NHL Game Summary - Boston at Montreal
(Tuesday, March 20th)
Final Score: Montreal 1, Boston 0
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Guillaume Latendresse scored the lone goal of the contest, and Jaroslav Halak notched his first career shutout as the Montreal Canadiens edged the Boston Bruins, 1-0, in the front end of a home- and-home series at the Bell Centre.
Halak stopped 30 shots, including 14 in a busy third period, for Montreal, which has won four of five. With 80 points, the Canadiens are now tied with the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The New York Rangers hold the seventh spot with 81 points.
Tim Thomas finished with 31 saves for Boston, which has lost five of its last seven games.
"From my point of view it seemed like we were battling the whole game," said Thomas. "We just weren't able to get the job done. The effort was there in my mind. They did have the momentum for a few minutes in a row in the second, and they ended up with a goal out of it. But the momentum didn't swing back our way after that."
Both sides skated to a scoreless first period, with Thomas and Halak each making seven saves in the effort. Montreal squandered two power play opportunities, while Boston couldn't light the lamp on its one chance.
The Canadiens finally scored late in the middle stanza, as Latendresse nabbed a forward pass from Andrei Kostsitsyn, made a nifty moved through traffic and finished the play by wristing the shot past Halak with a minute remaining.
The Bruins battled through the third and had a couple of scoring chances inside the final minute after pulling their netminder, but Halak stood tall down the stretch for Montreal.
"The defense played really good in front of me," said Halak. "Most of the time they were keeping the guys away so I could see the puck. It was great for me so I could make the saves. I was trying to focus, shot by shot, and now I have the puck for my first (NHL) shutout."
No team has swept a home-and-home set in this series since the Canadiens did it on December 17 and 19, 1981. These clubs meet again Thursday in Boston...The Bruins have lost in six of their last seven visits to Montreal...Halak was making just his ninth start since being recalled from Hamilton of the AHL...Montreal was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Boston finished 0-for-1.
03/20 22:37:00 ET