Looking back at the 2011 Boston Bruins: March 24th, 2011

(Photo Credit: Stanley Cup of Chowder)

By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff

Following a dominating win over the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins looked to get a winning streak going as they hosted their archrivals, le Montreal Canadiens. The last time these two faced each other was March 8th, when Montreal dominated Boston 4-1. Boston looked to flip the script this time; they had the advantage of home ice in front of the T.D Garden faithful. Now, the last time these two teams played at T.D Garden, which was February 8th, we all know what happened.

We had everything from 14 total goals being scored, goalie fights, and about a dozen actual fights in the game, and it looked like it was going to be that way again, especially after the aftermath of Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty on March 8th. Tim Thomas would get the start in net while Carey Price was starting for Montreal. The Bruins would be without Daniel Paille and Steven Kampfer, while Montreal was without Yannick Weber, Alexandre Picard, and Tom Pyatt.  

Hot Start for Boston

The Bruins wanted to start the first period on the right foot or the right skate, you could say, and they did just that. Just a minute into the period, Johnny Boychuk sent a Johnny Rocket by Carey Price to put Boston on top 1-0. Three minutes later, Boston’s hot start would be halted when Dennis Seidenberg was sent off for tripping, and Montreal was on its first power play of the night. Tim Thomas was able to make spectacular saves against Mike Cammalleri, and Mathieu Darche and Boston were able to kill off the penalty.

A few minutes past the halfway mark, Gregory Campbell extended the Bruins lead to two when he tipped in a scorching slap shot from Zdeno Chara, and the puck trickled past Carey Price. As Boston continued to dominate Montreal in every aspect of the box score throughout the first period, with two and half minutes remaining in the period, Nathan Horton was able to pot a powerplay goal and give the Bruins an early 3-0 lead. The first period finally ended, and the assault on Montreal was put to a halt. Boston was able to outshoot Montreal 18-9, and it looked like Boston’s domination wasn’t going to stop.  

The Mugging of Montreal Continues

The second period started, and Boston’s attack on Carey Price did not slow down. Throughout the first five minutes of the period, Boston had seven grade-A chances to take a 4-0 lead but, Carey Price was somehow keeping Montreal in this game. At the 6:19 mark of the second period, Montreal finally got its first shot of the period when Benoit fired a backhand shot, but Tim Thomas had a phenomenal glove save. Throughout the second period, Boston had three quality chances on the powerplay to extend the lead but couldn’t get the puck in the net. 

With the second period about to come to an end and Montreal’s frustration going through the roof, Paul Mara and Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves at center ice. It was an even bout as neither could land any crucial blows, and both went to their respective locker rooms. After two periods of play, the Bruins were up 3-0 but, it could’ve easily been 8-0 if it wasn’t for some impeccable goaltending by Carey Price. The Bruins were outshooting Montreal 29-15.  

Olayyyy, Olay, Olay, Olay

The third was underway, and just 1:35 into it, Chris Kelly was whistled off for tripping, and Montreal had an early chance to try and crawl their way back into this game. Montreal wasn’t able to get anything going, and just 28 seconds after killing off the Chris Kelly penalty, David Krejci sent a beautiful saucer-pass over to Nathan Horton, and Horton put Boston up 4-0. 26 seconds after Horton scored, Adam McQuaid shot the puck five-hole right by Carey Price and Boston was hammering Montreal in the ground 5-0. After that, Montreal coach Jacques Martin had seen enough from Carey Price and put in backup goaltender Alex Auld. It sure looked like the Northeast division belonged to Boston the way they were playing this game. 

Throughout the next few minutes of the period, TD Garden was filled with “Olay” chants mocking the fans of the Montreal Canadiens. While those mocking chants were going on, Tomas Kaberle was able to net a rebound shot from Brad Marchand, and it was now 6-0 Boston. It was Tomas Kaberle’s first goal as a Bruin, and Boston was plain out embarrassing the Montreal Canadiens. With around six minutes left to play and Montreal struggling to get anything going, the Canadiens had a 5 on 3 opportunity to finally get on the board but, Gregory Campbell was able to intercept an entry pass and score a shorthanded 5 on 3 goal to make it 7-0 Boston. Soon after that, the period shortly ended, and the Canadiens were forced to pack their bags and head back up to Montreal.

Au Revoir Montreal

This game was a SKUNKING, as some would put it as Boston absolutely dominated Montreal in every aspect of this game. Before this game, many said that this game would impact how the division would shape out, and many were right. It looked very much so that this was Boston’s division to win. Boston was able to outshoot Montreal 41-24 and made them look like an AHL team. The three stars of the night were, Zdeno Chara who had three assists; David Krejci, who also had three assists; and finally, Nathan Horton, who had two goals on the night. One player that was not one of the three stars but definitely could’ve been was Tim Thomas. Thomas earned a shutout on the night after saving 24 shots. Boston would look to keep the hot train running as they would face the New York Rangers at T.D Garden on March 26th.  

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