May 15th, 2014 by

Player of the Game: Bruins-Canadiens Game 7

Player of the Game: Bruins-Canadiens Game 7

The Boston Bruins summer has started earlier than expected. One reason why? Carey Price outplaying Tuukka Rask in the series. And it was no different Wednesday night in Game 7 as Price bared down as the Bruins threw their best punch (which wasn’t great) stopping 29 of 30 saves on the road winning Game 7 by a score of 3-1.

Price was instrumental in helping the Canadiens advance on to the Eastern Conference Finals. He improved his record to 5-0 in elimination games this year including the Olympics in Sochi.

One of the main story lines before this series started was could Carey Price hang with Tuukka Rask. Boy, did he ever.

The Black and Gold may have hit a dozen posts, but Price kept his team in just about every game this series and it’s the reason why the Canadiens will be skating on to the next round.

Daniel Briere had a sensational game for the Habs netting the third goal while assisting on the first goal of the night that silenced TD Garden until Jarome Iginla gave the Bruins life in the second period. But, Price was better.

Following up on a shutout in Game 6, Price allowed only one goal in Game 7. Bruins coach Claude Julien tipped his hat to the opposing goaltender in his press conference after the game.

“Their goaltender Carey Price was outstanding,” Julien said after his team’s 3-1 loss. “He gave them a chance to win every night. There were some nights we thought we could come out with a win, but the way he played-he allowed that team to win every night and certainly when you play the way he did, it gave his team a lot of confidence. So, that was to me, one of the keys to their success was how strong Carey Price played for them.”

The Canadiens led by two or more goals this series in five out of the seven games they played against the Black and Gold. One reason is because their effort and execution was better, but another reason was because Price allowed his team to build a lead-making that big save.

Not only does he lead on the ice, but Price addressed his team during the second intermission and Michel Therrien applauded his goaltender’s character.

“For me, it showed a lot of leadership,” Therrien said after recording a win in his first career Game 7 as a head coach. “Price is a leader for us. He’s calm. He competes. He wants to play those games. He won the gold medal, those are demanding games and again tonight, he was outstanding. He’s a true leader for us.”

Price’s teammates know their goaltender came up huge for them this series allowing only one goal in their last two games. Defenseman Andrei Markov is just happy he is on his side.

“He’s unbelievable,” Markov said. “You know, like he made key saves for us. I don’t know, there’s not much to explain. He’s the best, you know.”

Max Pacioretty who struggled for the Habs leading up to Game 6, scored two goals in his team’s last two wins including tonight. He was happy his goaltender was confident even after letting in a goal that cut their lead in half in the second period.

“He shows up to work every day and in these playoffs he’s been great and it’s not just him stopping the puck,” Pacioretty said. “It’s him being a leader and doing things that it takes to be good.”

Price improved to 8-3 in the post season after tonight’s Game 7 win and will now have his hands full with a hot New York Rangers team. All the talk last series was can he match up against Tuukka Rask – well, he is about to match up against the hottest goaltender left in Henrik Lundqvist in a few days. Let’s see if he can block out the nonsense again and rise to the occasion like he did versus the Bruins.

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