What a game.
The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs will have a hard time matching the excitement of the opening round, but it sure got off to a great start Thursday. The Bruins-Canadiens game featured everything that made Round 1 so good: a blown two-goal lead, a dying-minutes tying goal, and overtime.
Game 1 went into double overtime in Boston, with two penalties being called in extra time – both against the home team. The first, a tripping penalty against Dan Paille, came near the end of OT1 and was split between the two periods. The second, a holding call on Matt Bartkowski, came around four minutes into OT2.
Here’s the call (the good call) on the bear hug, from @PeteBlackburn:
The Bruins didn’t survive that one.
The Canadiens had two stars shine in Game 1: goalie Carey Price and defenseman P.K. Subban. Price made 48 saves to stymie the Bruins offense. As Subban told Hockey Night in Canada after the game, without Price, it’s unlikely the Habs would have survived as far as overtime. Price, who had a .904 save percentage in Round 1 against Tampa Bay, was easily the best player on the ice in Game 1 and needs to keep that up for the upset to come to fruition.
Subban was pretty good too, though. He scored the first goal of the game and buried the OT winner immediately after the Bartkowski penalty. The Habs won the draw and Subban let fly a perfect, blistering, seeing-eye puck towards the top shelf. After the game, Subban and Price should have been allowed to triple low-five all they wanted.
This series is going to be a fun one.