In the Habs' Room: 'We had to step up and we didn't do it'

 

 
 
 
 
Matt Fraser #25 of the Boston Bruins taps in a puck after a score by teammate Carl Soderberg #34 against the Montreal Canadiens during Game Five of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 10, 2014 in Boston.
 

Matt Fraser #25 of the Boston Bruins taps in a puck after a score by teammate Carl Soderberg #34 against the Montreal Canadiens during Game Five of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 10, 2014 in Boston.

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

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BOSTON — The Canadiens’ resilience will be put to the test at the Bell Centre Monday night when they face the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of their Easteern Conference semifinal.

For the first time in the best-of-seven, the Canadiens are trailing after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Bruins Saturday night at the TD Garden. The Bruins’ win gave Boston a 3-2 lead which means the Canadiens are facing elimination when they return home.

“We had to step up and get the job done and we didn’t do it tonight,” said defenceman Josh Gorges. “We didn’t quit. We kept pushing, we kept battling. There’s no quit in this team and we know what the stakes are now and we’ll go home and make sure we’re ready for Game 6.”

Special teams proved to be the difference in the game. While each team scored two power-play goals, it was the timing of the goals that factored in the final outcome. The Bruins, who hadn’t scored on a playoff power-play against the Canadiens since 2009, scored two in a 33-second span early in the second period. That gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead and the Canadiens spent the rest of the night trying to catch up.

“I think our power play was due,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “After the first period, our power play was just average so we had a little chat and talked about bringing the intensity up there and winning more battles and making more plays. And it gave us those two goals which were huge for us.”

Gorges admitted that the Canadiens might have experienced some frustration.

“Pucks were bouncing and they weren’t going our way,” said Gorges. “We were fighting (the puck) a little bit but that’s going to happen. You have to be resilient. The second period was the key, they had a couple of power plays and we didn’t get the job done.”

Frustration might have also played a part in the penalties that led to the Boston power-play goals. Tomas Plekanec left the Canadiens shorthanded three times and was in the box for both of Boston's second-period goals.

“We couldn’t really establish much right from the get-go,” added captain Brian Gionta,. “We were chasing the puck, we didn’t transition well. They brought the play to us for most of the game.’

The Canadiens used their speed to win Game 3 with a series of breakaways but the Bruins have tightened up on defence. The closest the Canadiens had to a breakaway Saturday night was a rush by David Desharnais, whose weak shot was pushed aside by Tuukka Rask.

P.K. Subban scored the Canadiens’ second power-play goal and he matched Max Paciorettry’s six shots on goal, but this wasn’t his best game of the series. He had a running battle with Milan Lucic and appeared frustrated at times. At one point, he slammed his stick against the boards at the end of a shift, but he dismissed the incident by saying: “I’ve done that before. It was nothing.”

Subban also made reference to being sprayed with water from the Bruins’ bench but said he didn’t want to provide Boston with any bulletin-board material.

“I got hit twice in the face but I’m not going to make a big deal of it,” said Subban.

A videotape of one of the incidents indicated that the culprit was Shawn Thornton.

“They capitalized on a couple of opportunities early in the second period and that was a tough hole to climb out of,” said goaltender Carey Price.

Price said the Canadiens didn’t generate as much offence as they wanted but he credited the Bruins for being a tight defensive team.

“We made a late push, we just came up a little short,” said Price. “We’re definitely going to have to get more traffic in front of Tuukka (and) we’re going to have to get to the net.”

Coach Michel Therrien made one lineup change, inserting Brandon Prust in place of Daniel Brière. He said he hoped to being more energy to the fourth line but Prust was a non-factor in the game.

The coach also defended his decision to keep Douglas Murray in the lineup even though it’s difficult to insulate the defenceman on the road when the opposition has the last change. Murray, who was on the ice for the Bruins’ first goal, had three hits and three blocked shots.

 
 
 
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Matt Fraser #25 of the Boston Bruins taps in a puck after a score by teammate Carl Soderberg #34 against the Montreal Canadiens during Game Five of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 10, 2014 in Boston.
 

Matt Fraser #25 of the Boston Bruins taps in a puck after a score by teammate Carl Soderberg #34 against the Montreal Canadiens during Game Five of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 10, 2014 in Boston.

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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