For the second straight game at the TD Garden, as the clock struck three minutes remaining in the third period, the Boston Bruins’ faithful started shuffling for the exits.
For the second straight game, Carey Price and the Canadiens’ defensive corps did their job to a T.
Along the way to a 3-1 victory to give them a commanding 2-0 series lead, Price made 34 saves while the Canadiens’ defensemen and forwards blocked another 20-plus shots.
“One word for it would be ‘commitment,’" Price said. "Everybody in our locker room will do whatever it takes to win hockey games. Whether it’s our leading scorer blocking shots, Cammy (forward Michael Cammalleri) taking shots in the laces — everybody is going to do whatever it takes.”
After letting Price see the puck on the majority of their chances in Game 1, the Bruins preached a game plan of combining pressure and traffic in front of the Montreal netminder.
But even with more traffic in front of Price, the Bruins were stalled in all of their efforts except a Patrice Bergeron goal early in the second period
“They definitely got a lot of traffic, that was definitely their game plan,” Price said. “But we had the same game plan. We boxed guys out and made it a real battle and made it hard to get rebounds. Even if they do get to rebounds, they are gonna have lumber on them, so our guys are doing an excellent job of battling in front of the net.”
Price stonewalled a wide-open Milan Lucic with his glove on the doorstep in the second period to keep the Canadiens in the lead.
“Obviously, every once in a while you get a breakdown, and I just have to try and make myself look as big as possible. My guys have been doing a really good job of getting the loose pucks,” Price said. “I just tried to get something on it, really. I missed my push, and I just tried to flail body parts and got a piece of it.”
“We went crazy on the bench,” said Canadiens defenseman James Wisnewski about the save. “You know right away that is a game-breaker.”
Along with increased net pressure, the Bruins brought their trademark physical game, which didn’t seem to bother the Canadiens as much as the Bruins would have hoped.
After a hit by Wisnewski, which resulted in a Canadiens penalty, the Montreal defensemen was challenged by the Bruins’ Shane Hnidy, who was filling in for scratched Boston captain Zdeno Chara. Wisnewski was more than happy to oblige.
“It’s do-or-die time now. It’s the playoffs,” Wisnewski said. “We have come out and try to match their physical intensity, if not a little bit higher.”
Wisnewski had no problems helping deter any extra momentum the Bruins might be looking for on the power play by giving Hnidy about all he could handle.
“Our game plan isn’t about after the whistle or in between whistles,” Wisnewski said. “We make checks, get the puck out, get the puck deep and try to play our game as much as possible.”
The Canadiens head to Montreal with a 2-0 series lead, but the Habs don’t plan on becoming complacent while in the driver’s seat.
“Satisfying is the wrong word. I think happy and pleased to a certain extent, as far as definitely the result and some of the things we’ve been able to do,” Cammalleri said. “You go into a lot of these series and games thinking you can win every game, but at the same time there is always that ‘we will see what happens’ for everybody involved, and so some good stuff there, but far from satisfying. It is a long way to go.”