The Montreal Canadiens took them to the limit but ultimately fell to the Boston Bruins in overtime by the score of 3-2. For their first meeting at the Bell Centre in over 800 days, the Canadiens and the Bruins did not disappoint.
Within mere hours after having lost key veterans Artturi Lehkonen and Brett Kulak to trades, the Canadiens put up an admirable effort, especially from a defensive perspective. Both Jake Allen and Jeremy Swayman kept their respective teams in this game, as the Bruins and Canadiens traded offensive chances all game, making for a very entertaining contest between the heated rivals.
The game’s tempo was set early as superstar pest Brad Marchand tapped in a great pass from Erik Haula in front of the net at 9:27 in the 1st period. The Bruins finished the 1st period with a net advantage over the Canadiens, nearly doubling them in shots and scoring chances.
The Canadiens seemed to pick themselves up in the 2nd period, as they upped the tempo in a significant way. They began to multiply the offensive chances until David Savard finally broke through Swayman and placed a slick backhander top-corner to tie the game. The Bruins and Canadiens were far more even in the 2nd period, with good hits from Michael Pezzetta and Alexander Romanov to continue the fast, physical tempo.
The Canadiens looked to be starting the 3rd period off on the wrong foot after having finished the 2nd period on the penalty kill, but a timely defensive play by Joel Armia changed the game for the Canadiens. Armia poked a dangerous pass away from Brad Marchand to set himself off on a breakaway and ultimately give the Canadiens their first lead of the game with their league-leading 6th shorthanded goal.
The Bruins were also not going to simply pack it in, as they continued to pepper Jake Allen with pucks in the third period, driving most of the offence in the third frame. The Bruins finally beat Jake Allen at the end of the third period when Craig Smith served up a beautiful pass to Connor Clifton, who tucked in his 2nd goal of the season to tie the game with less than three minutes to play in the third.
In overtime, Brad Marchand made up for his costly mistake in the third period and was able to dance around the Canadiens and Allen to score his second of the game and secure the win for the Bruins by the score of 3-2.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand: Brad Marchand scored the first and last goals of the game and was one of the most impactful players in the game. Marchand set the tone for the game early on with a timely goal in the first period. He played a strong, chippy game, generating many offensive chances for the Bruins. That aggressiveness also got in him in trouble, as he was directly responsible for Armia’s shorthanded goal in the third period. However, Marchand was able to get the last laugh, burying the OT winner after a beautiful fake-out to beat Jake Allen.
— Chris G (@ChrisHabs360) March 22, 2022
TABARNAK: Marchand Turnover on the Powerplay: Boston started the 3rd period with the score tied on the man-advantage. Brad Marchand made a dangerous turnover that Armia was able to poke away the puck and take off for the shorthanded breakaway.
TURNING POINT: Armia shorthanded goal- After poking the puck away from Brad Marchand while shorthanded, Armia rushed down the ice and beat Swayman with a well-placed wrist shot to give the Canadiens their first lead of the game. The Canadiens scored their league-leading 6th shorthanded goal, and Armia recorded his 2nd goal in as many games.
— Chris G (@ChrisHabs360) March 22, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Jake Allen- Jake Allen kept the Montreal Canadiens in this game from start to finish. He stopped 43 of the 46 shots that were put against him and held down the fort for the Canadiens for as long as he could to give his team a chance at securing the victory. Allen made many highlight-reel saves and even earned a loud ovation from the Bell Centre crowd for his excellent play.
MARCHAND CALLS GAME! What a goal. pic.twitter.com/sCC4t7QY4l
— Marina Maher (@marinakmaher) March 22, 2022
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Monday night:really
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki– Joel Armia
Rem Pitlick-DLaurent Dauphin-Mike Hoffman
Jonathan Drouin-Christian Dvorak-Joel Armia
Michael Pezzetta-Jake Evans-Paul Byron
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov-David Savard
Corey Schueneman-Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s tough. You lose good people. Those are three good guys. Those guys were playing real good hockey for us.” – Jake Allen on the Canadiens Lehkonen, Kulak and Hammond trades.