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Sunday, April 10, 2011
Bring on the Canadiens
With their 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators yesterday afternoon at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins locked up a first-round playoff meeting with the Montreal Canadiens.
It looks like Game 1 will be Thursday night in Boston.
Bruins (46-24-11) goaltender Tim Thomas (31 saves; 35-11-9) set the NHL record for save percentage (.938) for an entire season. The Tank is playing some great hockey at the perfect time.
Daniel Paille, Nathan Horton and Rich Peverley all scored for Boston. Bobby Butler had the lone Senators (32-40-10) goal.
Paille gave the Bs a 1-0 lead at 12:53 of the first period with assists to Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Once again, the fourth line played very well and all three guys deserve (limited) minutes against Montreal.
Paille one-timed it past Ottawa goaltender Curtis McElhinney (26 saves) for his sixth goal of the season after Campbell fed him from behind the net.
Butler (10th of the season) tied it up at 18:27 after a misclear by the Boston defense. Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza assisted on the goal.
Horton put Boston up 2-1 at 1:08 of the second period. His 26th goal of the season was on the power play and it was assisted by Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic. Horton backhanded it past McElhinney following a rebound.
It was an eventful period for Horton as he also fought some goon named Zack Smith. Jack Edwards was freaking out on NESN during the fight since Ottawa had nothing to lose (not going to the playoffs, last regular season game) and Horton had everything to play for (and has never experienced the playoffs). Thankfully after departing to the dressing room for repairs, Horton came back and looked fine.
Peverley clinched it with a backhander at 14:52 of the third period. The unassisted tally was his 17th of the season. He cut across the zone and beat McElhinney with a sharp shot.
Boston wraps up the regular season this afternoon in New Jersey in a game that truly means nothing. Mark Recchi and Chara aren't making the trip and Tuukka Rask will get the start as the Bruins try to stay healthy against the Devils (whose season ends today).