Round 1, Game 4: Canadiens hold on for 3-1 lead

Canadiens’ Carey Price makes one of his 27 saves with Bruins’ David Krejci looking for a loose puck in in close during the second period on Tuesday night. Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette.

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The Canadiens grabbed a 3-1 series lead over the Boston Bruins thanks to a grizzled veteran, a stellar rookie and an solid overall performance by the whole team.

Patrice Brisebois broke a 0-0 ties with a power-play goal with less than a minute to go in the second period on Tuesday night and Carey Price made 27 saves for his first career postseason shutout in what was by far the best game of the series so far despite some tense final moments for the Canadiens as the Bruins pressed for the tying goal.

It was Brisebois’s third point in four postseason games and his goal was only the second of the series when the Canadiens were enjoying a man advantage. The Canadiens are now 2-for-21 on the power play.

Andrei Kostitsyn did all the work on the play as he wheeled his way around the Bruins’ zone before attempting a pass out fron that deflected right to Brisebois, who fire home a blistering shot that Bruins goalie Tim Thomas never saw. Alex Kovalev was given the second assist on the goal.

The Bruins came out flying in this one, desperately seeking not to fall further behind in the series and they kept the Canadiens off balance throughout the opening moments of the first period and most of the second period.

Just when it looked like the Canadiens were getting on track and gaining some momentum midway through the first period, Mike Komisarek took a kneeing penalty on Milan Lucic 7:38 into the period when he went low on the Bruins’ rookie with an attempted hip check.

The Bruins’ Petteri Nokelainen took an interference penalty 34 seconds later to negate the Bruins’ power play. When the Canadiens went on an abbreviated power play when Komisarek’s penalty ended, they narrowly avoided disaster.

The puck got behind the Canadiens defence and Carey Price came out to play the puck, but he mishandled it, but luckily, the Bruins weren’t able to get the puck into a yawning cage.

On Montreal’s next power play, it was again the Bruins who had the better chances to score as the Canadiens power-play unit continued to struggle and there were no signs of improvement until Brisebois’s goal late in the second.

In the third period, Price faced only six shots, but had to be sharp as his team desperately clung to a one-goal lead. The Bruins were buzzing the Montreal net throughout the period, but couldn’t rattle Price, who is showing why the Canadiens have shown confidence in the rookie goaltender.

Thomas stopped 27 of 28 Montreal shots, but didn’t face as many tough shots as the Canadiens’ Price.

Both teams return to Montreal for Game 5 on Thursday night as the Canadiens will try and wrap up the series in front of 21,273 rocking Bell Centre fans.

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