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Penalties, two power-play goals by Habs force Game 7 in Boston

April 26, 2011

Bad penalties and dives by the Habs got the Canadiens two power-play goals, enough offense to take Game 6. (AP)

Power-play goals by Michael Cammalleri and Brian Gionta and some help by the referees got the Canadiens a 2-1 win in Game 6, forcing a decisive Game 7 in Boston tomorrow night. The Canadiens had two full 5-on-3 power-plays and a five minute major power-play when Milan Lucic was called for boarding.

The Bruins had equal parts dumb penalties and unfortunate calls by the referees put the Bruins in a hole long enough for Montreal to get a lead and shut down the defensive zone, prohibiting a Bruins comeback.

The Bruins fortunes were helped early when a fast whistle negated what would have been a clear goal for the Canadiens. A shot from the blue line was saved by Tim Thomas but squeaked to his right. The referee was obstructed by Thomas’ body and blew it dead before Brian Gionta put it into the back of the net. The Canadiens were visibly upset and play was delayed because Montreal fans threw things on the ice.

Both teams traded chances in the ensuing moments, with Boston getting some odd-man rushes but lacked finish early. The Bruins would build up momentum but give it up with the first penalty of the game when the Bruins were called for too many men. Then Dennis Seidenberg was called for slashing three seconds later, giving the Canadiens a 5-on-3 for 1:57. Mike Cammalleri would put the Habs on top on a 5-on-3 one-timer. PK Subban passed a dart from one side of the zone to the other for a cocked Cammalleri, who ripped it high glove side.

The Bruins would actually carry play for most of the remainder of the period but couldn’t get off the outside of the Montreal zone as the Habs kept Carey Price safe in the first period. The Habs were able to stick lift and end long shifts by the Bruins and kept Price safe. The Bruins would get a power-play with 21 seconds but it was whipped out with a goaltender interference penalty. Price dove after being brushed by Patrice Bergeron seven seconds into the power-play.

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The Bruins got a rare 4-on-4 goal from Dennis Seidenberg nonetheless. The Bruins did a good job of cycling and got the Habs scrambling. Dennis Seidenberg was behind the net and fisted a puck on net, hitting off of Price and in for a cheapie.

Milan Lucic would be sent off after a hit from behind on Jaroslav Spacek. The hit got Lucic five minutes and a game misconduct. Patrice Bergeron would make matters worse when he threw a puck over the glass, giving the Habs two full minutes of 5-on-3 hockey. Brian Gionta would get a goal on the 5-on-3 off a bad rebound by Thomas. The Habs outmanned the Bruins down low on the rebound and Gionta got to it first and potted it easily. Thomas couldn’t control the rebound in his body and then got up during the rebound, giving Gionta most of the net.

The Bruins would get the next power-play of the game with a chance to get back some of the momentum after five minutes of Canadiens. The Bruins, like usual, wasted the two minutes and didn’t get anything going on the power-play bid. The Bruins would get another power-play shortly afterwards when the Habs were called for too many men. This power-play would be worse than the prior one and gave Montreal even more momentum.

Jaroslav Spacek would give the Bruins a third straight power-play when he was called for hooking. The Habs would get off the hook when Nathan Horton was called for slashing, a ticky-tack call to say the least. Chara gave the Bruins a great chance on the 4-on-4, deking Price and getting it under him but Brad Marchand hit the outside of the post. The rest of the period would go by the wayside.

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The Bruins almost got a cheap one early in the period when a high shot dropped behind Price and he booted it right past the post, narrowly escaping the game-tying goal. From here on the Canadiens began to shut down the front of the net, packing bodies in the slot and blocking a bunch of shots and keeping the time of possession in their zone at a minimum.

In the final five minutes the Habs were content to lob the puck out of the zone and shut down their own zone. The Bruins would go down a man with 3:10 left in the third when Chris Kelly was called for high-sticking behind the Habs net. The Bruins had a great shorthanded bid but David Krejci couldn’t catch and roof it over Price who didn’t track the puck well. The Bruins pulled the goalie but to no avail. The Habs got the win and forced a decisive Game 7 in Boston tomorrow night.

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