 of their 4 regular season meetings this season. These teams didn’t see any of their 4 regular season meetings go over the total, but each of the first 2-games of this playoff series has surpassed the number.
Comeback for the Bruins
The Boston Bruins were staring at a 2-0 series deficit, and having to go to Montreal for the next 2-games. The Bruins trailed 3-1 in the latter half of the 3rd period, and then roared back with 4 unanswered goals to come away with a 5-3 win. It was a true test of character from a team that lost the opening game of the series in double overtime despite outshooting the Canadians 51-33. Boston has gone a very respectable 25-18 on the road this season, including splitting a pair of games at Montreal. The Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask is undoubtedly one of the best at his trade in the world. However, he’s been pretty ordinary in the first 2-games of the series, and it’s a safe bet that he’ll have to stand on his head in at least one of these games versus Montreal before it’s all said and done.
Opportunity Eludes the Canadians
If you would’ve told the Montreal players and coaches before this series began that they would earn a split in Boston during the first 2-games, they would have surely replied where do I sign up for that. Unfortunately for the Canadians they could’ve done far better than a split in hindsight. After winning a dramatic opening game of the series in overtime, the Canadians had Boston on the ropes in Game 2 holding a 3-1 lead past the midway part of the 3rd period. Then the roof caved in as Boston came with all guns firing to overcome the 2-goal deficit and even the series. Montreal goaltender Carey Price has been solid in the series thus far, most especially in Game 1 when he turned aside 47 of 51 shots on net. The Canadians will need to close the gap in regards to the territorial advantage if they hope to spring the upset, and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. They’ve been outshot by a wide margin through 2-games, and have relied way too much on Carey Price to bail them out. Hopefully for their sake getting back on home ice will boost their energy level and intensity, in order to alleviate some of the sustained pressure that Price has had to face thus far. Otherwise the Bruins will succeed in what they’re so adept at doing, and that’s wearing down their opponents.
They often say that Game 5 is often times the most pivotal game in determining who the winner of the series will be. I would agree with that adage in most instances, but not in this one. I think it’s imperative that the Canadians win Game 3 if they’re to have a realistic chance of moving on. I look for the Canadians to come out with a very inspired and intense effort at home on Tuesday. Give the slight nod in this one to the home side.
Free Hockey Pick: Montreal +110 over Boston