NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 10th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (2-2) at Boston Bruins (2-2), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins will aim for their first lead of the
Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday when they host the Montreal Canadiens
in Game 5 from TD Garden.
Boston earned a 1-0 overtime victory in Thursday's Game 4 battle in Montreal,
with Matt Fraser, a call-up from the American Hockey League, providing the
only goal of the important contest.
Playing in his first-ever playoff game after being recalled earlier on
Thursday from the Providence Bruins, Fraser scored 1:19 into overtime to even
this best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
The Bruins lost the opener of this series in overtime before rallying late for
a win in Game 2. Montreal then posted a 4-2 win in Tuesday's Game 3 meeting at
the Bell Centre before dropping its second home game of the series in
heartbreaking fashion on Thursday.
A combined 65 shots through the first 60 minutes failed to find the back of
the net but Boston's third of the extra session made it in.
On the goal, Johnny Boychuk let fly with a big shot that Carey Price made the
save on and the puck bounced behind the net. It rolled to the front and Carl
Soderberg got a weak backhand off that Price also stopped, but Fraser was
there for a backhand of his own that went in to end the game.
"The puck was bobbing out in front," said Fraser. "I tried to sneak it out and
knocked it in. It's pretty exciting. I hardly slept today, being called up,
but this is just one game and we just tied the series. Now we go back to
Boston and continue."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fraser is only the sixth NHL player in
the past 75 years to score his first career playoff goal in a 1-0 overtime
game. He is the second this postseason as Minnesota's Mikael Granlund lifted
his team to a 1-0 OT victory over Colorado in the opening round.
Fraser, who scored an OT winner for Providence in this season's Calder Cup
playoffs, also became the first player in history to score overtime playoff
goals in the AHL and NHL during the same season.
Boston's Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots for his second shutout of the playoffs
and fifth of his postseason career.
"I saw the puck well tonight," said Rask. "They had a couple of shots that
were screens. But, for the most part, we did a good job tonight letting me see
the puck more. We didn't give them a lot. We managed the puck very well at
Price turned away 34 shots in the loss for the Canadiens.
This was the 10th time a playoff game between these long-time rivals had ended
1-0, with the last coming on April 15, 2008 when the Canadiens took Game 4 in
an eventual seven-game victory in the quarterfinals.
However, this was just the second overtime game to end 1-0, as the only other
time was on April 16, 1953 when Elmer Latch scored the Cup-clinching goal for
the Canadiens to finish off a four-game sweep.
"Both teams battled and I was happy by the effort of our team," said Montreal
head coach Michel Therrien. "Both goalies were phenomenal, both teams were
well prepared. We lost the battle in front of the net, obviously, on the
winning goal. But I'm pleased with our teams effort. When it's overtime, it
could go either way."
The winner of tonight's Game 5 will have a chance to end the series when the
clubs meet Monday in Montreal.
This series is the 34th playoff meeting between these Original Six rivals. The
Canadiens are 24-9 in the previous 33 series, but the Bruins have won the last
two (2008, 2011).
05/10 10:45:01 ET