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Friday, October 17, 2014

Bruins Completely Flop In Their 1st Game Vs. Canadiens Since Last Postseason

For the first chapter of Bruins-Canadiens in the 2014-15 regular season, it was more of the same carried over from last spring. Boston (ahem Milan Lucic) mentally got out of their game, their defense was a mess and the biggest issue of all continues to be Tuukka Rask's inability to beat Montreal.

The Canadiens (4-1-0) outlasted the Bruins (2-4-0) 6-4 tonight at the Bell Centre. Rask gave up five goals before he was mercifully pulled in the third period, in 18 career regular season starts vs. Montreal, he is 3-11-3 with .902 save percentage. Lucic further disgraced himself (and likely cost himself some money) by making a lewd gesture to the crowd after a boarding call with 1:20 left in regulation. This wasn't cool or funny, the B's were only down 5-4 at the time but that effectively ended it. He got a 10-minute misconduct and P.A. Parenteau scored an empty-netter to clinch it.

If you want to take a positive from this, Boston's offense finally woke up with a season-high four goals. They also blew two separate leads but that's another story. Zdeno Chara's power play goal, a tip in, was answered by Max Pacioretty's power play goal 2:30 after that in the first period. In the second, Boston's defense started to spring a leak or 10 as Brendan Gallagher made it 2-1 before Carl Soderberg tied it. Loui Eriksson gave the B's a short-lived 3-2 lead before they fell apart at the end of the frame. Jiri Sekac scored his first NHL goal and Parenteau slammed home a one-timer with 24 seconds left.

Gallagher's second goal (a slow motion redirect from a mile away) was incredibly soft and signaled the end of the night for Rask. Niklas Svedberg came in and credit Boston for showing some life as Simon Gagne potted his first tally as a Bruin. That was as close as they would get though as Lucic's selfish idiocy (granted the boarding call was probably based on his less than great reputation) sealed their fate.

Gallagher had a career-high two goals and an assist, Pacioretty put together a three-point night as well (1 goal, 2 assists) while David Desharnais, Alexei Emelin and Tomas Plekanec each notched a pair of assists. David Krejci, Chris Kelly and Lucic all had two assists for Boston in the loss.

After a back-to-back on the road against Atlantic Division rivals, Boston gets a day to regroup before closing out this trip in Buffalo on Saturday (7, NESN) at the First Niagara Center. The Sabres (1-3-0) are still one of the NHL's worst teams so the B's have to take advantage of that and come home with two more points. I expect Svedberg to get the start then, I never thought he'd get the call tonight since head coach Claude Julien wouldn't put him in that spot.

UPDATE 10/17: Lucic was fined $5000 by the NHL for his tomfoolery, the highest amount allowed without having a hearing.

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