BOSTON (AP) — Marc Savard scored two power-play goals and the
Boston Bruins moved two wins away from their first playoff
series victory since 1999 with a 5-1 victory over the Montreal
Canadiens on Saturday night.
Top-seeded Boston took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series
over No. 8 Montreal, which will play at home Monday night.
Savard also assisted on a power-play goal by Michael Ryder.
Boston’s other goals were scored by Chuck Kobasew and Shane
Hnidy, who replaced Matt Hunwick in the lineup after the
defenseman had surgery to remove his spleen Saturday afternoon.
Alex Kovalev scored for Montreal.
The Bruins offense was much more potent than in the first game
when the score was tied 2-2 until Zdeno Chara scored with 8:35
left. Phil Kessel’s empty-net goal gave Boston a 4-2 win
They scored on three of their first five power plays Saturday
and outshot the Canadiens 26-21 through two periods before they
focused on protecting the lead.
As their shooters kept putting pucks behind Carey Price, the
crowd chanted, “Carey, Carey, Carey” at the goalie as they waved
yellow towels with the words, “WE WANT IT” printed in black.
Price was replaced by Jaroslav Halak to start the third period.
The Canadiens have won 24 of 32 playoff series between the
teams, although they needed seven games to avoid being upset by
the eighth-seeded Bruins last year. Boston has dominated
Montreal this season, going 5-0-1 in the regular season.
Hunwick was hurt in Thursday’s game, probably when he was
checked during the second period, team physician Dr. Peter Asnis
said. He added that Hunwick felt “excellent” Saturday morning
but later felt an increase in pain and was taken to a hospital
where his spleen was removed. Asnis said it’s possible Hunwick
could return to play during the playoffs.
Savard gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 9:59 of the first period
with a 30-foot shot between Price’s right pad and the post with
Sergei Kostitsyn in the penalty box for hooking.
Kobasew scored at 15:12 of the period after he passed the puck
from behind the net to Mark Recchi, whose shot was stopped in a
crowd in front of Price. Kobasew scored on the rebound.
Kovalev cut the lead to 2-1 with his second goal of the playoffs
just 46 seconds into the second period. He sent a 30-foot shot
from the left circle to the near side of goalie Tim Thomas, who
had the NHL’s best goals-against average.
But less than five minutes later, the Bruins got that goal back
when Hnidy scored at 5:45 on a perfect setup. P.J. Axelsson
skated into the offensive zone with the puck and dropped it for
the trailing Hnidy, who shot from about 35 feet from straight in
front of Price.
Savard made it 4-1 on a give-and-go at 8:13 of the second, less
than a minute after a penalty to Greg Metropolit, who played for
Boston last season. Savard passed from the right side to Ryder
in the left circle then headed toward the net. He took the
return pass and beat Price from the bottom of the right circle.
The final goal came with 2.3 seconds left in the second. Thomas
started the play with a long pass, and Savard fed Ryder from the
left point. Ryder then fired from the left circle to the far
side over Price’s glove.