Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens – MTL wins 4-2, MTL leads series 2-1
Boston, thanks to some turnovers and icing calls from Montreal, were very much in charge for the first half of the first period. The Habs started with an early four shot-attempt flurry but then the Bruins went on a 9-1 run over the next nine minutes or so. All that went for not, as Tomas Plekanec would give the Habs a 1-0 lead after Tuukka Rask mis-played it behind the net. After P.K. Subban exited the penalty box for a hit on Reilly Smith, he was sent in on a breakaway by Lars Eller. After a fake to his backhand, Subban snapped it past Rask to make it 2-0.
The shots were 10-9 for Montreal in the first, yet, Boston had their moments of pressure but couldn’t solve Carey Price. It was a rough period for the Montreal defensive pairing of Mike Weaver and Douglas Murray, being on the ice for nine shot attempts against in a bit over four minutes in ice time. There was one shift where the pairing was trapped in their own zone for three Boston line changes and two icing calls against.
A back-and-forth second period could have looked very different. Near the mid-point of the second period, a shot from Jarome Iginla find the iron to the right of Price and stayed out. With just over six minutes left, Dale Weise was sent in on a breakaway and he beat Rask for a 3-0 Montreal lead. It wouldn’t last, though, as a couple of minutes later Patrice Bergeron deflected a point shot from Torey Krug past Price to cut the lead to 3-1. It was a beautiful waist-high deflection on a shot going wide.
Montreal had 19 blocked shots through the first 40 minutes.
The Canadiens would start the third period with just one shot on goal through the first seven minutes, going to a much more defensive style through the neutral zone.
With the goalie pulled and a little over two minutes left in the period, a point shot by Andrej Meszaros would be deflected by Jarome Iginla and past Price to pull Boston within one. It was as close as they would get as Lars Eller would add an empty net goal for the 4-2 win.
Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild — MIN win 4-0, CHI leads series 2-1
The first period saw an extended portion where Minnesota wasn’t able to generate much against the ‘Hawks. The Wild had some good pressure out of the gate but Chicago went on a stretch where they had 11 straight shot attempts at goalie Ilya Bryzgalov before Minnesota would register one. Erik Haula did have a breakaway against Chicago goalie Corey Crawford but lost control of the puck, at least in small part thanks to a tap on the gloves from behind by the back-checking Duncan Keith. The first period would end scoreless with just 12 shots between the two teams.
The second period played out much like the first period. The Wild finished the last eight minutes of the second without registering a shot and the two teams went, according to the TSN broadcast, five and a half minutes without registering a shot between them during a lull in the period.
The big news was that after Ryan Suter laid a hit on Marian Hossa, the two of them fell to the ice with Hossa coming down on Suter’s left arm. Suter left for the dressing room and did not return before the end of the second period.
Suter would start the period for the Wild though, with their fans breathing a collective sigh of relief. In a weird twist of fate, on the first shift of the period, Jonathan Toews was back-checking on Suter to the net off a rush and took a deflected shot to the side of the head. He, too, would stay in the game.
Erik Haula would score an early goal for the Wild, one minute and 41 seconds in to the third. A two foot-high saucer pass off a rush by Justin Fontaine was directed past Crawford for a 1-0 Minnesota lead. Less than three minutes later, a nice passing play would be finished off by Mikael Granlund for a 2-0 Minnesota lead. Minnesota had scored two goals on the only two shots of the period.
Zach Parise would seal the game with a power play goal with 2:35 left in the game. His deflection off a point shot it the crossbar and he corralled his own rebound to put it in the open net. Granlund would score an empty net goal for his second of the night.
Bryzgalov made 19 saves for the shutout.