Overtime!: April 2011
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Friday, April 22, 2011

NHL Playoffs: Montreal And Boston Tied.

An overtime period was necessary yesterday in Game Four of the first round series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

Michael Ryder scored the game-winner and tied the series up at two games apiece.

The Canadiens had the advantage early on and struck first during the first period. Brent Sopel slapped one past goaltender Tim Thomas.

The Bruins tied the score early into the second period when Michael Ryder scored his first goal of the series. But the Canadiens replied with two quick goals. Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn scored their goals less than a minute apart. At that point, Montreal led 3-1 and looked poised to take a 3-1 series lead.

But Boston came roaring back before the end of the second period. Andrew Ference and Patrice Bergeron tied the score at 3 heading to the third period.

P.K. Subban gave Montreal a third lead in the game when his perfect wrist shot found it's way in Boston's net. But Boston tied the game once more with a little more than six minutes to play. Chris Kelly found a loose puck in front of Carey Price and pushed it in the net to tie the game once more.

Michael Ryder with his second goal of the game made the difference during the first overtime period.

Final score: Boston Bruins 5 - Montreal Canadiens 4 (The series is tied 2-2.)

The series is going back to Boston on Saturday for game five.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

NHL Playoffs: Boston In A Delicate Position.

Tonight, Game Three of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins will be played at the Bell centre in Montreal.

After winning the first two games of the series in Boston, the Canadiens will be looking to put their opponent in a huge hole. At the opposite, Boston will try to come back in this series before it's too late.

The Canadiens did not feel any pressure during the first two games of the series as they were the underdogs. But with a 2-0 series lead coming home, they are now in the driver seat and the pressure of winning should complicate things a bit.

As for Boston's defense men Zdeno Chara who missed Game Two, we have no clue if he will be in uniform tonight. The tall defense men did make the trip to Montreal but head coach Claude Julien refused to give any more details regarding his status.

The atmosphere should be electric inside the Bell centre tonight. Will the Bruins turn the tables tonight or will goaltender Carey Price manage to shut down Boston for a third time?

We will have our answer tonight. Should be a good one.

(Picture: Milan Lucic, Getty Images.)

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Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Montreal Takes Game One.

Carey Price has won his duel with Tim Thomas yesterday and allowed the Canadiens to win Game One of this first round series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

Price made the difference as he stopped a total of 31 shots on goal while his opponent, Tim Thomas, allowed a goal on the very first shot of the game.

With two goals, Brian Gionta was the offensive star in this one. The team captain scored his first goal of the game early in the contest after a turnover from defense men Tomas Kaberle. Scott Gomez brillantly threw the loose puck across the ice to Gionta for the goal.

Gionta scored his second goal with less than four minutes to play in the third period. His slapshot coming from the wing found a hole under Thomas' right arm to trickle in the net. A very bad goal to allow when your team is trying to tie the game.

Scott Gomez also printed his name twice on the score sheet with two assists. Before the start of the series, Gomez committed himself to a better offensive production and delivered during Game One.

Final score: Montreal Canadiens 2 - Boston Bruins 0 (Montreal leads the series by 1-0.)

(Picture: Carey Price stops Brad Marchand, Getty Images.)

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Quest For Lord Stanley's Cup Is Open.

Yesterday, five first round matches were presented as the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup has begun.

First, the Washington Capitals needed overtime to defeat the New-York Rangers by the score of 2-1. Alexander Semin scored the overtime winner in this one.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and their goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-0.

The Detroit Red Wings disposed of the Phoenix Coyotes by the score of 4-2 while the Nashville Predators claimed a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

The Vancouver Canucks did not made any mistake in front of the defending champions Chicago Blackhawks. The Canucks won the first game of the series by the score of 2-0. Goaltender Roberto Luongo looked great in this one.

Washington, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Nashville and Vancouver leads their respective best-of-seven series, 1-0.

Tonight, the old and bitter rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins will resume. There is no love lost between those two clubs and a heated series is expected, as usual. The Chara-Pacioretty incident is still fresh to our memories and should be used as motivation for Montreal.

Montreal managed to defeat Boston four times in six regular season games this season.

Another point of interest in this series resides in net as Carey Price and Tim Thomas face each other in an anticipated duel. Thomas has had problems with the Canadiens a number of times and will be looking forward to shut down the Habs fans.

Will Boston's physical game intimidate the Canadiens? We will have a part of the answer tonight in Boston during Game One.

(Picture: P.K. Subban, Milan Lucic and Carey Price, Getty Images.)

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Montreal Canadiens Clinches Playoff Berth In Overtime.

For the last regular season game of this 2010-2011 season at the Bell Centre, the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks played a very disputed game, with an ending that pleased the crowd.

The only goals scored during regulation came during the second period. Michael Cammalleri scored for Montreal and Patrick Kane for the Hawks.

The scoring opportunities came at both ends of the ice but both goaltenders in this game made fantastic saves to keep the score tied. Carey Price was litterally in the zone. He saved the game for Montreal late in the third period during a Hawks' man-advantage. As the puck was about to float in the net, Price made a reflex left hand save while falling backwards.

At the end of regulation, the score was still tied at 1 apiece. P.K. Subban ended the contest during a man-advantage with a solid one-timer on a brillant pass from Andrei Kostitsyn.

Subban once again added another flashy goal celebration to his resume as he raced towards Carey Price and collided with him in mid air.

The extra point gained during the overtime insured the Canadiens' playoff spot. With only two games left to the regular season, a ton of pressure has dropped from the teams' shoulders.

Every year, I can't wait for the playoffs to begin. The intensity of every game only gets greater and greater. We saw a good example of it yesterday as both teams played a typical playoff game.

As for Carey Price, this 2010-2011 season will be remembered as one of his best in career. Yesterday, Price played his 71st game, breaking the single-season club record for a goalie. It was also his 37th win, the most by a Montreal goalie since Ken Dryden in 1977-78.

Congratulations to Montreal for clinching their berth and the best of luck for the rest of the way!

(Picture: Associated Press.)

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