Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Thomas (W)
Habs goalscorers: Kostitsyn, Plekanec
Opposition goalscorers: Krejci, Horton, Peverley, Kelly
Kostitsyn's goal was quite something, one of his best ever. The funny thing is, though, he may have had a few more highlight reel goals had Thomas not been so strong in the third. The goal started with a great pick-off by Hamrlik who got the puck to Camms. Mike gained the zone and then left it for Andrei who made an absolute meal of Chara (Norris candidate? for defence?) and then slid it by a surprised Thomas.
Andrei Kostitsyn - Game Puck
Andrei was our best player tonight as he very nearly scored enough goals for a complete comeback by himself. Once his linemates got going too, in the third, they were a dominant line and I simply couldn't wait for them to get back on the ice whenever they went off. He was the only player to end with a positive +/-.
Cammalleri can be better than he was, but still did a good job of outplaying his Bruin coverage. He was in on both goals and was very nearly in on a third. I would like to see him shooting more, however, and taking shots from the middle of the ice (if possible) and not always from the outside. He will be a key player in the next game as the Bruins should have their hands full worrying about Andrei and Pleks - Mike may be able to fly under the radar.
I hated the way that Pleks played during the first two periods. His play on a PP late in the second was some of the worst I have seen from him in a while as everything seemed rushed and haphazard. He had a fabulous third period, however, and ended up being a positive factor in the game. His goal should remind all of us that Thomas can be beaten quite easily at times - as he has been by the Habs over the years.
PK does the deserve the recognition tonight. He has been great all series and tonight he was a big reason that we almost got back in the game. He is easily having his way with Lucic as that match-up has become quite the one-sided affair. I hope that PK will keep this play up as the series goes on and I wonder if (and hope) he'll bring a goal or two to the table.
Hamrlik could have been in here with either of these two tonight, but just missed out. The Wiz played another strong game at both ends. He almost scored on his only shot of the game and I hope that he gets a chance to unload it a bit more in the next couple of games. As much as I like Subban's shot from the left-side on the PP, I would like to see James take more from the middle of the ice as I do think it is the best one-timer on the team.
I have said all along that one day Carey's puck-handling would cost us a goal at exactly the wrong time. Well, tonight was that time. His play on the third goal was inexcusable as it was a pass straight to two Bruins as he was way too far out of his net. There was another play that would have been a goal had Pleks not saved the day. It is a shame because apart from an empty-netter, a goal that may not been a goal there was only the one other goal to look at. If Price stays in his net and doesn't make those passes we may have won this game and may have been up 3-0; who knows. Luckily his play during the rest of the time shows that it was a mistake and we all just have to move on from it.
3-0 would have been quite something, but it was not to be. It certainly could have been the case, mind you. I would say that we were the better team tonight, not by far, but we were better than Boston. They beat us, however, because they started the game 26 minutes earlier than us and had incredible goaltending in the third. That third period was perhaps our best offensive period of the series and that is reason enough to be happy. I think that after being down 0-3 we proved to ourselves that Boston is indeed the team that we beat in their building and is indeed a team that we can outplay.
What has to be done, therefore, is quite clear - we have to start the game well. I think that we have all of the tools to be better than them at every position, but we can't afford to get down. Tonight we went down, got lazy, got scared, took stupid penalties and that all caught up with us. We have to set the tone early, no matter what. That doesn't mean scoring first (a goal can be lucky and can happen for either team, at any time), but means that we must outplay, outwork and outchance them early on. I don't expect that to keep up for 60 minutes, but the sooner we start playing that way on Thursday, the sooner we'll be putting doubt into the minds of the Bruins.