The Montreal Canadiens are now facing elimination.
The Canadiens lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference second-round series on Saturday, and now trail in the best-of-seven series 3-2. The Habs had a 2-1 lead in the series – and remember Boston’s third-period comeback in Game 2? – and were in position to perhaps inch closer to the biggest upset so far in these playoffs.
“We’ve lost a battle but we haven’t lost the war,” said Canadiens’ head coach Michel Therrien, as per Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette.
Up for debate was Therrien’s decision to sit Daniel Briere as a healthy scratch, choosing to play Brandon Prust instead.
The Bruins came alive Saturday, making the Habs pay for a lack of discipline, scoring a pair of power play goals just 32 seconds apart in the second period to open up a three-goal lead and ultimately a win.
“We seemed more in control. … That was a great effort on our part,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien, as per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
Of course, up for discussion afterward was incident toward the end of the game, when it appeared, based on video evidence, that Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton sprayed P.K. Subban with a water bottle while play was still going on.
The Bruins can now earn a berth in the Eastern Conference final with a win Monday in Montreal. Trying to wrap this series up on the road, of course, doesn’t seem like a particularly easy challenge.