Jeff Petry batted in his game-winning goal in overtime just 15 seconds into the five-minute, 3-on-3, overtime period to secure the, 3-2, victory for the Montreal Canadiens over the Boston Bruins Monday night at TD Garden.
Carey Price (18-13-4 record, 2.65 goals against average, .912 save percentage in 36 games played) made 41 saves on 43 shots against for a .953 SV% in the win for the Habs.
Tuukka Rask (13-8-3, 2.44 GAA, .919 SV% in 24 GP) turned aside 19 out of 22 shots faced for an .864 SV% in the loss for Boston.
The Bruins fell to 26-14-5 (57 points) on the season and remain in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division, while the Canadiens remain in 4th with a 25-17-3 record (55 points).
Boston fell to 16-3-3 when scoring first this season as Brad Marchand had opened the game’s scoring in the first period before Montreal added two unanswered goals.
It was the final regular season matchup between these two rival clubs, with the Bruins having won eight of the last nine games against Montreal entering Monday night.
Boston placed Colby Cave on waivers for the purpose of assigning the young center to Providence (AHL) prior to the game on Monday as Bruce Cassidy made no changes to his lineup with Steven Kampfer and John Moore serving as his only healthy scratches and Joakim Nordstrom (non-displaced fibula fracture) still out due to injury.
Despite the loss, one Bruins player reached a milestone in the action with David Pastrnak having appeared in his 300th career NHL game.
For just the second time since being fired by the Bruins, Monreal head coach, Claude Julien beat his former team (that he previously beat a bunch of times in his first stint with the Habs).
Mike Reilly tripped up Marchand at 8:16 of the first period and provided the Bruins their first power play of the night. Boston did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage.
Past the midpoint of the opening frame, Zdeno Chara interfered with Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who– as a result– tripped up Charlie McAvoy while falling.
Both Chara and Kotkaniemi were sent to the box at 13:46, leaving Boston and Montreal at even strength, 4-on-4, for the next two minutes.
While both teams were short a skater, Marchand (17) received an exceptional pass from Patrice Bergeron, then skated past Shea Weber and sniped a wrist shot past Price’s glove side a la Joe Sakic on any goaltender in his prime.
Bergeron (25) and Matt Grzelcyk (12) notched the assists on Marchand’s goal at 14:09 of the first period and the B’s led, 1-0.
Moments later, tempers flared as Kevan Miller and Nicolas Deslauriers dropped the gloves and exchanged fisticuffs. Both players received five-minute majors for fighting at 16:10 as Miller perhaps sought revenge for his shoulder injury that he suffered back in the day when Deslauriers was a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
Is it your modern day Milan Lucic vs. Mike Komisarek matchup? No, but it was a great fight nonetheless and we’ll take it considering the B’s and Habs rivalry.
Late in the first period on a face-off in Montreal’s offensive zone, Phillip Danault won the draw back to Petry for the shot from the point that Brendan Gallagher (18) tipped with incredible hand-eye coordination through Rask’s five-hole.
Petry (23) and Danault (24) had the assists on Gallagher’s goal at 18:27 and the Canadiens had tied the game, 1-1.
Heading into the dressing room for the first intermission, the Bruins led in shots on goal (11-6), blocked shots (8-3) and takeaways (9-6), while Montreal led in giveaways (3-2), hits (14-9) and face-off win percentage (57-44).
The Habs had yet to see any time on the power play– and, in fact, wouldn’t see any skater advantage opportunities all night as it was a relatively quiet night for penalties– while the B’s were 0/1 on the power play after one period.
Late in the second period, Victor Mete hooked Miller at 16:16 and the ensuing skater advantage for Boston did not go as the B’s had planned.
Less than a minute into their power play, the Bruins turned the puck over as Paul Byron (10) went unchallenged, breaking into Montreal’s offensive zone with speed and beating Rask with an elevated backhander to give the Canadiens the lead, 2-1, at 17:09.
Byron’s shorthanded goal was unassisted and was the league-leading 10th shorthanded goal allowed by Boston this season.
In the final minute of the middle frame, a scrum ensued post whistle, whereby Max Domi sought out Jake DeBrusk and everyone pulled on a member of the opposing team’s sweater.
Brandon Carlo received a two-minute minor for roughing, as did Domi, and the two players were sent to their dressing rooms early as the period was coming to a close.
Through 40 minutes of play, Montreal led, 2-1, on the scoreboard, while Boston led, 26-17, in shots on goal.
The Bruins maintained an advantage in blocked shots (11-6), takeaways (11-10) and giveaways (7-4) after two periods, while the Canadiens led in hits (22-17). Both teams were 50-50 in face-off win% heading into the third period and the B’s were 0/2 on the power play.
Boston couldn’t put anything past Price as the Habs struggled to generate shots on goal in the third period.
Late in the third, Michael Chaput sent the puck over the glass and received an automatic delay of game minor at 17:55.
Cassidy pulled his netminder with about 1:35 remaining in regulation while on the power play to try to tie the game and force overtime.
As the seconds were ticking down– both in the power play and in the game itself– David Krejci (10) found himself with ample opportunity to unload a wrist shot past the blocker side of Price while the Montreal goaltender was screened by DeBrusk in front of the goal.
Krejci’s power play goal tied the game, 2-2, and was assisted by Marchand (32) and Pastrnak (28) at 19:22 of the third period.
At the end of regulation, the Bruins led in shots on goal, 43-21, despite the scoreboard only reading, 2-2.
It took 15 seconds after puck drop in the overtime period for the Habs to work the puck in the offensive zone, generate a shot on goal and a rebound that Petry (10) batted out of the air for the odd, sheer good puck luck, overtime game-winning goal.
Domi (26) and Byron (7) were credited with the assists as the Canadiens defeated the Bruins, 3-2.
Upon the final horn, Montreal had stolen the extra point on the road, despite the Bruins leading in shots on goal (43-22), blocked shots (14-11), giveaways (13-7) and face-off win% (53-47).
Montreal finished the night leading in hits (29-23) and never had a power play opportunity. Meanwhile, Boston went 1/3 on the skater advantage.
The Bruins embark on three games in four nights with a game in Philadelphia against the Flyers on Wednesday, then back home at TD Garden for a matchup Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues and finish off their third game in four nights with their final game before the All-Star break on Saturday against the New York Rangers.