Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Canadiens force Game 7

MONTREAL — Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist in the second period and Carey Price had 26 saves Monday night as the Canadiens blanked the Bruins 4-0 to force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Game 7 is Wednesday in Boston.

Pacioretty, who had only one assist in the first five games, scored and set up Thomas Vanek's goal in the second period. Lars Eller scored in the first for Montreal and Vanek added his second of the game into an empty net with 3:56 left.

Rookie Nathan Beaulieu, the Canadiens' 2011 first-round draft pick given a surprise start by coach Michel Therrien, picked up an assist in his first NHL playoff game and was plus-2.

The Canadiens repeated the scenario of their 2011 first-round series against the Bruins, winning at home to force Game 7. Boston won that one in overtime on its way to the Stanley Cup.

Despite having the best of the opening 20 minutes, the Canadiens needed an unusual play for the only first-period goal. Kevan Miller lost the puck off his stick behind the Boston net then inadvertently tripped goalie Tuukka Rask as he tried to smother it, leaving Eller free to score unassisted just 2:11 into the game.

The second period was marked by a stretch of 5:11 without a whistle in which the Bruins bottled the Canadiens in their end for minutes at a time, only to see Milan Lucic miss their best scoring chance from the edge of the crease.

Soon after, Beaulieu flipped the puck up the center of the ice and saw it go off Loui Eriksson to Pacioretty, who won a race with Zdeno Chara and beat Rask between the pads at 15:24.

Pacioretty kept a puck alive with his feet amid a crowd in front of Rask during a power play and saw the puck slide to Vanek for a shot into an open side at 17:39.

Canadiens 1214

First1, Montreal, Eller 4, 2:11. PenaltiesWeaver, Mon (high-sticking), 12:23; Bergeron, Bos (roughing), 15:38; P.Subban, Mon (roughing), 15:38; Hamilton, Bos (roughing), 20:00.

Second2, Montreal, Pacioretty 2 (Beaulieu, Weaver), 15:24. 3, Montreal, Vanek 4 (Pacioretty, Markov), 17:39 (pp). PenaltiesP.Subban, Mon (holding stick), 5:08; Campbell, Bos (high-sticking), 17:13.

Third4, Montreal, Vanek 5 (Desharnais), 16:04. PenaltiesLucic, Bos (tripping), 3:58; Desharnais, Mon (interference), 19:10; Iginla, Bos, served by Thornton, minor-misconduct (roughing), 19:36; Chara, Bos, served by Fraser (slashing, roughing), 19:36; Weaver, Mon, minor-misconduct (slashing), 19:36. ShotsBoston 8-10-8—26. Montreal 11-12-5—28. Power playsBoston 0 of 3; Montreal 1 of 5. GoaliesBoston, Rask 7-4-0 (28 shots-24 saves). Montreal, Price 7-3-0 (26-26). A21,273 (21,273). T2:41.

Lundqvist fine: The league fined Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist $5,000 for emptying his water bottle on Sidney Crosby as the Penguins captain was in a scrum in front of the New York net as the second period of Sunday's Game 6 ended.

Around the league: The Coyotes signed defenseman Chris Summers to a two-year contract extension. Terms were not released. … Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier had sports hernia surgery and is expected to be ready for training camp.

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