Zdeno Chara,  Travis Moen

Get your game notes: Bruins at Canadiens

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Montreal Canadiens hosting the Boston Bruins starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— With a win tonight, Boston will advance to the Conference Finals for the 2nd straight year & the 3rd time in the last 4 seasons. Prior to their recent run, the Bruins hadn’t reached the Conference Finals since 1991-92, the end of a 5-year stretch in which they made the Conference Finals 3 straight seasons & 4 of those 5 years (1987-88 – Lost SC, 1989-90 – Lost SC, 1990-91 – Lost Conf. Finals, 1991-92 – Lost Conf. Finals).

— Matt Fraser scored the game-winner in Gm 4 for the Bruins & Carl Soderberg opened the scoring in Gm 5 for Boston with his first-ever postseason goal. Despite the Bruins top line – Milan Lucic, David Krejci & Jarome Iginla – not producing at a high level this series, Boston’s 2nd & 3rd lines have come to play against Montreal:

source:

— The Bruins 3rd line (Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson) combined for 2goals-4assists in Game 5.
— Krejci, the league’s scoring leader 2 of the last 3 playoffs, has 0goals-1assist in the series.
— Smith leads BOS in goals (3) this series; Marchand/Soderberg lead BOS in points (5) this series.

— Montreal is 1-3 in their last 4 elimination games. In the last postseason series between the Canadiens & Bruins (2010-11 first round), Montreal won the first 2 games of the series (at BOS) then went on to lose 3 straight games before a Canadiens victory forced a Game 7 which Boston won at home, 4-3 in OT.

  • Boston is 20-4 all-time in Game 6s when holding a 3-2 series lead.

— Reilly Smith & Jarome Iginla scored power-play goals 32 seconds apart in the opening 1:36 of the second period in Game 5; the Bruins were 0-8 with the man advantage in the first 4 games of the series. Entering Game 5, Montreal had allowed only 2 power-play goals this entire postseason on 15 opportunities. Smith’s goal also snapped the Bruin’s postseason PP drought vs. the Canadiens going back to a Michael Ryder goal in Game 2 of the 2008-09 first round; Boston was 0-38 on the PP vs. Montreal in playoff competition between those 2 goals.

—  Tuukka Rask leads all goalies in GAA (1.70) & SV% (.940) this postseason & is tied in wins with 7 (Fleury – PIT, Lundqvist – NYR, Crawford – CHI). After allowing a total of 6 goals in 5 gms in the 1st Round, Rask allowed 3+ goals in each of Games 1-3 in this series but has since stopped 62 of 64 shots in the last 2 games.

  • Montreal is still the highest scoring team this postseason (3.22 goals/game) but only produced a total of 2 goals in the last 2 games after scoring 3+ goals in each of their first 7 games this postseason.

—  The team to score first has won each game in this series. Boston is 6-0 this postseason when scoring first; Montreal is 5-0. The Bruins were 41-6-2 (.857) during the regular season when scoring first. The Canadiens were 37-5-3 (.856) when scoring first during the regular season.

— P.K. Subban posted another goal in Game 5, his 4th of this postseason (all this series). He leads the Canadiens, and all defensemen, in these playoffs in scoring (12 points – 5th in playoffs). He has 4goals-3assists in this series.

Bruins’ Thornton fined for spraying Subban

Shawn Thornton
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Boston Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton may have thought he got away with the perfect crime spraying Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban , but his wallet will be a bit lighter because of it.

The NHL has fined Thornton $2,820.52, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for his unsportsmanlike actions near the end of Game 5. That amount works out to be a half-day’s pay, in case you’re wondering how that amount came to be.

Thornton sprayed Subban with water with 47 seconds left in the third period, something Subban noted after the game. No penalty was assessed in the situation and Subban said he couldn’t see out of his visor during play because of Thornton’s actions.

The Bruins and Canadiens have been finding different ways to annoy each other during this series and this latest incident just gets thrown on the pile. At least a guy getting sprayed with water is better than a bench-clearing brawl or a dirty hit, right?

If you missed how it all went down, here’s video of the situation late from Game 5.

Video: Roenick weighs in on how Bruins targeted Subban in Game 5

Jeremy Roenick
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It seems to have overshadowed a hard-fought win for the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

Bruins’ forward Shawn Thornton was caught on video spraying water from a water bottle at Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban during play late in the third period of Game 5. Subban was incensed, going straight to the referee at a stoppage in play.

Jeremy Roenick weighed in on how the Bruins were able to get to Subban in this most crucial game.

Video: Bruins’ Thornton sprays Habs’ Subban with water during play

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 7.01.31 PM
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Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban wasn’t at all happy after he got sprayed with water by Boston Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton late in the third period of Saturday’s game.

Subban was playing the puck near the Bruins bench, when Thornton, on the bench, sprayed him with the contents of the water bottle in his hand. The incident has become a major topic of discussion on Twitter, just moments after the Bruins defeated the Canadiens to take a 3-2 series lead and push their rivals to the brink of elimination in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“It happen twice. If it was me who did that it would have been in the news for the next 3 days,” said Subban after the game, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.

This isn’t the first incident involving a player using a water bottle to get under the skin of an opponent. Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry sprayed water into the glove of L.A. Kings forward Jeff Carter during a stoppage in play.

Bruins push Habs to brink of elimination with Game 5 victory

Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins - Game Five
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The Boston Bruins are one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference final.

The Bruins were the dominant team in a pivotal Game 5 against the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, coming away with a 4-2 victory to take a 3-2 series lead. This series now shifts back to Montreal, with the Habs needing a win to force a seventh and deciding game against their long-time bitter rivals.

The animosity built early – with agitators Brad Marchand and Brendan Gallagher jawing off the opening faceoff – and continued throughout. But the Canadiens ran into discipline issues and the Bruins were all too happy to make them pay.

Boston scored a pair of power play goals just 32 seconds apart early in the second period – Reilly Smith and Jarome Iginla tallied – to open up a three-goal lead. On both goals, Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec was in the box. He took three minor penalties through the first 22 minutes of the game, including one for knocking Tuukka Rask right over inside the Boston crease.

The Canadiens got one back to make it interesting late in the second period. Gallagher, who had been run into the end boards and was slow to get up, eventually did so, went to the net and had the puck deflect off him.

P.K. Subban also scored for Montreal, cutting Boston’s lead back down to two goals late in the third period. But it was far too late by that point.

Game 6 of this series goes Monday – back in Montreal.