Habs advance to Eastern Conference final
Defeat Bruins 3-1 in Game 7 of semi-final series
Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (67) leaps from the bench as teammates celebrate a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, in Boston on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The Canadiens advanced to the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Rangers.
BOSTON - Carey Price outplayed Tuukka Rask to lead the Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins in the deciding seventh game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Wednesday night at the TD Garden. Price made 29 stops, including a game-saver on David Krejci early in the third period with Montreal nursing a 2-1 lead. Price sprawled to clear the rebound of Krejci’s shot and had luck on his side when Jarome Iginla’s backhander hit the post.
Max delivers: For the second consecutive game, Max Pacioretty came up with a big goal. Afer Dale Weise gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 2:18 of the first period, the Bruins picked up the pace in the second period. But Pacioretty put the Canadiens ahead 2-0 at 10:22 of the second period. Brendan Gallagher set the play in motion when he battled to keep the puck in the Bruins zone and David Desharnais set up Pacioretty, who beat Rask with a one-timer on a bouncing back.
Canadiens strike first: The first goal has been crucial in the second round of the playoffs and Montreal got off on the right foot when Weise scored his third goal of the playoffs. Brandon Prust chased down a loose puck in the corner and Daniel Brière spotted Weise open in front of the net.
Bruins power: Boston got on the scoreboard with a power-play goal at 17:58 of the second period when Jarome Iginla deflected Torey Krug’s shot from inside the blue line. Price had no chance on the play as Iginla’s deflection hit the post and went in. The goal ended a shutout streak of 103 minutes and 46 seconds for Price. The Bruins went 0-for-2 with the extra man, while the Canadiens went 1-for-5 with Brière adding an insurance goal at 17:07 of the third period. Montreal had the first three power plays of the game and managed only one shot on goal.
Record rivalry: The Canadiens and Bruins were meeting in the playoffs for the 34th time, a record for North American pro sports. It was the ninth time the teams have gone to seven games and Montreal now holds a 6-3 edge in those Game 7s. The Canadiens have an overall record of 25-9 in series against the Bruins and have a 15-9 overall record when they are involved in seven-game series.
Sellout update: The game at the TD Garden drew a capacity crowd of 17,565, which was 2,435 fewer than the 20,000 who watched the game on the big screen at the Bell Centre.
What’s next: The Canadiens now move on to the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers. That best-of-seven series will start Saturday at the Bell Centre.
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