(Photo: John Mahoney/The Gazette)
It was a must-win game for the Canadiens and they didn’t disappoint the louder-than-usual 21,273 crowd at the Bell Centre on Monday with a convincing 4-0 win over the Boston Bruins in a thrilling, fast-paced game.
“Everyone was on board,”said Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty who scored his first goal in the series, beating Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask on a breakaway.
“We saw that from the first shift. Everyone was skating,” he said.
“We’re a fast team and when we use our speed we’re frustrating to play against. And I think we were able to do that tonight. No passengers. Everyone played their best tonight,” added Pacioretty who also picked up an assist on Thomas Vanek’s power play goal.
The Canadiens went into Game 6 on the brink of elimination in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series with the Bruins. The series is now tied 3-3 and will be decided in Boston on Wednesday at TD Garden.
“Anything can happen in Game 7. That’s the beauty of it,” said Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.
Carey Price made 26 saves and earned his first shutout of the playoffs. He got some help in the third period from David Desharnais who pushed the puck back from the goal line, preventing the Bruins from scoring.
The Canadiens got off to a strong start with Lars Eller scoring at 2:11 of the first period.
Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu played his first playoff game in the National Hockey League and collected an assist on Pacioretty’s goal in the second period. Vanek gave the Canadiens a 3-0 lead with a power play goal in the second period, then scored again when the Bruins pulled Rask with four minutes left to play in the third period.
“I think we definitely fed off the crowd tonight. They were awesome,” Price said.
“It was a lot of fun to play in front of them. They gave us the momentum and the spark we needed.”
There was so much energy in the building, said Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban.
“I don’t think there was any time during the game where they were quiet. That helps,” Subban said.
“I thought we did a good job of putting pressure on their defence. Making them make tough plays,” Subban added.
“As a defenceman when guys are coming in hard like that on the fore check and making it tough for you every shift, it’s hard to make plays and get the puck out of your zone. I thought we did a good job of forcing them to make mistakes.”
You can hear more of what Subban had to say here:
You can watch what Pacioretty had to say here:
You can watch what Price had to say here:
(Video: Brenda Branswell)