Chara’s late absence costs Bruins game against Canadiens
Boston Bruins 3, Montreal Canadiens 4
When Zdeno Chara is off the ice for the Boston Bruins, there’s a lot more room for opponents to roam.
The Montreal Canadiens (14-4-4) took advantage of an extended penalty that kept Chara off the ice for 17 minutes Sunday night, scoring twice in the third period while Chara was serving out a two-minute minor for instigating, a five-minute fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct to earn a 4-3 comeback victory against the Bruins at TD Garden.
The game between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference featured plenty of offensive and physical fireworks. There were 48 penalty minutes, including the Chara scrum and a fight between Boston’s Milan Lucic and Montreal’s Brandon Prust in the second period.
Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton scored for the Bruins and Tuukka Rask made 22 saves.
- Chara was assessed 17 minutes in penalties for instigating a fight with Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin with five minutes to play in the second period. Chara took offense to a hit Emelin had thrown at Seguin in the neutral zone.
- The B’s are now 9-for-61 on the power-play and 72-for-79 on the penalty-kill. They failed to score on the power play Sunday and surrendered a power-play goal to the Canadiens. It wasn’t the team’s best showing, but Boston still leads the league with a 91.1 penalty-kill percentage.
- Montreal is two points ahead of Boston for first place in the East with the Bruins holding three games in hand. Expectations were low for the Canadiens, but Montreal has split its first two meetings of the year with the Bruins.
Players of the Game:
- Patrice Bergeron assisted on the B’s first goal and scored the second. The Bergeron-Marchand-Seguin line was the only line that delivered scoring for the B’s.
- Brad Marchand assisted on all three Bruins goals and was a factor in every scoring chance the B’s had. In the first period, Marchand stripped Josh Gorges of the puck and fed Bergeron, who passed to Seguin who scored at 10:47. In the second, Marchand’s passing led to another goal as he banked an outlet pass to Seguin in the defensive zone. Bergeron couldn’t convert Seguin’s cross-ice feed, but a backchecking Andrei Markov accidentally kicked in the puck at 4:06. Later in the second, Marchand whipped a shot on goal and the puck deflected off the stick of Tomas Plekanec and onto the blade of Hamilton who lit the lamp.
- David Desharnais scored two big goals for the Canadiens, including the game-winner.
Quote of the Game:
“We were able to capitalize off the loss of Chara,” said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. “Everyone knows he’s one of the best defensemen in the league.”
The Bruins will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Washington to face off against the Capitals (8-11-1). The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. at the Verizon Center. This is the first of three games the two teams will meet this season. Last season, Washington went 3-1 against Boston.