In a game that saw the Bruins in a virtual must-win scenario and captain Zdeno Chara suiting up after missing Game 2 with dehydration it was imperative the Bruins came up big tonight. Fortunately for them, they scored first and scored enough early on to hang on and win 4-2 to get themselves back into the series against the Canadiens.
First period goals from David Krejci and Nathan Horton and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period when Rich Peverley took a Carey Price (21 saves) turnover and turned it into a gift goal. The rest of the game would be zeroed in on goalie Tim Thomas.
Thomas stood tall making 34 saves to get the win and while the Canadiens turned up the pressure getting goals from Andrei Kostitsyn late in the second and Tomas Plekanec in the third, but Thomas would buckle down and keep the Habs at bay. Chris Kelly would score an empty net goal to seal the deal for Boston.
Boston’s win helps to re-energize them after being down about as low as a team can get after losing both games at home to start the series. The key tonight was getting the first goal and making sure that Montreal couldn’t settle in comfortably and turn the rest of the game into an uphill battle for the Bruins. Boston will need to do that the rest of the way to make the struggle harder for the Canadiens.
Montreal, meanwhile, has to be let down as they had a chance to put the Bruins on the brink of elimination with a win tonight and failed. Seeing the game ultimately come down to Peverley’s goal off of Price’s turnover has to be doubly frustrating given the way they fought back in the third period putting huge pressure on Thomas.
The key for tonight’s game was Thomas and after coming up small in Chara’s absence in Game 2 he needed a big game to get back into the positive flow of things. Mission accomplished tonight for Thomas and the Bruins fed off of keeping the Montreal fans quiet for the better part of the game. Getting a goal from playoff newcomer Nathan Horton helps out too. They’ll need to keep that focus heading into Game 4 if they don’t want to head back home for Game 5 down 3-1.
The Minnesota Wild hope to turn things around, yet facing the Dallas Stars certainly ratchets up the degree of difficulty.
On the other hand, sometimes that’s the best way to regain confidence: overcome an especially formidable obstacle.
Whether the Wild flounder or rebound, you can watch the action on NBCSN and stream it via the link below.
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Not surprisingly, Edmonton’s 8-1 loss to the Islanders on Sunday didn’t pass without consequences.
The Oilers announced this morning that defenseman Griffin Reinhart had been sent down to the AHL. Additionally, defenseman Justin Schultz is expected to be a healthy scratch tonight in New Jersey.
Reinhart was a team-worst minus-4 versus the Isles.
Schultz, whose name has been coming up in trade rumors…
…was a minus-2.
“He needs to watch a game and reflect on his play and what his impact is offensively and defensively,” coach Todd McLellan told reporters of the decision to sit Schultz against the Devils.
Darnell Nurse and Adam Clendening, scratches in Brooklyn, will replace Reinhart and Schultz in the lineup.
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.
Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds has taken exception to criticisms from Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault, in the wake of Simmonds concussing Blueshirts captain Ryan McDonagh with a punch over the weekend.
“Vigneault can say whatever he wants. He’s the coach, that’s his opinion,” Simmonds said, per CSN Philly. “I don’t really care. I’m protecting myself; guy comes to cross check you in the head. I didn’t know what he expected. I had no intention of hurting him and I feel bad about that. That’s not what I want.
“I may play physical and I like to take the body. I fight occasionally. But by no means am I a dirty player, trying to run around and injure guys.”
Simmonds was tossed from Saturday’s game after punching McDonagh, but wasn’t suspended by the league. McDonagh missed New York’s next game — Monday’s 2-1 win over the Devils — and the lack of supplemental discipline incident irked Vigneault, who had words for both the officials and Simmonds.
“An All-Star player gets sucker-punched, goes down,” Vigneault said following the Flyers game, per The Record. “I wonder if that’s (Sidney) Crosby, what happens? What are the consequences?”
At this point, it’s probably worth noting the Flyers and Rangers play each other on Sunday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
Worth circling that one on the ol’ calendar, methinks.