MONTREAL — The Canadiens put five goals past Tuukka Rask, chasing the reigning Vezina winner as they took a 6-4 win over the Bruins in their home opener at the Bell Centre.
David Krejci‘s blast from the point during a first-period power play grazed Zdeno Chara in front and sailed past Carey Price to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead on Chara’s first goal of the season. After Dennis Seidenberg was penalized for holding David Desharnais’ stick, Max Pacioretty scored a power play goal to tie the game.
Brendan Gallagher scored 7:43 into the second to give Montreal its first lead of the night, but the Bruins’ third line gave the B’s the lead again with goals from Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, the latter of which came off a Torey Krug pass that hit the wing in front and ricocheted in.
Jiri Sekac scored his first career goal, getting to the front of the net and burying a puck past a falling Rask as Dennis Seidenberg and Rene Bourque battled. The goal came amidst some shoddy coverage from Boston’s fourth line, which had Gregory Campbell for the first time this season.
P.A. Parenteau scored his first goal as a Canadien late in the second period to make it 4-3, while Gallagher’s second of the night chased Rask 7:17 into the third.
The Bruins’ chances of a comeback were killed in the final minutes when Milan Lucic took a boarding penalty for a hit on Alexei Emelin with less than a minute and a half to play. A Parenteau empty-netter — his second goal of the game — sealed the win for Montreal.
Simon Gagne brought the Bruins within one with less than six minutes to play after being moved from the fourth line to David Krejci‘s line. The goal was Gagne’s first goal of the season, as he made his Bruins debut Wednesday.
The loss dropped the Bruins to 2-4-0 this season, while the Habs improved to 4-1-0.
Here are some observations from the game.
- The Bruins rarely allow 5-on-5 goals when Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron are on the ice, which is one of the things that annually makes the Bruins among the best 5-on-5 teams in the league. For a frame of reference, they allowed just one such goal in the lockout-shortened season.
On Thursday, the B’s allowed two such goals, as both of Gallagher’s goals came against Bergeron and Chara. Gallagher’s second goal of the night marked the third time the B’s have given up a 5-on-5 goal with both stars on the ice, as Gustav Nyquist accomplished the feat last week.
- Carl Soderberg’s line with Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly is too good to break up. Though it’s technically Boston’s third line, it has played against higher competition all season and has enjoyed long stays in the offensive zone. Eriksson has obviously been a candidate to potentially play right wing on Krejci’s line, but Claude Julien would be wise to keep the trio together at this point.
Soderberg’s goal came off a pair of rebounds, as Eriksson jumped on a rebound in front, with Kelly’s shot off that rebound yielding the rebound on which Soderberg would score.
Additionally, Soderberg’s line was the Bruins’ only trio to not surrender a goal in the game.
- Thursday marked the first time this season that the Bruins scored more than two goals in a game.
- Dennis Seidenberg’s season is off to a rough start. He took a holding the stick penalty in the first period that led to Pacioretty’s goal and had a turnover about seven minutes into the third in the defensive zone that led to a Montreal scoring chance.
- Campbell and his line had its struggles against Montreal’s bottom-six forwards, allowing lengthy Habs possessions and being passive in front of the net on Sekac’s goal. Campbell missed all of training camp and is a work in progress.
- P.K. Subban was the latest victim of embellishment calls, as he was given a penalty for appropriately reacting to getting speared by Brad Marchand. The NHL is giving out warnings for embellishing before fining players and coaches, but the video is first reviewed. It would be foolish if Subban received a warning, just as it would have been for Marchand to get one last week when he was wrongfully penalized against the Red Wings.
- Some goofball was shining a thick green laser on the ice during a game. The green dot was aimed at Tuukka Rask, among other spots on the ice.
The lineup was as follows:
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Gagne – Campbell – Paille
Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – McQuaid
Krug – Miller