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Thursday, April 23, 2009
Thanks for the memories Montreal
It's rare to see a playoff series that's over in two games but that much was clear in the Bruins-Canadiens first round series. Boston was a much better team and they lived up to their talent and smarts as they swept away the Habs with a 4-1 victory last night at the Bell Centre.
Who better to play a starring role in the sweep than former Montreal forward Michael Ryder? He led the Bruins with two goals and an assist last night (four goals and three assists in the series). David Krejci had a goal and assist, Phil Kessel added the other goal and Tim Thomas made 26 saves for his fourth straight playoff win.
This marked Boston's first playoff series win in 10 years, as they erased five straight losses in the first round (including three to Monreal).
It couldn't have been a better start for the Habs in game 4 as Andrei Kostitsyn scored 39 seconds into the game from Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev.
Didn't matter one bit. This isn't the Bruins of recent ilk. They don't get rattled, even in a playoff road game against a team facing elimination.
Ryder tied it up with 2:33 left in the first period as ancient defenseman Roman Hamrlik coughed up the puck right in front of his terrible goalie, Carey Price.
Even better, the B's grabbed a 2-1 lead with 35 seconds left as Ryder and Krejci worked a perfect give-and-go. Ryder stole the puck, drove to the net which drew Price (26 saves) then dished across the crease to Krejci, who had a wide open net.
For all intents and purposes, Kessel ended it as he scored on a breakaway after he came out of the penalty box. Patrice Bergeron hit him with an indirect pass off the side wall and Kessel skated in alone.
Finally, Ryder lit the lamp one last time from Krejci and Dennis Wideman.
This is a perfect scenario for Boston as they get as much time off as possible before their next series. The New York Rangers are actually up 3-1 on the Capitals. If the Rangers can finish off Washington, it would eliminate the biggest obstacle in the Eastern Conference for the Bruins.