BOSTON -- After the Bruins scored four goals (one empty-netter) in the third period en route to a 5-3 victory over the Canadiens in Game 2 of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Saturday, Montreal goaltender Carey Price said Boston was “pretty lucky.”
“I heard that,” Bruins veteran forward Shawn Thornton said Monday. “I’m sure he feels like we got some fortunate bounces. He's obviously an unbelievable goalie and he’s very confident right now, so he probably thought he could’ve had a couple of those. If you score four goals in nine minutes, you’re going to get some fortunate bounces. I don’t really think about [Price’s comments], to be honest.”
Teammate Milan Lucic laughed when asked about what Price had to say.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky to be good, right?" he said. "It’s hard to say that you’re lucky. You look at how many scoring chances we were able to create, not only in Game 2 but in Game 1 as well. We’ve done a pretty good job of creating those scoring chances and we need to do the same if we want to keep giving ourselves a chance to win.”
The Montreal goalie has been outstanding in this series. He made 48 saves in Game 1 to help the Canadiens to a 4-3 double-overtime win. Until the third period of Game 2, Price was again making the timely saves, but the Bruins had a couple of bounces go their way, including a Patrice Bergeron game-tying shot that seemed to skip off the ice and past a befuddled Price.
"A puck that hits nothing and goes top shelf? That's pretty lucky," Price reiterated to reporters in Montreal on Monday.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask agreed with Lucic when asked about Price's comments.
“You’ve got to be good to be lucky, sometimes, too,” Rask said. “We got bounces there but I thought we deserved some of those bounces.”
With the series tied 1-1, the Canadiens will host Games 3 and 4 at Bell Centre on Tuesday and Thursday. Under coach Claude Julien, the Bruins are 14-1 in Game 3s in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Bell Centre, however, is one of the most hostile environments for an opponent to play in.
“It can be [tough], but it’s a great place to play because the fans are so loud and the atmosphere is great,” Rask said. “Then again, if you dig yourself a hole in the first period, then it becomes tough. I like it there because you can feed off that energy of the crowd.”
While the Canadiens won three of four games against Boston in the regular season, the Bruins’ lone win came at Bell Centre 4-1 on March 12. Price did not play in that game.
In 2011, the Bruins lost the first two games of the quarterfinal series against the Canadiens at TD Garden, but won both games in Montreal and eventually the series. The one thing the Bruins know about playing at Bell Centre: They need to have a strong start, something they failed to do in either of the first two games of this series. The Bruins trailed by two goals in the third periods of both Games 1 and 2.
“Starts are huge in that building, especially because you usually end up being shorthanded in the first period and you have to kill penalties and it takes a lot of energy off of you, so we have to focus on that first five, 10 minutes and really get off to a good start,” Rask said.
Getting the Bruins shorthanded has been key for the Canadiens so far. They’ve scored four of their seven total goals on the power play (4-for-9). Julien, who was slapped with a two-minute bench minor Saturday for barking at officials, said his team put up with a lot of “crap” in that contest, presumably from both the Habs and officials.
On Monday, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien fired back.
“It’s the same thing with Claude. He’s not happy with all that ‘crap,’ ” Therrien told reporters in Montreal. “They try to influence referees. That’s the way they are. That’s not going to change. That’s the way that they like to do their things. ... But we all know what they try to do.”
There’s a perception that the Canadiens get special treatment from the referees in Montreal. True or not, the Bruins know they can concern themselves only with staying disciplined and not allowing emotions to get the best of them.
“Those are things we can’t control, so you try not to let it affect you as a team at all,” Lucic said. “Obviously, it can get frustrating at times, but that’s not what we’re thinking about heading up there. We’re thinking about the job that we need to do heading into Montreal. We were able to win one of the games that we did play up there this season. We felt really good being able to come back and show character and have a good third period and win Game 2, so we’re looking forward to this challenge because we know how big of a challenge it is.”
Rask says the Bruins won't change their style of hockey.
“There’s a fine line you have to balance on. Everybody knows our style of hockey and we can’t change it. We have to play and just hope that everything goes well,” he said.