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Friday, December 6, 2013

Bruins Drop Out of 1st Place in the Atlantic Division, Fall 2-1 at Canadiens

Normally I would rip the Canadiens and their lame fans to shreds but I lack the venom tonight after watching the Bruins lose 2-1 at the Bell Centre and defenseman Johnny Boychuk get wheeled off on a stretcher with some sort of serious injury (back?) early in the first period. The good news about that is he flew back with the team so their doctors can check him out.

Montreal earned the win and they are now in first place in the Atlantic Division. Granted, the Habs have played two more games than the Bruins but only have one additional point to show for it. Oh well, let's not get the facts caught up in a Stanley Cup parade scheduled for Montreal in December. What's that, they play three more times this season?

The weird part is that Boston dominated in the first period (outshooting Montreal 10-3) and the third period (16-6) but only had one goal to show for it. Conversely, the Canadiens basically saved up all their limited energy for the second period (outshooting Boston 18-7) and it paid off. The Canadiens (18-9-3) scored both of their goals in the frame as they won their second game in two nights to improve to 8-0-1 in their last nine games.

The Bruins (18-8-2) hadn't played in a game since Saturday night which is an eternity in the NHL. Gregory Campbell opened the scoring at 17:35 of the first period thanks to a 2-on-1 with Milan Lucic. His second goal of the season was assisted by Lucic and Dennis Seidenberg (specifically his skate which he used to kick the puck to Looch).

Tomas Plekanec beat Tuukka Rask (25 saves) with a sharp angle shot at 9:16 of the second period. You don't see Rask give up many goals like that but credit to Plekanec who picked a corner, top shelf. He gets paid too you know. Josh Gorges and former BC Eagle star Brian Gionta had the assists. Shawn Thornton and former Ranger Brandon Prust dropped the gloves when it was 1-1 but the fight wasn't anything to write home about.

Just like there always seems to be drama when the B's visit Montreal, Max Pacioretty morphs into a Hall of Famer when he plays Boston. This evening that meant scoring the game-winner at 17:42 of the second period on a backhander through traffic. Raphael Diaz and Brendan Gallagher had the assists.

Sadly, we'll probably have to root for Pacioretty on Team USA at the Olympics which is no fun. Conversely, it should be fantastic to hate on Carey Price (32 saves) who is making a push to be Team Canada's starting goaltender.

Boston gets a breather on Friday but things don't get any easier as they host the Eastern Conference's top team-Pittsburgh (20-9-1, 1st in Metropolitan Division)-on Saturday night (7, NESN) then travel North of the border (again) to Toronto (7, NESN) on Sunday night. The B's and Penguins split their first two matchups this season with each winning on home ice, Boston most recently won 4-3 in OT on Nov. 25 when Torey Krug ended it with his first career overtime tally.

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