MONTREAL — Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said he wasn’t disheartened by his team’s 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins Wednesday night.
“They’re the Boston Bruins,” he said. “They’re a good team and they don’t give you a lot out there. I thought we played well, but there were some times that we didn’t execute and that hurt us.”
The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but a line change by Boston head coach Claude Julien provided the Bruins with a spark and they scored two quick goals.
“We weren’t getting any scoring chances in the first two periods so I thought we would change things up,” said Julien, who sent Tyler Seguin out with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Seguin tied the score at the 14-second mark on a pass from Krejci, who scored the game-winner at 2:05.
“The first goal, there was a little miscommunication and the second goal we got caught up in the forecheck in the neutral zone and we had a 3-on-2 coming back,” said Tomas Plekanec, who was a step behind Krejci as he crashed the net and redirected a pass from Lucic for the second goal.
“When you give up two quick goals like that in the third period, it takes the momentum away,” said captain Brian Gionta. “I don’t think we were outclassed. I don’t think we’ll be outclassed by any team. We just didn’t play our best game.”
The game was seen in some quarters as a test for the Canadiens and Plekanec was asked if the Canadiens received a passing grade.
“We lost the game so obviously we didn’t. I thought we played a good first period, but then we let it slip away. I thought we stopped skating, stopped moving our feet and they picked it up. We didn’t get enough shots on goal. They also blocked a lot of shots.”
Boston blocked 24 shots to 12 for the Canadiens, but Montreal did collect more hits than the big, bad Bruins with 31 to Boston’s 26.
“We had some breakaways in the first period and we didn’t score,” added Plekanec, who had one of those breakaways but lost control of the puck before he reached goaltender Tuukka Rask.
“My head was quicker than my hands,” Plekanec said. “I tried to deke him and go to my forehand and the puck got away.”
Julien noted that the Canadiens had a chance to tie the score in the third period, but David Desharnais missed an open net.
P.K. Subban scored the lone Canadiens goal on a power play in the second period, but Therrien said the Canadiens didn’t play well in the second period despite taking the lead.
Subban said the Canadiens were aware that the Bruins would pose a threat as the game went on.
“We spoke about it in the room between periods,” Subban said. “They hadn’t played a game since Saturday and we knew they would get stronger as the game went on.”
The goal was the first for Subban since he rejoined the team last week, but he said he didn’t want to talk about his individual play. He said he thought the team did a good job on the forecheck, but “we have to do it more consistently. I think we’ve played well to this point, but we’re still learning about what kind of team we’re going to be.”
The Canadiens are back in action Thursday night when they play the Sabres in Buffalo and Therrien has some lineup changes to contemplate. Look for Peter Budaj to get another shot in goal, but it might be difficult to get Ryan White back in the lineup because Lars Eller played well against the Bruins. He had only one shot on goal but he had three hits, two take-aways, two blocked shots and won six of his nine faceoffs.
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