Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban in post-game interviews.
Stubbs video capture
Quick game-over story on the Canadiens’ 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal, leaving the Habs one game from elimination against the Boston Bruins.
BOSTON – The Canadiens are facing a must-win situation Monday night at the Bell Centre after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Boston Bruins Saturday night at the TD Garden. The win gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal. The Boston power-play came to life with a pair of goals.
Missing in action: P.K. Subban, who has been poised on and off the ice during this series, was a study in frustration but he wasn’t the only Canadien who struggled. Max Pacioretty, Thomas Vanek and Rene Bourque once again failed to provide an offensive spark.
Bruins strike first: Carl Soderberg’s first NHL playoff goal gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 13:20 of the opening period. Carey Price made the save on Loui Eriksson’s shot from the slot but the puck trickled through his pads and Soderberg nudged it across the goal-line. He became the sixth Bruin to score his first playoff goal in this post-season. Eriksson scored at 14:12 of the third period to put Boston ahead 4-1.
The drought ends: When Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal at 1:04 of the second period, it ended five years of frustration for the Bruins’ power play against the Canadiens. The Bruins were 0-for-38 on power-play opportunities in playoff action against the Canadiens dating back to 2009. Smith redirected Dougie Hamilton’s shot from the blueline to give Boston a 2-0 lead. The Bruins made it 3-0 when Jarome Iginla scored another power-play goal 32 seconds later. Tomas Plekanec was in the penalty box for both goals.
Calling it tight: In the two previous games, there was a sense that the referees were letting the players play and there were only five power plays in the two games combined. In Game 5, there were six power plays in the first period alone as referees Eric Furlatt and Wes McCauley didn’t let much go. The Bruins went 2-for-4 on the power play while the Canadiens went 2-for-5. Montreal’s first goal was scored on a power play at 14:39 of the second period when Brendan Gallagher planted himself in front of Tuukka Rask and deflected a shot by Plekanec. Subban made the final score respectable when he scored on a rocket from the blueline at 17:31 of the third period.
Minor adjustment: Daniel Brière has assisted on three game-winning goals in this year’s playoffs and he was added during the off-season because he has played his best hockey in the playoffs. But he was a healthy scratch as Brandon Prust returned to the lineup after a two-game absence.
What’s next: The Canadiens are facing elimination as the series returns to the Bell Centre Monday night (7:30 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN-690 Radio). Game 7, if necessary, will be played Wednesday at the TD Garden.
Captain Brian Gionta:
Defenceman P.K. Subban (sorry for the jostling and rough ending):