“There’s no secret to my success. The atmosphere is good and I just try to stop every puck,” says Peter Budaj, making a save against the Boston Bruins in the third period during the game at TD Garden on March 24, 2014 in Boston
Photograph by: Jared Wickerham, Getty Images
BOSTON — There’s something about playing the Boston Bruins that brings out the best in the Canadiens, and that is particularly true for goaltender Peter Budaj.
Budaj made 28 saves and then stopped the four shooters he faced in the shootout as the Canadiens defeated the Bruins 2-1 Monday night at the TD Garden. The win gave Budaj a 5-2 record against the Bruins and he is a perfect 5-0 in Boston.
“It’s fun to play here,” Budaj said. “There’s no secret to my success. The atmosphere is good and I just try to stop every puck.”
Budaj almost accomplished that. He had a shutout until late in the third period when Patrice Bergeron tipped Dougie Hamilton’s shot from the blue line with three seconds remaining in a penalty to Michaël Bournival.
“(Budaj) was obviously awesome for us,” said Brendan Gallagher. “There were stretches where they pinned us in and they had a lot of momentum and he was making save after save. Sitting on the bench, you’d turn to the guy next to you and say: ‘How did he do that?’ But we knew he had that in him and we had confidence playing in front of him.”
Budaj had lost his last four starts but coach Michel Therrien said he felt confident the goalie would bounce back.
“He battled hard and made some big saves,” said Therrien. “You want to put an athlete in a position where he is challenged. It was a challenge for Peter and he responded the way we expected.”
Alex Galchenyuk had the only goal in the shootout and he said he was determined to beat Tuukka Rask, whose record against Montreal is now 3-12-4.
“I was just trying to score,” Galchenyuk said. “I was 0-for-6 in shootouts and I thought if I didn’t score, I’d never get another chance.”
“Every time we play Boston, you know it’s going to be a physical game and you could feel the tension from the first shift,” Galchenyuk said. “We were skating pretty good and they took some penalties in the second period and then we took a lot of penalties in the third period.”
The Canadiens were shorthanded three times in the first 10 minutes of the third period and Bergeron scored to tie the game during a fourth power play at 14:34.
“It’s hard to get a rhythm when you come off a good shift and then have to go on the PK,” Galchenyuk said.
Coach Michel Therrien said the penalty-killing effort was impressive because the team was missing players who normally kill penlaties. Lars Eller wasn’t dressed and Travis Moen and Dale Wiese were injured early in the game.
“We gave them four power plays in the third period and only allowed six shots,” Therrien said. “The guys on the PK did a great job, especially since we were down to 10 forwards for most of the game. A kid like Bournival isn’t used to killing penalties but we put him out there. I can’t say enough about (Tomas) Plekanec and (Brian) Gionta and the defence, guys like (Mike) Weaver and (Douglas) Murray did a great job.”
“I don’t know what more I could do because I can’t score goals,” said Weaver, who played 20:12, including 6:29 on the PK, and blocked three shots. “Our penalty killing was good and the best penalty-killer was our goalie.”
The Canadiens’ win snapped the Bruins’ 12-game winning streak but the Camadiens said that wasn’t as much of a motivating factor as the need to add two points to their record.
“It was like every game we play in this building,” said Plekanec. “We skate hard against them and they seem to have trouble with that. We took too many penalties but our goaltending was strong and the penalty-killing was strong, especially since we were missing two guys who normally kill penalties.”
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