December 13th, 2016 by

What we learned: Two goals stand up in customary nail biter vs. Habs

What we learned: Two goals stand up in customary nail biter vs. Habs

Game No. 30 of the season. That worn fact front and center Monday at the Bell Centre in Game 3 of the four-game season set with the Bruins’ No. 1 nemesis. Twenty of 29 games in the books with the Black and Gold scoring a measly two or fewer goals. Four of six in December; two in the last three without a “W.”

Can it get any worse? Well, yeah, if you want to point to the Bruins scoring six goals in their last three games, while the Canadiens put up six in just the first period Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche en route to a final 10-spot in that rout.

Ranked 23rd in the league with 67 goals in 29 games, 30 have come from the top line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, but Pastrnak has 18 of that total.

The Bruins dropped the first meeting with the Habs, 4-2, at home on October 22. On November 8 at the Bell Centre, 2-2 until a late Montreal goal (sound familiar?) pushed two points to the NHL’s best team thus far.

Would the B’s benefit from a shortened Canadiens’ bench after the losses of centers Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais, and defenseman Greg Pateryn?

“It’s not working the way it was, so what do you have to lose?” David Backes said after moving to the top line with Bergeron and Marchand at Sunday’s practice. “Jostle [the lines] a little bit, see if we can find a little chemistry and different methods at work. We had a hard 50-minute practice to instill those things into our game – a lot of net front activity – and it’s what we need to do and we’ll see how it sorts out tomorrow.”

The Canadiens were 14-1-2 at home into Monday night.

Here’s what we learned as things sorted out Monday night the way they usually do in Montreal when Paul Byron tied the game at 1-1 at 16:48 of the third period. But Boston grabbed the “W” in OT, 2-1.

Mano a mano in goal

The game featured the two best goaltenders in the NHL. How close? Tuukka Rask at 15-5-2 and a 1.80 GAA; Carey Price at 16-3-2 and a 1.80 GAA met for the first time this season. Neither disappointed. They battled at 0-0 until late in the second period. 

The Bruins had not beaten Price in the regular season since February 2013.

Happy Birthday, Austin Czarnik

The 24-year-old put the Bruins up, 1-0, at 18:55 of the second period when he wristed a 15-footer past Price

“I don’t care who scores them we just have to score.”

So said Claude Julien after Saturday’s 4-1 loss against Toronto about his anemic offense. Against Montreal, one-goal leads are extra torture – and Monday night was no different. At 1-0, Paul Byron beat Rask at 16:48 to tie it and set up overtime.

Spooner sticks a fork in Habs

A minute into OT, it appeared the Bruins escaped with a win when both Davids – Pastrnak and Krejci – stormed Price’s crease, leaving Pastrnak in the back of the net while Krejci rolled a dribbler past Price. But the goal was disallowed.

Then with just over a minute left in the extra session, Ryan Spooner went one-on-one with Price, and after a slight deke, found just enough five-hole at 1:40 to send Boston back with a rare win over their arch-rivals.

February 12 at TD Garden

Mark the calendar. This is the last meeting of the regular season between these two. That sinister stat sits at 0-7-2 in the last nine meetings of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry on Causeway Street.

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